Shorin-Ryu Karate is one of the major modern Okinawan martial arts and is one of the oldest styles of karate. Shōrin-Ryu combines elements of the traditional Okinawan fighting styles of Shuri-te.
Shōrin-Ryu is generally characterized by natural breathing, natural (narrow, high) stances, and circular, rather than direct movements. Shōrin-ryū practitioners will say that correct motion matters, being able to move quickly to evade violence by having fluid movements and flexible positions is quite important, and that a solid structure is very important for powerful moves. Stances that are too deep will most likely make body movement very difficult. Another of the features in this system is how the student is taught to punch. Generally, there is neither a horizontal or vertical punch in Shorin Ryu. Punches are slightly canted to the inside, with the largest knuckle of the fore finger (third from the tip) in vertical alignment with the second knuckle of the pinky finger. It is believed that this position is key in lining up the bones of the arm and creates a faster, more stable and powerful strike.