About the Shuhari Institute

The Shuhari Institute is a traditional Shotokan karate organization formed in 2015 by Scott Parkin, the owner of Kitsune Karate in Minneapolis, MN. The Institute’s mission is to advance Traditional Shotokan Karate by promoting technical excellence, encouraging individual innovation, and supporting creative mastery.  Prior to the pandemic, the Institute operated as a full-service organization with a Board of Directors, member dojos, and events across the country. Like many orgs, all our operations are on hold as we slowly get back to normal.

What Does Shuhari Mean?

Shuhari is actually three Japanese words: Shu 守, Ha 破, and Ri 離 (often written as one word) describing an individual’s stages of development in the martial arts. It is an excellent means of understanding how we progress in karate.  The concept of Shuhari has become a much-discussed topic in the world of martial arts – and for good reason.  We believe it is the foundation for a new movement in martial arts.

Knowing that all karateka are at different levels of their development, delivery of services need to be modulated to acknowledge the specific needs of each stage.  Here’s a breakdown of the stages:

"Shu" 守

Imitation.   This is the first stage of learning typified by strict memorization and copying of the Sensei. These are the students in most dojos who seek quality teaching and basic technical info in readily accessible and easy-to-understand formats

"Ha", 破

Exploration.  Practitioners at this stage are experienced black belts with many years of training who seek exposure to advanced training & concepts from top instructors.  These practitioners begin mixing, editing, and fine-tuning these new ideas into something beyond Shu into something more personal.

"Ri" 離

Breaking Free.  Practitioners at the Ri level are Master Instructors who have transcended to a level reflecting their own singular approach to the art.  They seek effective venues to disseminate their new ideas to others and to have their talents recognized by their peers.