Hanshi Myron M. Lubitsch was heavily involved in tournament participation and involvement for many years and received numerous awards for his work as a referee and tournament official. After returning from Japan, he was disillusioned with an apparent direction that Shorinjiryu Kenkokan and Koshiki Karate were heading.
During a tournament hosted by him, Hanshi Lubitsch spoke with Shihan Dan Hayes of Shorinjiryu Kenkukai. During that meeting, the two discussed their plans for future events, philosophies, and direction of Shorinjiryu. Both instructors were totally in agreement that Shorinjiryu is an incredible system of Karatedo and must remain true to the teaching of the original instructors. Hanshi Lubitsch wanted to create an organization based upon strictly Shorinjiryu tournament membership while Shihan Hayes believed that schools outside the Shorinjiryu sphere should be invited in order to show case the system. Both instructors agreed that they would continue to support the efforts of the other. This agreement continues to today as Shihan Dan took the position of Vice President in 2003.
A year later, in 1986, Hanshi Lubitsch invited Kyoshi John A. Mirrione of Shorinjiryu Kenkokai to one of his events. The idea was to formalize concept of the organization that was discussed with Shihan Hayes previously. The organization was to establish greater communication, exchange of techniques, theories, philosophies, general knowledge, a sharing of a common heritage and, of course, mutual respect and friendship. That meeting of old classmates resulted in the normalization of the Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai aka International Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai. Currently, this organization is one of the largest groupings of strictly Shorinjiryu practitioners in the world with virtually all having the capability of direct lineage to the Shinan Kori Hisataka and/or the original instructors who came the North America beginning the mid-1960s. He maintained his office of Vice President until 2003, when he relocated to Florida. Additionally, the vast majority of chief instructors can claim multiple decades of training in Shorinjiryu study.
The Kyokai presently consists of thirteen independent schools of Shorinjiryu with over 30 dojos. The Kyokai member schools are in alphabetical order: Ake No Myojo Budo, Bubishido, Kenjiyukai, Hakuto Washi no Ken, Kenkokai, Kenkukai, Kenryukai, Kenryukan, Kenryukan – India, Kenseikai, Kenyujokai, Kenyukai, Koshinkai, Kudaka, and Shindo Budo Kwai.
Other independent schools such as Kentukukan of Canada, Shinto Nido Ichi Ryu of NY, Kenyukan, while not full members, have lent their welcomed support to the yearly International Shorinjiryu Shinzen Shiai- "A Gathering of the Shorinjiryu Karate Family." This subtitle has been used since the beginning.
While Shorinjiryu is one of the lesser-known Okinawan forms of karate, it is resplendent in tradition, heritage, and lineage. We are as proud of its heritage as any of the other Okinawan or Japanese system is of theirs.
The members of the Kyokai are dedicated to maintain the highest standards of Shorinjiryu as propagated by Shinan Kori Hisataka.
The Kyokai has implemented a strict methodology of tournament refereeing and judging. The goal of which is to offer to the contestant a safe, fair, unbiased, and professional standard of tournament officiating. Clinics on refereeing are held periodically in order to sharpen the skills of the officials and apprise them of any changes in the rules. Additionally, a formal manual is available to all the instructors.
The use of weapons is regulated in that the contestant must choose from a select group of weapons that are supplied by the Kyokai. The weapons are not used by anyone except the contestant at a given event. The concept being each player has to show the skill learned in class. There are no lightweight pencil thin bo or doctored sai, etc.
The Kyokai organizes tournaments by kyu ranking based upon a ten-kyu system. This eliminates any questions regarding belt colors, as some invited guests may not use the same color system.
The Kyokai has standardized certain kata forms such as Ananku; others are being worked upon.
The Kyokai has standardized the issuance of certification of grading with a view of maintaining a high level of competence and professionalism.
Currently, Shihan Daniel Hayes is the Senior Vice President, Hanshi Michel Laurin is the Canadian Regional Vice President and Kyoshi Jim Griffin is the Asian-Pacific Regional Vice President, Kaicho Shunji Watanabe is the Technical Advisor, Shihan Des Paroz is the Promotional Director, Shihan Brian Berenbach is the Secretary, and Renshi Peter Hiltz is the Web Master and Editor of the Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai Shimbun.
In 2011, the Kyokai celebrated the 25th Anniversary with an incredible gathering of seventeen independent schools of Shorinjiryu taking part in the special Silver Anniversary Tournament.
The future looks good; take an active role.