Tozan-ryu Shindokan Karate

We practice the Tozan-ryu system of the Shorin-ryu style of Okinawan Karate which was founded by Master Shinsuke Kaneshima, 10th degree black belt.


    Mr. Kaneshima passed away in 1992 and had been awarded many titles and honors in his long and productive life.  Some of the titles awarded to Mr. Kaneshima were the Chief Advisor to the All Okinawan Karate Association, Supreme Instructor of Tozan-ryu Shindokan Honbu Kaneshima Gymnasium.  He was also honored with the "National Living Treasure" award by the Emperor of Japan.  Mr. Kaneshima's Gymnasium and Tozan-ryu Headquarters were located in the town of Yonabaru, about one mile east of Shurie, the old capital of the Empire of Okinawa.


   Mr. Kaneshima was born in 1895 and started playing Karate at the early age of 15 in 1910.  Mr. Kaneshima's first instructor was Mr. Choki Motobu who he studied with for four years.  At the age of 19, Mr. Kaneshima departed Okinawa for Taiwan to study Karate under another Okinawan, who was born in Shurie, Mr. Toquch Tokuyama (or Tokoyama).  There, in Taiwan, Mr. Kaneshima learned "Ronchin", a kata he was famous for in the orient.

After Mr. Tokuyama passed away, Mr. Kaneshima derived the Tozan-ryu system from Mr. Tokuyama's teachings. He chose the name Tozan-ryu as a means of honoring him and to carry on his knowledge.  "Ryu" means "his way" or Tozan-ryu, which simply means Mr. Tokuyama's way of teaching.  An alternative meaning to the characters of Tozan-ryu is "Strong Mountain way".  The word Shindokan, which is the informal name of the Tozan-ryu system, is derived from Mr. Kaneshima's first name; Shinsuke, thus meaning Shinsuke's school of teaching. An alternative meaning to the characters for Shindokan would be "True Way School". "Kan" refers to the actual place that a particular system is practiced, or to Mr. Kaneshima's personal school or "dojo".  Therfore, Mr. Kaneshima's dojo would have been called "The Shindokan", or just Shindokan in everyday usage. The word "dojo" means "way place" or "way hall", a gym or building where Karate is practiced.


   Mr Kaneshima studied Ju-jutsu and Aiki-jutsu in Japan under some of the most respected masters available.  When he returned to Okinawa Mr. Kaneshima continued to study all aspects of his art and went on to become one of the highest ranking masters in the world as a Tenth Degree Black Belt or Honshi-sho. Mr. Kaneshima was a high ranked Kendo master and a well respected Accupressure Massage Therapist.   Mr. Kaneshima was awarded the National Living Treasure award by Emperor Hirohito of Japan, as one of the few truly recognised tenth degree black belts in the world. Mr. Kaneshima's grandfather on his father's side, was responsible for him starting his Karate way of life.