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Nice Reading

Joe Kemmerer, a student of Bill Shank, recently published a book titled "The Invisible Square Ring" that deals with basic and intermediate sparring.

The book can be ordered from or call toll free 888.280.7715.

The book will soon be carried by Cost of the book is $23.95 plus S/H. There is an ad on page 142 in the October edition of 'Black Belt' magazine.


The Importance of Perfecting the Basics

by Shihan William Duessel


When I trained with Master Tatsuo Shimabuku in 1964, he stated that more time should be spent on the basics, a little less time on the katas, and the least time on kumite. I think that new students should have a good understanding of the basics (stances, blocks, strikes, kicks, etc. ) before they are started on a kata. This is especially true for the weapons (bo and sai). Most people teach the two empty hand charts before the student starts the kata. They don't do the same things with the weapons. Some dojos spend a short time teaching basic techniques with the weapons and then immediately start the student on a complicated weapons kata. I think more time should be spent on the weapon basics before we start the kata. Also, some of the combinations can be taught in advance of the kata. All techniques should be done with form and speed. Form and Speed equal Power! To obtain speed, you must be relaxed.


Master Shimabuku also stated that although we can be taught a kata in a short time, it takes years of training to really learn the kata. He told me that it would take 20 years of hard training to perfect Sanchin Kata. I would advise all students to not be in a hurry. Isshinryu Karate is a life-time art. If you train hard, especially on your basics, it will make the rest of your training a lot easier. Good basics will improve your kata and your kumite.

 My Goju-Ryu Journal 
My name is Bill Woodward, and I've been studying Okinawan Goju-Ryu under Sensei Ty Yocham since October 20, 1996.

August 7, 2001

While I was on vacation in Carlisle, PA, I called up a local Isshinryu school, Bill Shank's Isshinryu Karate Club, in Carlisle, to see if I could just come and observe class.  Sensei Shank was great and invited me to workout with them.  When I arrived at the class, it was a very nice, small Dojo, but not air conditioned, and there was a heat wave going on on most of the East coast, with 100+ weather going on.  Sensei Shank said that they were planning on doing a nice easy class that evening and asked if I would be willing to perform the Goju-Ryu version of some of the katas which they practice in Isshinryu.

Sensei Shank ran the clas through a light stretching, and then we spent the rest of the class comparing kata.  Katas which we compared were:

  • Seisan - the Isshinryu and Goju-Ryu versions of Seisan are quite different, although you can certainly see similarities between them.  The Isshinryu Seisan is longer, and is based on a Shorin-Ryu version of Seisan.  The Goju-Ryu version is much shorter and seems a bit more Chinese to me.
  • Seiunchin - the Isshinryu and Goju-Ryu versions of Seiunchin are virtually identical.  The only major differences I saw was on the first three techniques, instead of moving forward on a 45 angle, the Isshinryu Seiunchin moves forward on a straight line.
  • Sanchin - the Isshinryu Sanchin is based on the more recent (historically) Miyagi Sanchin, where the kata is performed in the same direction the whole time.  The Shoreikan Goju-Ryu version of Sanchin (based on an older version of Sanchin from Kanryo Higashionna) has two turns and is probably twice as long.
  • Tokumine No Kun Dai - the Isshinryu system incorporates weapons as part of the system, and performs Tokumine No Kun bo kata as one of the weapon katas.  Shoreikan Goju-Ryu does not traditionally incorporate weapons as part of the karate curriculum.  However, the TOGKF does teach weapons as part of the curriculum, and we practice the Tokumine No Kun Dai bo kata, which is almost identical to the Isshinryu Tokumine No Kun bo kata.

We spent a while discussing differences between the systems, but Sensei Shanks used it as an example of the many similarities between the systems as well.

At the end of class, Sensei Shank presented me with a Bo as a gift.  It was a great experience, and I really appreciated the friendliness with which the whole group greeted me.  Always great to get together with good martial artists. To see the article click the 1st link, full journel 2nd link and his home page link #3.







CPARC Participant Earns Her Black

Belt in Karate


Sandra McCauslin, who lives at Carlisle Group Home,

received her Green Belt in karate on January 29, 2004. She has been studying the art of karate for over 7 years at Bill Shank’s Isshinryu Karate Club in Carlisle. Sandy likes to show staff and her housemates the new techniques she learns each week. Sandy is also a talented artist, who regularly paints and does watercolor. Sandy works at the S. Wilson Pollock Center for Industrial Training in Mechanicsburg. Congratulations on a great job, Sandy! Sandy with her karate instructor, Sensei Bill Shank. Please click on link, and go to bottom of page 5, lower right.


Click on link below. Go to video archives and click (Breaking Down Barriers).







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Carlisle Isshinryu Karate Club