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#117902 - 11/04/05 05:38 PM Isshin-Shorinji Ryu Okinawa-Te Style [Re: Chris Wissmann]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Chris:

I tried both websites. The first link as far as I can determine is as dead as they get.

The second link literally has nothing to it except a phone number and a promise of a $5 CD if I wanted their CD from their last picnic... but literally not a blessed thing beyond that I could open/locate. Any chance I missed/misunderstood something?

We would love a website that contains a clean, edited written presentation of the art... if one exists??? Far as I can tell, it does not... Anybody know of an active link or website re: this specific art, its evolution, its teachers????

If I actually find anything along those lines I will gladly share them. May need some help to post them, but I will share anything I can find...

Please help, anybody...

#117903 - 11/07/05 07:21 PM Re: Isshin-Shorinji Ryu Okinawa-Te Style [Re: Ronin1966]
wiggy Offline

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 123
Loc: Massachusetts
Jeff & Chris:

Sorry for late reply, still trying to find Soke Murphy along with Chris12 (kind of fun getting back in touch with old students we used to work with, but so far no luck…. When he doesn’t want to be found, he won’t be found…. Stems from that Marine military training of his). We both want Soke to get his due respects in the style he founded. You might find a picture of Soke along with Don Nagle as Don had Soke spar at every dojo they went to visit. Soke is about 6’ tall with a strong build….. I hope to get the information to you soon. In the meantime I will try and get other information regarding timeframes and rankings.

"There is no right or wrong way, just a better way"... Soke Robert Murphy

#117904 - 11/17/05 11:24 AM Re: Isshin-Shorinji Ryu Okinawa-Te Style [Re: wiggy]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Wiggy:

The source of the gentleman's ~invisability~ is not nearly as helpful as the legacy he did in fact leave regardless. Consequently, you, the other Chris and many others are all seeking such answers....

Again, for the cyber-record, I am actively searching for a "head shot" photograph of Mr. Murphy for ~lineage~ acknowledgement purposes. Anyone who has same, please contact me on/off list as quickly as possible. Time is crucial to our efforts....

Further we are also seeking written materials which explain the curricilium, certain time frames certain rankings which Mr. Murphy possessed. The ideas, the ~slight seperation~ which distinguishes Isshin Shorinji Ryu Okinwaw Te from its martial "uncle"/grandparent/father... that being the art called Isshinryu. Granted it is an hypothesis, but whatever we can find re: ISJR-OT (Isshin Shorinji Ryu Okinawa-Te) the art itself or the man (ie Murphy) will be very helpful and much appreciated.

Please help...


#117905 - 11/21/05 10:04 PM Re: Isshi Shorinji Ryu Style [Re: Chris Wissmann]
Sensei_Kurtz Offline

Registered: 11/21/05
Posts: 1
Hello all! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is David Kurtz and I am a student of Sensei Scott Francis, who was a student of Tom Heriud. I Originally started under Sensei Goddard, another of Tom Heriuds and eventually trained under Mr. Heriud himself. I quit for 17 years...yep...17 years before returning (in 1998)! My, then 8 year old son, was interested in doing some martial arts and so we went to Sensei Scott Francis. I re-found the love of the arts and my son became an avid martial artist as well. I earned the rank of Sho-Dan in May of 2004 and now I am teaching at Sensei Scott Francis' Dojo (Dojo Dynamics) along side Sensei Francis.

I apologize for the web site as we are still working towards getting that up and running with more useful information. That should be complete within a month or two.

For those that do not realize, Sensei Tom Heriud has been recognized by his peers in the Chicago area as a Master in the Martial Arts and in fact was given the titles by several systems within this area just this past summer during some Black Belt promotions at our Dojo. We recognize him as our Master. In my case….having earned my Sho-Dan…this makes Master Heriud my “Grandfather” in our system.

For anyone interested in the history, you might wish to contact Sensei Scott Francis at our Dojo at 815-786-9296 and if interested, we have photos of Murphy and Chapman on our Dojo wall.

I am very interested in this thread and really enjoy the history. One thing that might interest some is that it is our understanding that the kata, Taikyoku Go Grab and punch after elbow strike, was created by James Chapman.

I will try to keep up with this forum and ask that if anyone wishes to contact me, please do so via email at

Thank you

#117906 - 11/26/05 12:48 AM Re: Isshi Shorinji Ryu Style [Re: Sensei_Kurtz]
Chris Wissmann Offline

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 60

Ralph Chirico's website is back up:

Sensei Kurtz:
Did Mister Goddard teach at the Fox Valley South Family YMCA when it was still in that old school in Plano? If I recall, Mister Heriaud taught at the Aurora YMCA, and one of his students taught the karate classes at the Fox Valley South Family Y. When that instructor retired, Mister Heriaud started teaching in Plano, too. Was that person Sensei Goddard? What was his first name?

Scott Francis is fantastic. I think he earned his yellow belt about the time I earned my brown belt (sankyu). I went away to college for a year, and when I came back for the summer, if Sensei Francis didn't outrank me, he was already far better than me. He improved at an astronomical rate, and the success he and his dojo have enjoyed is really well-deserved.

You are correct: James Chapman created Taikyoku Go. A few other styles have five Taikyoku kata, but none come close to resembling Mister Chapman’s. I'm fairly certain that it's not only unique to Isshin Shorinjiryu, but unique to Mister Chapman's branch of the style. A friend of mine who earned a black belt under Woodrow Jensen (or one of Mister Jensen's students), for example, was not taught it. I remember that Mister Heriaud used to tell his classes that the kata was originally an advanced form, but after Mister Chapman’s death in a car accident, Mister Chapman’s students decided to introduce it earlier so that more people would receive exposure to Mister Chapman’s creation. Mister Heriaud maintained an extremely serious dedication to Taikyokyu Go, and it was a primary focus of his curriculum.

As I wrote above, Mister Heriaud used to require his black-belt candidates to complete a thesis. By Christmas, I'd like to start on mine by interviewing as many of Isshin Shorinjiryu's founders or early practitioners as I can convince to participate. Please let me know on this board if anyone has questions they'd like me to ask.

#117907 - 11/27/05 04:41 PM Re: Isshi Shorinji Ryu Style [Re: Chris Wissmann]
wiggy Offline

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 123
Loc: Massachusetts
To all,

I came across old notes and found the following (I hope it is useful to all):

People Soke Murphy has been influenced by:
(Jujutsu) Frederick Kloth, Paul Cerniglia, Richard Barbato, Russel Prandi. (Judo) Kazuda. (Yoshin Jutsu) Yanasuda K. (Isshinryu) Shimabuku Tatsuo, Don Nagle, James Chapman, Ruzard Neimeira, Donald Bohan. (Aikido) K. Watanabe, Richard Bowe, William Clarek, Rocco Signorelli. (Goju) Peter Urban, Richard Waller. (Shotokan) Oshima Tsutomu, Carol Welsh, Andrew Linick, William Hall. (Kenjutsu) James Talbot. (Omoriryu) Kan Shihan, Ronald Landis. (Tai Chi Chuan) Lee M., Gilbert Shaffner, Arnold Ho, G. Yeung, Peter Chan, Tsung Hwa Jon. (Gung Fu) William Chung. (Pai Lum) H. Han, Roland Arn. (Bolo) Santi Madieria. (Bak Hok Pai) Paul Whang. (Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do) Frank Heitman……. Other styles Soke became influenced by from the above (some of the teachers above specialized in more than one style) include Okinawan GoJU, Shurite, Motobu Ha Kumite, Kobujutsu, Wajutsu, Isshin Jujutsu, Shorinji Kempo, Shoto Kai, Eishinryu, Eishinryu laido, Chi Kung….

1949 Soke Murphy started his study of the arts with Jui Jitsu.
1951 Soke begins boxing
1952 Soke begins Judo
1954 Soke joins the Marine Corp and teaches Judo
1958 Soke sponsors the first Issinryu school in the northeast. He begins practice under Master Don Nagle (along with James Chapman, Ruzard Neumeira, and Gary Alexander).
1960 Soke wins the all Japan Goju and Isshinryu intra system tournament series
1961 Soke wins first Tri State Karate Tournament
1964 Soke gives demonstration of Okinawan & Japanese Martial Arts at the Worlds Fair
1964 Soke founds “The Society of Black Belts of America”
1965 Soke received his 4th Dan by Master Nagle
1967 Soke received his 5th Dan by Master Nagle
1969 Master Shimabuku awarded Soke Murphy with his Senior Master Certification in Isshinryu Karate and Kobujutsu Arts

1965-1970 Soke Murphy became headmaster of the International Institute of Judo and Karate.
1968 Soke Murphy founded Isshin Shorinjiryu Okinawa Te and Kobujutso (a discipline based on the consolidation of various bodies of knowledge about the arts incorporating the original concepts of Shaolinszu and Okinawa Te. This style allows a student to fully assimilate the broadened scope of knowledge and techniques of various styles. Master James Chapmand and Ralph Cherico found Master Murphy’s concepts of training and philosophy to be in keeping with the true goals of the ancient masters and joined with him.
1970 Soke Murphy established his own training hall in Parsippany NJ.
1971 Isshin Shorinjiryu Okinawa Te was incorporated and registered with the US Patent office with the philosophy of this style being “Harmony of principle, Integrity in Purpose and Mutual Benefit”
1979 Soke Murphy left “public instruction” due to the increasing number of inexperienced instructors and “tournament-style” schools.
"There is no right or wrong way, just a better way"... Soke Robert Murphy

#117908 - 07/28/06 11:42 AM Re: Isshi Shorinji Ryu Style [Re: wiggy]
Chris Wissmann Offline

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 60
I have finally begun to make some progress on my interview project.

Since my last post, I have conducted interviews with:

Shihan Ralph Chirico (formal and informal, with hopes of a followup)
Sensei Gary Alexander
Sensei Leo Weber
Sensei Woodrow Jensen
Dr. Christopher Viggiano (only a quick, informal interview; I still hope for a more organized and in-depth interview)
Sensei Bill Wallace (he was giving a seminar in Carbondale, so I thought I’d ask him about some of our style’s founders and big influences, and he remembered several of them)

Transcriptions will require a LONG time to complete, and after that is done I do not think everyone will give me permission to share them. I’ll keep you all posted.

Meanwhile, is there anyone with whom I should speak but have not yet? Obviously, I have hopes of interviewing Soke Robert Murphy himself.

I have not been able to locate Sensei Ryzard Neimeira, and am not even sure I am spelling his name correctly— if anyone knows his whereabouts, I hope they’ll write me and let me know.

One interviewee suggested that I speak with Senseis Doug Gould and Morgan Woods. I hope to make arrangements with Sensei Gould sometime soon. Sensei Woods I have not been able to locate, and hope someone here will help me do so.

Another interviewee suggested Senseis Bill Barna and Tom Duggan. I’ve not been able to locate either man, and again I would appreciate any help you can provide.

I am also interested in interviewing any of Sensei James Chapman’s surviving senior students. I have found two people through my research, but was unfortunately too late, for both are deceased. Again, I would appreciate any leads.

I hope that anyone who wishes to provide me with someone else's contact information will write me at Obviously, please do not post anyone's phone numbers, addresses, or email addresses without their permission.

#117909 - 07/28/06 03:06 PM Re: Isshi Shorinji Ryu Style [Re: Chris Wissmann]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Hi Chris,

While an Isshinryu stylist I'm not Isshin Shorinji ryu.

But I saw you mention Rick Niemira, you can find him at

Rick is no longer with us. He died in the mid 80's.

Rick was an original student of Don Bohan (I remember him telling the story about the day all of Bohan's students were in the hospital at the same time from sparring with their instructor) in the North Carolina days, and later he became a Washington DC Police Offficer.

Long ago he switched from Isshinryu to Bando and was part of Bando/Isshinryu connection, but he retained his friends in Isshinryu.

Rich was a very powerful karate-ka.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#117910 - 07/28/06 07:56 PM Re: Isshi Shorinji Ryu Style [Re: Victor Smith]
Chris Wissmann Offline

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 60
Unfortunately, I'm starting to discover that many of the people who founded or profoundly influenced our style have died, and that I may have undertaken this project a decade or so too late to fully complete it.

I am extremely sorry to hear about the loss of Sensei Niemira, and grateful for the information on the website you listed above.

#117911 - 08/04/06 09:40 AM Re: Isshi Shorinji Ryu Style [Re: Chris Wissmann]
wiggy Offline

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 123
Loc: Massachusetts

You spoke w/ Chris Viggiano who may/may not have an idea where Murphy is but was a student of his for many years prior to my studying under Chris/Soke Murphy and then just Soke Murphy.... Try finding out where Gary Vincent is (he supposedly moved to FLA and has a bike shop). He is an original student of Soke Murphy's and should have constant contact with him.

Still no word on my end. But then again, I got busy with other things.
"There is no right or wrong way, just a better way"... Soke Robert Murphy

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