Shitō-Ryū is the second most popular style of karate worldwide. It is also by far the most complete and comprehensive system of karate. It was created by Mabuni Kenwa (1889-1952), a karate master who was one of only a handful to have been taught all three of the major branches of karate that existed in the late 19th century. He combined all three of these styles into a single, multifaceted system. The name "Shitō-ryū" (糸東流) was derived from the names of his two most influential teachers, Itosu Ankō and Higaonna Kanryō. The 糸 is the "Ito" in Itosu and the 東 is the "Higa" in Higaonna. Ryū (流) is usually translated as "school" or "style", but literally means "flowing from". So Shitō-ryū means "Itosu-Higaonna Style", or more poeticaly "the teachings that flow from Itosu and Higaonna". To fully understand Shitō-ryū, it helps to know a little about those three systems that together comprise its curriculum.
The most widely practiced of those styles was ... (read more here)