The program offered at Hershey Karate is based on the Okinawan Karate style of Isshin-Ryu, which translates in English to ‘One Heart Way.’ Isshin-Ryu is a style of Karate that utilizes techniques found in the traditional Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, and Kobudo styles. It was founded by a man named Tatsuo Shimabuku (shown to the left) in 1956, who, after many years of practice and experimentation, created a style that was rooted in both the traditional techniques of Okinawan Karate and the modern techniques that he derived from key components found in traditional styles.
In 1955, Tatsuo Shimabuku was invited to provide instruction to the U.S. Marines of the Third Marine Division. By this time, Shimabuku had already begun to fine-tune what would later become the Isshin-Ryu style. As a result, the Marines that returned home brought back this early form of Isshin-Ryu, rapidly spreading it throughout the United States.
Isshin-Ryu concentrates on the effective, not the sport aspect of Karate. It teaches striking, throwing, and joint techniques for in-close fighting and striking vulnerable areas, translating seamlessly into the common sense principle of self-defense: survival first. Karate Master Gichen Funakoshi states in the 12th Principle of Karate-Do: “Rather than worry about winning, think about not losing.”