The style of karate practised by the Renshinkan School is Shorinjiryu. This style can trace its origins back to the very early days of karate history in Okinawa and the famous master, Sokon Matsumura who is said to have created the kata, Chinto. Amongst his most committed students was Chotuku Kyan (1870 – 1945) who trained a karateka named Joen Nakazato. On his return from active service during World War II, Nakazato was determined to continue his practice of Shorinjiryu maintaining to the letter his master’s teaching. It was Nakazato who named the style Shorinjiryu after its birthplace, a Shaolin Temple in China.
One of Nakazato’s students, Isamu Tamotsu of Kagoshima was responsible for first taking the style to mainland Japan in the 1950’s. The school he created was named the Renshinkan School. Iwao Tamotsu pictured left (son of the founder, Isamu Tamotsu) has worked ceaselessly to expand Shorinjiryu Renshinkan across the world, having established the International Federation, which comes together every five years to celebrate and promote world peace and understanding in the International Friendship Tournaments. Soke Sensei passed away in November 2016 and has been succeeded by his brother, Soke Yuzo Tamotsu.
Shorinjiryu Renshinkan is one of the few remaining family styles being practised today.