The origin of Karate is uncertain. However, the most acceptable theory is that about 1500 years ago a Buddhist priest, "Daruma Taishi" (Bodhidharma), of South India travelled to China to spread Buddhisim. The techniques he taught the monks in the Shaolin ‘si’ (small forest) temple led to the creation of Shaolinquan (Shaolin Kung Fu).

The local martial art of Okinawa ‘Te’ or ‘Tode,’ later known as Karate, was greatly influenced by Chinese martial arts. ‘Te’ or ‘Tode’ continued to develop in three Okinawan cities with its own distinctive features. ‘Te,’ practiced in the ‘Shuri’ area that was home to the kings and nobles, was called ‘Shuri-te,’ ‘Naha,’ home to merchants and business men, was called ‘Naha-te’ and ‘Tomari,’ home to the farmers and fishermen, was called ‘Tomari-te.’

The Naha-te system came to be known as ‘Shorei Ryu’ and that is the origin of the ‘Goju Ryu’ and ‘Ueichi Ryu’ Styles.

Shuri-te and Tomari-te came to be known as ‘Shorin-Ryu’ meaning ‘small forest way.’ There is no agreement on the origin of the name ‘Shorin-Ryu,’ whether it refers to the Shaolin temple or the small areas of forest found in the Okinawa area or the height of the trees found in the forests of Okinawa.

The ‘Kobayashi-Ryu’ style of Shorin-Ryu is based on Shuri-te.

Sukunaihayashi-Ryu and Matsubayashi-Ryu are based on Shuri-te and Tomari-te.

Interntional Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Seibukan Karate-do follows Chotoku Kyan’s Sukunaihayashi system.