Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do is the creation of Kensei Taba, Hanshi, Judan. It is the product of his more than 60 years of training in Karate-Do under such great Karate-Do Masters as Shoshin Nagamine, Hohan Soken and Chosin Chibana. Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do is not another branch or organization of Matsubayashi-Ryu or any other style. It is unique.
The Okinawa Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Association is a small group of dojo and students that have chosen to follow the teaching of Taba Sensei because of his unequalled knowledge and skill. Techniques are performed in a manner that results in the greatest speed and power possible without causing injury or harm to the person performing them.
Key aspects to Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do are the use of natural movements, efficiency of movement, a relaxed body and most importantly, the use of koshi, the combination of the hips and low back, when performing techniques. While many people talk about the importance of "koshi" to get maximum power, few truly understand the anatomy and biomechanical principles to effectively use it. It is not an exaggerated movement of the hips, but a small and often imperceivable "snap" which provides incredible power to technique. Taba Sensei has an unquestionable understanding of koshi and has incorporated it into his Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do. The result is a perfect blending of tradition and science.
Taba Sensei has created a system in which knowledge comes first and egos and politics are not important. Rank is earned and respected, not casually handed out and boasted. Titles, such as Shidoin, Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi, are only used in written form, as is grammatically correct in the Japanese language, and instructors are addressed as "Sensei" regardless of what title they hold. In addition, everyone wears a plain white keikogi with the Association crest and Dan ranks wear a simple blackbelt with their name and "Shogen-Ryu" embroidered on the ends. No colorful uniforms with multiple patches or fancy colored or patterned belts are worn. The simple blackbelt a student receives as a Shodan could be the same belt they wear 30 years later.
The Okinawa Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Association welcomes anyone to come train with us, but it does not actively recruit dojo or students. Becoming a member dojo or individual member is not a simple payment of a fee. There is an involved process to becoming part of Shogen-Ryu and as a result, we remain a small group. However, if you value TRUE Okinawa Karate-Do and are ready to receive clear explanations for what you are taught or have tired of all of the self-promoted "masters" of Okinawa Karate-Do, please contact us and we can provide the meaning to the tradition.