Recently we were fortunate to host Mr. Andy Sloane — a very experienced and knowledgeable martial arts practitioner — for a full evening of seminars and shared learning.
Mr. Sloane, shown above left Sensei Brian Ounkham, holds a 6th Dan rank in the Isshin-ryu style of Okinawan karate and has trained with Mr. Ed Johnson, a first-generation student of Isshin-ryu’s founder, Sensei Tatsuo Shimabuku. Currently, he is the primary assistant instructor for Tsuyoshi Uechi at Camp Foster, the Marine Corps Base in Okinawa City in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa Island.
Isshin-ryu karate and styles of martial arts
Isshin-ryu karate was created by Sensei Shimabuku in 1956 and combines techniques and kata from Shorin-ryū karate, Gojū-ryū karate, and kobudō (weapon arts).
This merging of concepts from many martial arts styles fits very well with the curriculum taught here at Okinawan Martial Arts. Although rooted in classical Shorin-ryū karate, we also train in weapon arts and numerous attack and self-defense techniques inspired by other martial arts styles.
At the seminar, Mr. Sloane continued to expand our knowledge of different karate styles by demonstrating and teaching Isshin-ryu karate. When working with the youth students, he covered “empty-hand” kata while he focused more on traditional weapons kata with the adults.
We then moved on to attack and defense techniques for knife combat.
Martial arts history in Okinawa
In addition to his notable rank and nearly three decades of martial arts training, Mr. Sloan is also a noted historian in the Isshin-ryu karate community. He has met and/or interviewed over 40 first-generation students of the style’s founder, has been published in Classical Fighting Arts magazine, and is currently preparing a textbook covering the Isshin-ryu curriculum.
Following the seminar, Mr. Sloan took the time to speak to students about the history of Isshin-ryu karate in Okinawa and answer questions in an informative, detailed, and very enjoyable manner.
On behalf of the entire student body here at Okinawan Martial Arts, I would like to thank Mr. Sloan for sharing his knowledge and experience with us.