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I started studying Shorin-Ryu in 2003, at
Westside Martial Arts, sometime after the Tae Kwon Do studio in Hillsboro closed. As karate progressed from Okinawa to Japan and then to Korea, Shorin-Ryu seems the grandfather of the TKD style I studied. Many of the katas are similar, although they may have different names and differences in technique. I've found Shorin-Ryu to be a richer style, probably due to it's closer proximity to the "source".
This particular school also teaches the Uechi-Ryu Sanchin as part of the curriculum, which was a bonus for me, and the instructor has (so far) allowed me to continue to practice the Uechi katas during free moments.
My greatest challenge in this dojo is to keep many versions of katas straight in my head. This class teaches the Nihanchis, the Pinans, and many other traditional katas, including Bassi, little Bassi, and a version of Seisan. It's easier to think of them as different katas when they're substantially different, like Wansu/Yun-Be, but it's the small critical differences that keep tripping me up.
My progress through the ranks has not been swift, but it's not the destination, but the journey, and it's been an interesting journey.
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