Sensei Shugoro Nakazato created the Shorin Ryu Shorinkan association in 1975 with the support of Sensei Noel Smith and others. Okinawan Budo Institute in Virginia Beach was the organization's first member dojo ["school"]. Since 1975 the Shorinkan association has grown from one dojo to hundreds of dojo and thousands of members world wide. It is today one of the largest Okinawan karate associations with the sole goal to preserve the original intent and teachings of Sensei Chosin Chibana. The association's headquarters and central training hall, called Honbu [pronounced "hombu"] Dojo (photo top of the site on the right), is located in the city of Naha/Okinawa.
After Sensei Shugoro Nakazato's passing 2016, his son Minoru Nakazato, Hanshi, 10th Dan Shorin Ryu, Shorinkan, took over the organization as its new director and worldwide leader.
[Sensei Minoru Nakazato handed the portrait picture (top of the page on the left) to several Shorin Ryu Shorinkan dojos. Sensei 8th Dan Shorin Ryu, Shorinkan Neil Stolsmark clarifies its source on Facebook: “The picture was a gift from my student Will Ford. The artwork was done for him by Ed Parker Jr.”]
Our Kobudo system, the art of using everyday tools as weapons, is represented and curated by the Okinawan Kobudo Kokusai Rengokai organization, which is Shorin Ryu Shorinkan's partner organization and which is led as well by Minoru Nakazato, Hanshi, 10th Dan Shorin Ryu, Shorinkan.
Karate and Kobudo compliment each other in several ways, shown in the expression that using kobudo tool-weapons is "the extension of the hands". For centuries, up to only about a decade ago, students trained in both, karate and kobudo at the same time. It is a very recent development that karate and kobudo were separated and that kobudo (mistakenly) is even understood by some as a separate system of martial arts. There are however many Shorinkan dojo and a group of other traditional dojo, where still both arts are taught in unison like Okinawan Budo Institute does.
Suikendo, the "way of the fists that flow like water", is today's most advanced Okinawan combat karate system. It was created by Sensei Tadashi Yamashita, 10th Dan Shorin Ryu, Shorinkan, who used the old ways of Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate and modernized the teaching of their self defense applications. Sensei Noel Smith and Sensei Tadashi Yamashita studied together in Okinawa 1966 with Sensei Shugoro Nakazato as two of the "Original Seven" black belts, and they stayed in contact ever since.
Shorinkan dojo are located throughout the United States. The curricula at these dojo are essentially the same. Their primary training approach is technical training, kata, and kumite; but not every dojo teaches combat kumite as it is taught at Okinawan Budo Institute. Formal kumite, however, is taught at all dojo.
In addition to Karate, or "open hand martial arts", most Shorin Ryu Shorinkan Dojo teach Kobudo as well.