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       South Georgia Dojo's



Shorin-Ryu Karate Dates back to about 500 AD,
Originally called Shaolin it is the forerunner for most
modern Martial Art Styles. Shorin-Ryu Karate is based on
pure Self-Defense. Being comprised of Simultaneous Blocking
and Hitting, Trapping and Striking, Taisabaki (Body Shifting),
Kicks, Take Downs and Throws, Tuite (Joint-Locking), as well
as Katame (Grappling) and Kyusho-Jutsu (Pressure Point Strikes)
and Kobudo (Weapons Training). Finish it all off with Tameshiwara
(Breaking Skills).   


Shorin-Ryu Karate Called  "The Ultimate in SELF-DEFENSE" Is a  well balanced self-defense system and do to its age and the fact that it is used to a certain extent by our American Military and  Special Purpose Combat Teams as well as Special Law Enforcement Groups. Proves its Validity and Quality. We also believe this means that it has in the past; and is still being tested today in  "real time" REAL Combat !


EVERYONE CAN!   However we recommend  Children start Shorin-Ryu around age fifteen as we do not award  Black Belts to anyone under  the age of eighteen.



1. Awareness - of yourself, your surroundings & your body’s life force(energy & breathing)

2. Self-Defense - real life strategies and techniques for defending yourself & loved ones from attack

3. Self-Discipline - transforming your psychology from procrastination to enpowerment

4. Self-Confidence - exchanging fear and doubt for boldness, courage & belief

5. Physical Fitness - developing maximum strength, power, flexibility & excellent vitality

6. Health/Longevity – by using Oriental wisdom for breathing, eating, and stress management

7. Mutual Respect - teachers are equal with students & the cooperation of a partner is crucial

8. Spiritual Growth - the first 7 benefits will create a spiritual environment for faith, knowledge and peace to grow through humbly pursuing excellence in these areas

WHY DON’T MORE PEOPLE BENEFIT FROM MARTIAL ARTS? Make no mistake about it, Martial Arts training and knowledge can help your every-day life but typically you have to do MANY years of training to extract just a FEW of these gems of truth for your ‘real-life’ benefit. Clearly the tradition of the arts (and unfortunately, at times, the egos of the instructors) causes the teaching to be slow, tedious, and often shrouded in mystery. This in theory will keep the insincere student from gaining too much knowledge and power. Also in the last 50 years the arts have become so commercialized that many purests accuse instructors of being more interested in profits than integrity and even advertising the opportunity to become a black belt in half the time of their competitors.

But usually the sheer time it takes to get to the ‘good stuff’ is simply too much for most people. There are also others that will never venture into a dojo(practice hall/school) because they are intimidated or just self-conscious. Also, often one equates preparing for a potential attack as accepting it as a possible reality and they want to avoid all reality. The bottom line is : Martial Arts training could save your life or at least change it. You simply need knowledge that you can put into action NOW!


In order to understand and apply many of the lessons the Martial Arts have to teach us, it is helpful to look back and observe how some of the world’s greatest masters used the ancient arts to change peoples lives- not just defeat opponents. One of the great Asian humanitarians of the 20th century was a martial arts master named So Do Shin. He had an incredible past as martial artist that was used by the Japanese government as an undercover spy. He spent many years undercover in the 1940’s in China until he ultimately became more interested in the techniques and secrets of the Shaolin monks than his original political agenda. So he went from temple to temple posing as a Chinese student that desired to join this elite group of martial artists. In North China he would learn certain secret techniques that the monks in South China didn’t know and vice versa. His biggest surprise came as he found himself more intrigued with healing with his secret knowledge than fighting with it. The secrets of Qi Gong, Tai Qi, Acupuncture, herbology and meditation had empowered him as a healer and he quickly became famous for his proficiency in the healing arts. Also noticing the powerful mental and spiritual abilities of the monks he diligently applied himself to the Buddhist faith and attained incredible spiritual growth and enlightenment.

Meanwhile back in his home country of Japan they were about to suffer their worst (and only) military defeat in their country’s history. That’s right! The American destroyed not only Japan’s military hopes, but also their moral and pride. When So Do Shin returned home after WWII he hardly recognized his homeland. They were demoralized, unhealthy and ready to give up.

So Do Shin quickly assessed his country’s problem and decided they needed a system or discipline that could transform their minds, bodies and spirits. He named the system Shorinji(Japanese for Shaolin) Kempo(Kem=fist, Po=way) and also called it Kongo(moving) Zen. The hand to hand techniques were one of the most efficient compilations of martial arts ever. Shaolin Kung-Fu secrets were combined with the best of Japanese karate, jui-jitsu, judo and grappling to compile an almost unbeatable system. But what made Shorinji Kempo unique was that it was developed to empower true students to help others lives by teaching them the secrets of Kongo Zen , Oriental healing and the power of cooperation and mutual respect.

Master So was able to greatly impact his country through sharing Shorinji Kempo and later was able to share it with millions of people all over the world. Today it is taught to nearly 2 million students world-wide by dedicated teachers who have sworn an oath never to use it for their profit, reputation/ego, or competition. Like this wonderful story, there are countless life lessons to learn from past teachers.


Sensei(Japanese for teacher) Tanaka , 8th degree black belt of Shorinji Kempo, spent his days at his Qi Gong, Shiatsu, and Acupuncture clinic and nights teaching martial arts at his dojo(practice hall.) Often he was invited to give medical seminars at the local university. One particular night he was in a vast auditorium explaining to a skeptical Western medical crowd that he could use the same acupuncture points to both knock-out an attacker and heal a patient. A large 6’2" American stood up to challenge tiny Sensei Tanaka who nonchalantly struck the 235lb American. Seconds later a large group of shocked medical students gathered around the unconscious challenger as a smiling Sensei Tanaka stimulated the same point he struck to revive the unharmed student. Cheers and astonishment came from the crowd as the humbled student stood to his feet.(I can verify this story because I was there in Kyoto in the summer of 1995) He practiced a martial arts creed called Fusatsu Katsujin(defend without injury) and demonstrated how the same Oriental Medicine wisdom can allow you to both heal and defend. It is believed by the ancient masters that it is a much higher honor to heal the sick than to defeat the toughest opponent. The masters also taught that much attention must be given to one’s own health because you can’t give something you don’t have. To give healing you must have health. To share peace, you yourself must first be at peace. In order to express honor and respect, you must first possess it. TO TRULY LOVE OTHERS……………..


Riki Ai Funi teaches that strength and love must unite to have any real effect. Just as a parent must not only have compassion for their children but also the courage to discipline them, a benevolent heart is only known when that caring is followed by action. So we can see in today’s society how the Tao/Do/Po(the ‘WAY") of Martial Arts is so relevant. If we were to live by the Bushido(Warriors Way) we could be unafraid of drugs, crime, addiction and greed because all would be held totally accountable for their own actions. If we could learn Mushin(The Quiet Mind) we would not need Psychotherapy, anger therapy, and stress medication. For only the PRESENT MOMENT contains the peace and tranquility that all of humanity longs for. These are but a few examples of how in so many ways the ancient philosophy could transform the way we face today’s challenges.


You can practice Zainshin (The Focused Mind) wherever you are RIGHT NOW! This is simply a state of keen awareness of your breathing, your Qi(energy), and your surroundings. You could certainly avoid most need for self defense by being totally AWARE each time you walk in public, use an ATM or enter your vehicle or home. No it’s not paranoia – it is being in the NOW. While driving your car, try taking deep ‘belly’ breaths and observing how much tension you use in your muscles to operate the vehicle and focus on using as little as possible. The Zen mind flows like water and is still yet calm so use Happo Maku(The Art of Seeing Without Looking) so that you never become distracted and fixated on an object that could cause you to get into an accident. Unquestionably one of the greatest applications of practical Martial Arts is to learn about Hara(your body’s center of gravity and energy/Qi) and practice doing everything including breathing, walking, and even projecting thoughts from that center point. If you feel the stress of the job or parenting is too intense, try using Chosoku(The Calming Breath&Renewal) If someone attacks you verbally use Uwa Uke and Gaeshi(Deflection and Redirection) instead of demeaning yourself by engaging in an argument. There are simply too many PRACTICAL applications of the Martial Arts to mention them all.


Even if you don’t belong to a school you can practice Martial Arts anywhere, anytime. Try starting by going to a quiet place and simply taking a seat and practicing Zazen(seated Zen breathing/meditation) Practice becoming aware of your energy/Qi flow and LET your mind slow down and settle. Breath in through your nose as you expand your belly(Hara) and breath out through your mouth as you gently contract your lower belly.(take one minute per breath - 20 sec in, hold 10, out 30) This will build your Qi, settle your mind, and as a farmer tills the soil, prepare for the seeds of knowledge the Martial Arts has to plant in you. So NOW you are ready for the movements, physical techniques, and philosophy of the arts..



By Matt Sommers  (C) 1993l

"Wow!" someone says, "Did you know that he/she was a black belt?" But what, you think, does it really mean? Well in the authentic sense it simply means that a Martial Arts student has applied themselves enough to become a true beginner. That’s right! A black belt wasn’t intended to boost one’s ego or signify them as an expert-- only a worthy student of the ancient arts. Originally (and now only symbolic) earning a black belt meant your once-white belt has been worn and tattered so much that it has changed colors from white to brown and (ultimately) to black.

Even if the only belt you own is a leather one, almost everyone has heard of the Martial Arts in some shape or form. Many have had their interests peeked and wondered how learning more could enhance their lives. Maybe Bruce Lee’s incredible movements, a revelation watching a "Kung Fu" episode, or Mr. Myagi’s wisdom in "Karate Kid" grabbed your attention. Maybe you heard stories of the ancient masters performing impossible physical feats, healing the sick with merely a transference of their energy or actively exercising after turning 100 years old themselves and wondered if it was really(?!?) true. It could be that you drive by one of the many thousands of karate/kung-fu schools in America on your way to work each day and ponder what really goes on inside with all the fancy uniforms, multi-color belts and strange noises echoing from the doors. Or perhaps you or a loved-one has been an unfortunate victim of one of the more than half a million violent physical attacks in this country each year and wondered if Martial Arts training could have provided protection. STILL there are many others that have invested countless hours (and dollars!) in learning systems that were ineffective in teaching them to apply their techniques and philosophy to real life situations. Their black belt may ultimately be little more to them than a bragging right that holds their pants up. THE PROBLEM IS THE SAME FOR MOST PEOPLE: there is more mystery and confusion than clarity- far more questions than answers.

So no,no,no! ………….we are not going to discuss which system is superior, how to become a champion ‘no-holds-barred’ fighter, how many boards you can learn to break, or what degree black belt you can achieve. Those things of ego and competition are for another time, another place. Lets start right here, right now and begin to uncover the mysteries of these wonderful ancient arts so their lessons can be plainly understood and their benefits realized on a daily basis. Better health, more vitality, focused thoughts, genuine confidence, self-discipline, real-world physical protection, and a more peaceful life await those ready to learn. So if you’re ready, lets begin uncovering these mysteries by giving some simple answers to difficult questions!


Unfortunately if you ask a thousand different people you will get a thousand(and one) answers. There are so many different styles with different techniques, philosophies and names! Tae Kwon Do, Kung-fu, Aikido, Judo, Jeet Kun Do, Jui Jitsu(Brazilian,Japanese, etc.) Aiki Jitsu, Savate, Thai Boxing, Wing Chun, and Karate of every name you can imagine……. the list goes on forever. It can be overwhelming for anyone. First lets define the english term "Martial Arts" : the name literally implies it is an expression(Art) of a warrior’s military-type(Martial) skill. Of course the true Martial Arts is about so much more than that. Yes it’s true that these arts were originally created for combat and are still highly effective in today’s society when executed properly, but many may wonder why they should bother with all that training when they can just go out and buy a gun to defend themselves. Good question, huh? In order for spending the time training in the Martial Arts to be worthwhile there must be more to it than just fighting skills, black belts, trophies and ego boosting……and there is!


Training in the Martial Arts has been used for thousands of years as a form of spiritual growth, self-discipline, physical health, longevity and even a means of unifying people of all races, sexes, and creeds. In order to begin to comprehend the ancient teachings it’s helpful to understand a little basic history and Oriental terminology. Nearly 5,000 years ago a disciple of Buddha named Bohidarma originated the first Martial Arts forms in India for the protection, discipline, and physical balance of the monks who were on a quest for spiritual enlightenment. It later spread to the Shaolin temples in China and then Japan before moving throughout Asia and ultimately around the world. Clearly the original intent of the early masters was to provide a discipline that incorporated the mind, body and spirit into a balanced state of personal and even universal harmony.


It’s funny how many misconceptions there are about the noises and movements made by martial artists. One principal that must be grasped in order to benefit from these ancient arts is to understand that no one’s body is simply physical matter. Even Western medicine has confirmed that the body is ENERGY at the core level(and so are thoughts!) This energy, or life force, is known as Qi, Chi, or Ki. The true martial artist strives to develop stronger Ki and to be able to utilize it both for defense and helping others. The noise you hear many martial artists make is called Kiai; a vocal expression of focused Ki or "spirit yell." And as for the movements, they are mostly derived from studying the movements animals like tigers, snakes, leopards, and birds make when they are attacking and defending. Scientific principles of leverage and anatomy are also utilized in all of the hand-to-hand combative techniques. The energy/acupuncture meridians(pathways) were also studied to find effective striking points and healing points. Movements were also specifically sequenced together to help Ki/Qi flow through the acupuncture-energy meridians of the body in arts like Tai Qi and in certain karate katas(forms.) The aim of these arts is to synergize your body’s movements, breathing, energy and thoughts and create ultimate balance. Yin and Yang have been used since ancient times to describe the two sides of the energy of the body(and the universe) and this quest for balance and harmony.

CAN EVERYONE TRULY BENEFIT FROM LEARNING MARTIAL ARTS? No matter what may have gained your interest, the only question of any significance is whether or not Martial Arts training can enhance the quality of your life. The answer is ABSOLUTELY! Even if you have no desire to ever throw a punch or kick, training can enhance many areas of your life. Even though you may never know when the need for effective defense strategy could arise, people like Chuck Norris(who,by the way, has never had to use his skills in a real-life fight!) have changed their lives through Martial Arts. Genuine training is for people of all walks of life from the C.E.O. to the homemaker, from the multi-art black belt to the ‘never-thrown-a-kick’ beginner. It does NOT matter what age, skill level, size, gender, strength or flexibility you are. If you desire to improve the quality of your life, the ‘Arts’ have much to teach you.



Contents Copyright 1988-2012
Al Martin Sensei, & Matt Sommers, Sensei
  Karate Incorporated
All rights reserved by
Al Martin & Karate Incorporated
Associated Karate Schools