Martial Arts History
It is commonly believed that martial arts began in China between 1122 and 205 B.C. (the Chow dynasty). However, they actually predate that time. Paintings and inscriptions of ancient Egypt show that fighting arts were being practiced as early as 3000 B.C. India and Pakistan also have an ancient history of martial arts. Though impossible to trace to a single origin, it is possible to theorize how martial arts began.
As the human race began to flourish, fighting and eventually warfare came into existence. Through necessity, people began to develop means of self-protection. On the most basic level, people protected themselves with sticks and stones. However, it is fair to assume that some individuals developed more successful skills than others. These individuals likely began to teach their allies. This was the origin of Martial Arts.
The word “karate” is actually two words: “kara” which means “empty”, and “teh” which means “hands”. The art of Karate, like the word “karate” itself is innately Japanese. Nearly 1000 years ago, the ruler of ancient Okinawa and later the fuedal lord of Kagoshima, on the southern-most tip of Kyushu in Japan, banned the use of weapons. This inspired the development of Japan’s "empty hand" techniques, a natural self-preservation response to a politically oppressive situation.
The Masters over the years developed the kata (forms) to practice their techniques and pass them on to their students. These ancient kata form the basis of traditional karatedo as is taught today.
Fushin Ryu was founded by Grand Master Yoshio Sugihara’s father as a kendo (sword) style. For this reason, some of the terms used in Fushin Ryu Karate are more commonly used in Kendo (i.e. Koto Uke: gauntlet block vs. forearm block). Sugihara Sensei changed the style to Karatedo. As Sugihara Sensei’s lineage traces back to the ancient masters, Fushin Ryu is a very traditional style, using the traditional kata: Pinan, Naifhachi, Kushanku, Seishan, Chinto, Bassai etc. The name, Fushin, while difficult to translate, is the Japanese word for the “swoosh” sound a sword makes as it cuts through the air.
The Fushin Ryu style is accurately recreated by the American Fushin Ryu Karate Association under the leadership of Shihan Cris Kolb.