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Shima Masao

In Memory of Shima Masao (1933-2003)

Hanshi 10th Dan Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu

Shima Masao studied Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu under Shoshin Nagamine. Shima Sensei was one of his most important students of Sensei Nagamine. Shima Sensei always held a close relationship with Sensei Nagamine and the Hombu dojo. 


Shoshin Nagamine did not permit sparing at the Hombu Dojo, this caused several of Sensei Nagamine top students to make arrangements to start a new school. Shima Sensei founded a Dojo together with Kishaba & Taba Sensei. This was in the fifties, shortly after their Dan graduations. Shima Sensei did not charge anyone to practice at his new dojo, but due to lack of water the students support the school by bringing water, if you have ever been to Okinawa during summer time you would learn quickly how hot and humid it is and water is of great importance during training in the evening since day time training is not recommended.

Shima Sensei’s dojo had no more than ten or more students, when visiting Okinawa, Sensei Shima and his students had a yearly celebration and saw one another, the number of students that showed up each year were no more than a dozen.


Kata was still of the utmost importance at the Shima Dojo followed by strength training and Chi'shi, The name chishi is composed from two parts; Chi - means energy or power, and Ishi - means stone. This equipment is intended to strengthen the inner power, the grip and the wrists. The chishi is also good to strengthen, among other parts, the shoulders and forearms. It helps to develop the thrust and some kind of blocks like Hiki Uke. Weapons were also practiced.


The instruction at Shima dojo also included Sensei TABA and Sensei KISHABA, this was a force from Nagamine Dojo. Shima’s Dojo was known for the rough training and fighting, in opposite to the rather Kata oriented Dojo of Nagamine. Sensei Shima’s Dojo was located in Kanzatobaru, Naha City. Some of the well known students of Sensei Shima were, among others, Toshiro Oshiro and Eihachi Ota.


Masao Shima, (1931-2000) Chokei Kishaba and Kensei Taba (1933 -) founded the Shima Dojo. This was under the direction of Sensei Shima.


Shima Sensei lived in Los Angeles for a year. In Okinawa one student at the yearly dinner party was asked would you want to go back to the training you once had with Sensei Shima, he paused and said no, when asked why he said we called him the devil due to the brutal training, but he also added I would never change what he learned. In the U.S. students called him "Master of Shadows".

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