In Asian cultures, the torii is a gateway built at the entrances to temples and schools. It connotates a gateway to higher learning. At Bill Adams’ Martial Arts, we consider ourselves a black belt school, and pride ourselves on the development of our students to black belt and beyond.
It was designed specifically for personal combat, however, Americans have modified the fighting practice to enable us to participate in sporting events.
The hallmarks of Isshin-Ryu Karate include:
• Techniques that are delivered from natural stances as opposed to wide,locked positions, giving the practitioner mobility and dexterity;
• A vertical fist compared to a horizontal fist. Although not exclusive to Isshin-Ryu, the vertical fist position is unique compared to most styles;
• Close-in techniques and low kicks for street practicality;
• Hand techniques and foot techniques are equally stressed, so that a practitioner learns to use all of the weapons at his or her disposal.
The emblem is called Mizu-gami or Me-gami (depending on whose history you read). It shows a woman that represents quiet character, who is half sea-dragon. Her left hand is open in a universal sign of peace, and her right hand is closed in a fist representing strength if evil prevails.
In Asian mythology, the sea-serpent is born at the bottom of the sea and ascends to the heavens as depicted by the small dragon above her head. The churning sea and the gray background represents a typhoon. Mizu-gami represents a mother taking care of her child, calm and gentle as a mother would be under these circumstances, but ready to unleash the same amount of fury a mother would if her child was harmed in any fashion. The three stars represent the three arrows of karate: spiritual, physical, and mental.
This colorful emblem represents a vision which came to Master Shimabuku, in a dream he had during the time he was developing Isshin-Ryu. The words Isshin-Ryu, when translated from the Okinawan language, literally mean "One Heart Way". [Note: The word shin also means "mind", so you may seetranslations as "One Heart/Mind Way".]