山林 Yamabayashi Shorin Ryu Karate
Our style is Yamabayashi Shorin Ryu Karate. Yamabayashi means Mountain Forest. It can also be pronounced San Rin.
In 2017 I formed Mountain Karate Dojo, where we practice Mountain Forest style karate. Our dojo is in a region of mountains and forests; their strength, stability, endurance, adaptability, vitality, variety and resilience inspire us.
Yamabayshi Shorin ryu karate flows from the Shaolin ch’uan 少林拳 streams of Chinese wushu and the Ryukyuan martial arts. It is sourced through Matsubayashi ryu, the pine forest style of Shorin ryu, but it is distinct from it. It is also distinct from the karate at Northampton Karate Dojo, which I opened in 1988 and led until 2009.
Yamabayashi Shorin ryu uses the 18 traditional kata assembled as Matsubayashi ryu by Shoshin Nagamine. The way we perform the kata – the body mechanics, energy transmission techniques, mind training, and applications – are distinct.
An artificial limit is placed on martial arts when even very able and well-intentioned practitioners, feeling the need to build a reputation, build an organization, retain and recruit members, maintain a personal image and define a brand positioning for their school or style, shut out the novelty, unpredictability, and risk-taking which are necessary to successfully explore, test, innovate, and create a living martial art.
Unquestioning reliance on received wisdom, best guesses, or blind acceptance of dogmatic authority will not solve the issues of training or skill acquisition, or of maturity and personal freedom.
We appreciate our legacy. We build on the accumulated knowledge of the past. We use it and challenge ourselves. We make our art relevant and put it to work.
Instant access to flow states is essential to high performance in athletics, public life, music and the arts, the military, law enforcement, aviation, surgery, emergency response, martial arts – and to many aspects of daily life. Cultivation of flow is central to our style.
Yamabayashi Shorin ryu is exhilarating. It is challenging. It is flexible. People with diverse interests, abilities and aspirations benefit.
Yamabayashi Shorin Ryu is relevant to the urgent challenges we all face: in self-defense, fitness, health, focus, insight and character. It contributes to deeper fulfillment in sports and academics for students, and in the personal, professional, family and working life of all participants.
Post and photo Copyright © 2021 Jeff Brooks, author of The Good Fight – The Virtues and Values of the Martial Arts – available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.