The founder of Shorin-Ryu Karate USA, Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro, an Okinawan by birth, set foot on the mainland of the USA for the first time on September 15, l962. He was one of the first Oriental martial artists to bring karate to this country, and he went on to become one of the most influential karatemen in the world today.
At the request of his sensei, Grand Master Shoshin Nagamine, the founder of Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu, the landmark decision to leave Okinawa was made and agreed upon by Master Ueshiro and his teachers and students. By special visa of the United States government, Master Ueshiro made the voyage in order to bring the art of Shorin-Ryu to America.
When he was a child, he suffered through the agonies of World War II on his homeland, Okinawa, one of the most violent battlefields of the war. He then endured the aftermath of the war, the rebuilding of Okinawa.
Master Ueshiro, who was physically disabled during the war, overcame this disability by becoming more proficient with his maimed hands than any other karate practitioner of his time. At first, after the injury, some people suggested he wear gloves to hide the disfigurement and scars. He refused and developed tremendous skill, dexterity and strength in his hands and body. He also became world renowned for his bojutsu.
Master Ueshiro’s fortitude, strength of character, and karate training enabled him to survive and to succeed. Hanshi Ueshiro taught karate, opened many dojo in the East and Midwest, and successfully built the organization to what it is today. Presently there is a network of over 100 Shorin-Ryu Karate dojo in the U.S. which directly trace their roots and heritage to Hanshi Ueshiro or his students.