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 letter omasanobu shinjo performing katan Okinawa, a Goju-Ryu master named Masanobu Shinjo emerged and, like Miyagi before him, became known for his gentle nature and extraordinary strength. Shinjo formally began his study of karate in 1953 and in 1963 opened his own dojo, the Shobukan. Over the next decades Shinjo would hold anniversery demonstrations and see his organization grow to include schools not only on the mainland of Japan, but also in North and South America, South Africa, Europe, and India. In 1982, Masanobu Shinjo was awarded the 9th dan and the title "Hanshi" by the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Goju-Kai, making him one of the highest ranking Goju-Ryu karate masters on Okinawa.

Master Yagi, who is a 10th dan in Goju-Ryu, described Shinjo as being closer to Master Miyagi in the way he performed kata and techniques than any other Goju-Ryu practitioner. This similarity may have resulted from Shinjo's seeking out anyone on Okinawa who had trained under Miyagi for the purpose of studying their individual kata, since Miyagi usually had his students specialize in only one kata, along with Sanchin. In this way, Shinjo was able to learn all aspects of Goju-Ryu as Miyagi had previously done with the study of Naha-Te under Higashionna.

masanobu shinjo holding nigiri gameOne of Shinjo's primary mentors was Meitoku Yagi, who was Miyagi Sensei's top student. Through this direct lineage, the teachings and integrity of Miyagi's art were maintained. In 1990, Shinjo succeeded Yagi as President of the Okinawan Goju-Ryu Goju-Kai, while still serving as chief instructor of the organization which he founded, the Okinawan Goju-Ryu Shobukan Association. Shinjo also became the President of the All Okinawa Karate-Do Association, the prestigious organization which encompasses all of the traditional styles of karate-do on Okinawa.

The karate world suffered a serious setback in October of 1993 with the untimely passing of Master Shinjo after a yearlong illness. Like Master Miyagi, Shinjo had spent his life promoting Goju-Ryu, making trips to China and the Shaolin Temple, Taiwan, and visiting his United States Shobukan headquarters and branch schools.

masanobu shinjo and john porta

From 1993 through 1998 was a period of restructuring of the Shobukan SoHonbu organization. Seiki Takushi was appointed as SoHonbu Kancho and John Porta, the United States Shobukan representative was appointed to the position of International Representative. With the overseeing of the Shobukan by Takushi and Porta Kanchos the Shobukan adheres firmly and strictly to the high standards of both technique and conduct as established and matured under Shinjo Sensei's guidance.

The Shobukan organization remains firm in its dedication to the popularization and internationalization of traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do. Any inquires concerning the Shobukan Organization should be directed to the International Shobukan Organization, Headquarters Okinawa, Japan or Sensei John Porta (see picture of John Porta and Shinjo Masanobu). Contact information is available from this site's main index page or by clicking HERE.

back to index This page last updated January 24, 2011.

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