About Isshin-ryu Karate and the lineage of our school.

Shimabuku Tatsuo*, the founder of Isshin-ryu (whole heart style), learned karate from three teachers and one weapons teacher:

Kyan Chotoku, the founder of Shorin-ryu ("Shaolin style") karate;

Miyagi Chojun, the founder of Goju-ryu ("hard/soft style") karate;

Motobu Choki, who was well known as a fighter;

Taira Shinken, a living encyclopedia of the weapons arts.

A US Marine named Don Nagle brought Shimabuku’s karate to the United States, and opened one of the first schools in this country to teach Isshin-ryu.

One of Nagle's students, Dale Jenkins, opened many schools and started an association of Isshin-ryu dojos, the Jersey Judo Karate Kai.

Mr. Jenkins appointed Salvatore Musco as Head Instructor, and Mr. Musco went on to become one of the directors of the American Budo Kai, a position he still holds today. He is a 8th degree black belt and operates his own dojo, East Morris Karate Academy, in East Morris, New Jersey.

Mr. Musco taught Maurey Levitz and encouraged him to begin teaching on his own. Mr. Levitz opened his own dojo New Paltz Karate Academy. Mr. Levitz currently holds the rank of 6th degree black belt in Isshin-ryu karate.

The Head Instructor of our school, Mr Borland, is the third of Mr. Levitz's students to open his own karate school. Mr. Borland, who has been studying under Mr. Levitz almost 15 years, currently holds the rank of 3rd degree black belt in Isshin-Ryu karate.

Teachers' Dojos
East Morris Karate Academy (Mr Musco's Dojo)
New Paltz Karate Academy (Mr Levitz' Dojo)

Sister Dojos
Traditional Okinawan Karate of Brooklyn (Mr. Donovan)
Traditional Okinawan Karate of Kinnelon (Mr. Miller)
Traditional Okinawan Karate of East Fishkill(Ms. O'Neill Program Coordinator)

* Okinawan and Japanese names typically are addressed family name first, instead of given name first, and this listing reflects that usage.
In the Western world, however, it is not uncommon to hear either
Tatsuo Shimabuku or Shimabuku Tatsuo.

Tatsuo ("Dragon Man") was Shimabuku's nickname. He became more known as Tatsuo by than his birth name, Shinkichi.