The Order of Isshin-Ryu is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Master Toby Cooling in 1971.
It has the following goals:
- To provide one of the best self-defense and traditional training programs available;
- Provide and maintain standards for the attainment of black belt status;
- Foster a sense of family and community among members;
- Organize trainings, competitions, and special classes to provide opportunities for members to learn and grow within the martial arts;
- Keep the costs of participation as low as possible for members;
- Provide scholarship programs for eligible students.
Order of Isshin-Ryu Martial Arts has its roots in Isshinryu Karate (one heart way). It was developed by the late Master Tatsuo Shimabuku in the early 1950s on the island of Okinawa, a prefecture of Japan. It is a hybrid of the two types of karate that Master Shimabuku studied: Shorin Ryu and Goju Ryu, along with some classical Okinawan weaponry. It has grown tremendously throughout the United States since he began training the US Marines stationed there in the 1950s and 1960s. Our training is directed specifically for self-defense and personal growth, not for sport or recreation.
To this wonderful base, Grandmaster Cooling and his senior black belts have added other training to give our members a well-rounded curriculum: Kobudo (traditional Okinawan weapons), Kendo (art of the sword), Chin-na (control techniques), SMP Arnis (stick and knife), and Pain/Leverage Compliance techniques.
Three of our senior black belts (Masters Isham Latimer, John Costanzo, John McDonald) have spent many years developing Chi-Ryu Jiujitsu, the “Way of Energy Through Gentle Technique” which is also available to our members.
Master Ron Tyree has been experimenting and working to blend his experience with Muay Thai and Jujitsu. His art, Shikyori Budo, is another system offered by the OIMA and available to all members.