Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg

John Hamilton, Sensei

Convinced that the structure and function of the human body determine the most efficient and effective ways of moving, the founder of Sho-ha Shorin-ryu karate, John Hamilton Sensei, has spent years studying these things. His findings have been incorporated into each and every technique of the Sho-ha Shorin-ryu.


History and Background information

Sho-ha Shorin-ryu Karate-do was officially established by John Hamilton Sensei on December 22, 2002. The Sho-ha system has its roots in the Okinawan Shorin—ryu karate of Shimabuku(ro) Eizo Sensei, as taught to Hamilton Sensei by Glenn Premru Sensei. Mr. Premru had studied both directly under Shimabuku(ro) Sensei and under Sam Pearson Sensei. Mr. Pearson had been a student of Shimabuku(ro) Sensei in Okinawa. Hamilton Sensei’s time with Mr. Premru began in his early teens and lasted more than a decade, until Mr. Premru moved out of state. Following his instructor’s departure, Hamilton Sensei began operating his own dojo. Gradually over the years he made several modifications to the Shorin-ryu
karate that he had been taught. These modifications were born of his own insight and experimentation, as well as of the influence of various other teachers. Some forty-plus years after beginning his karate training, Hamilton Sensei felt that he was ready to officially establish “his” karate, and named the system Sho-ha Shorin-ryu Karate-do. The word ha is Japanese for “faction” or “sub-group.” Sho (LJ) means “first” or “beginning,” and is the name that Hamilton Sensei has chosen for himself (2). In essence, then, Sho-ha Shorinryu Karate—do simply means “the Shorin-ryu karate that Hamilton’s group practices.”

I In Japanese, titles such as sensel (teacher) are put after the individual’s name, not before.
2. it is a custom of the Sho—ha Shorm-ryu that, upon reaching a certain rank level, one chooses a Japanese character or
characters as one’s