Sokon -Bushi- Matsumura

Sokon -title of honor- "Bushi" -Warrior- Matsurmura was born on Okinawa in 1796 and lived until 1893. His teacher was seventy eight years old and a past student of both the great Takahara Pechin (1683-1760) and Kusanku (Chinese official). His name was "Tode" which means Chinese hand way, Sakugawa (1733-1815). Matsumura was the last of many students of Sakugawa but became the most famous.

During this time, Matsumura had learned karate well and went on to become chief of the military for the King of the Okinawa. Matsumura also was credited with the formation of Shuri-Te. Among the many students Matsumura taught, Yasutsune Itosu was one of his greatest students. Yasutsune Itosu, is also read as "Anko" in Japanese kanji.

Many years after his teacher’s death, Bushi Matsumura studied with a Chinese trader named Chinto. It is believed Bushi Matsumura created the kata Chinto after his teacher from the movements he had taught him.

The Royal family of Sho acquired Bushi Matsumura for their service. There he became Chief Tode Instructor and a bodyguard of the King. Some time later around 1830 he traveled to China to study Shaolin Gong-fu.

Most secret of what Bushi Matsumura learned was the White Crane method. This system he taught only to his son, Nabi Matsumura (1860-1930). As an envoy of the King he had the opportunity to travel into the Chinese province of Fukien. It is believed while there he studied under Ason and Iwah, both military attaches.

The title “Bushi” was given to him by King Sho for his great accomplishments. Many times Bushi Matsumura had to prove his ability against foe, though never was he defeated.

Tode was the system of Te practiced among the upper class. The art of Te (hand) as it was known in Okinawa had three names. Each representing the township it was taught in. They were Tomari-te, Naha-te and Shuri-te. Bushi Matsumura being in the township of Shuri taught Shuri-te. After many years the name Shuri-te was replaced with Shorin-Ryu.

Bushi Matsumura retired and moved to Sakiyama village in Shuri. He had many students, among them were Yasutsune Azato, Yasutsune Itosu, Choshin Chibana, Choki Motobu, and Chotoku Kyan. It would be his son who would past on his purest teachings known as Shorin-Ryu. Later this system was pasted onto Nabe Matsumura’s nephew, Sokon Kohan (1889-1920).