top of page



Arcenio J. Advincula was born 25 January 1938 in Juneau Alaska. He began his study of the martial arts at the age of 8. His first teachers were former Filipino scouts, who were friends of his father.  Advincula retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after twenty-four years and continued to teach close combat to Marines. In fact, in May 1997 the Marine Corps adopted Advincula's rifle & bayonet/knife and close combat system. He studied with Tatuso Shimabuku starting in 1958. The following is a chronological listing of his credits:


  1. ★ 1946 Began martial arts training in Escrima & Combat Judo.

  2. ★ 1958 Began studying Isshin-ryu from Tatsuo Shimabuku on Okinawa.

  3. ★ 1959 Gave first U.S.M.C. hand-to-hand combat class.

  4. ★ 1960 Returned to Alaska and opened a dojo in Anchorage.

  5. ★ 1961 Designed the first and only Tatsuo Shimabuku approved Isshin-ryu patch.

  6. ★ 1961 Studied Hindiandi Gung Fu from Kana Kaneshiro on Okinawa.

  7. ★ 1962 Studied Shorin-ryu from Segin Nagamine on Okinawa.

  8. ★ 1963 Studied Goju-ryu from Kinei Nakasone & Masanobu Shinjo on Okinawa.

  9. ★ 1975 Studied Kobudo in Ryu Kon Kai from Kotaro Iha on Okinawa.

  10. ★ 1975 Studied Uechi-ryu from Kosuke Yonamine on Okinawa.

  11. ★ 1981 Retired from U.S.M.C. as a MSgt. with 24 years of service.

  12. ★ 1983 Made three Escrima videos for Panther Production Videos which are still available.

  13. ★ 1986 Published author in Black Belt Magazine & Wholeheart News.

  14. ★ 1987 Black Belt Magazine Co-instructor of the year with Ray Dalke.

  15. ★ 1987-1993 Body Management Coach of the San Diego Chargers (NFL) Football Team.

  16. ★ 1992 Designed Fighting Knife (FleshEater) for knife maker, Jim Hammond.

  17. ★ 1994 Interviewed by CNN as knife expert on O.J. Simpson case.

  18. ★ 1994 FleshEater knife is mentioned in the novel THE RECKONING by James Byron Huggins.

  19. ★ 1994-2009 Conducted Okinawan cultural martial arts tours.

  20. ★ 1996 Established use of the vertical punch at U.S.M.C. Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA.

  21. ★ 1996 Commemorated 50th anniversary in the martial arts.

  22. ★ 1997 Marine Corps adopts rifle, bayonet/knife and close combat system.

  23. ★ 2001 Received Black Belt Emeritus from U.S.M.C. for pioneering Marine Corps Martial Arts.


Tatsuo Shimabuku was born on September 19, 1908 in Chan Village, Okinawa. This was Meiji 41 (the 41st year under the Japanese Emperor Mutsuhito). It was also the year of the Monkey.  Master Shimabuku spent many years studying the Shorin-Ryu system under Master Kyan Chotoku and the Goju-Ryu system under Master Miyagi Chojun.  Shimabuku also studied Shorin-Ryu and kumite under Motobu Choki and kobudo (Okinawan weapons) under Shinken Taira.  

On January 15, 1956, Tatsuo Shimabuku called his students together to announce the naming of Isshinryu Karate.  One of his senior students, Kaneshi Eiko, asked him, "Why such a funny name" and Tatsuo replied, " Because all things begin with one."  The word Isshin-Ryu means ”one heart way”  (Is = One, Shin = Heart, Ryu = Way).

Shimabuku developed his powerful, lightning-fast system by combining what he considered to be the best attributes of Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu.  Shimabuku made three major changes from traditional Okinawa styles.  The first is the use of a vertical fist as opposed to the traditional twist punch.  The second is placing the thumb on top as opposed to on the side of the fist.   The third is the execution of blocks using the muscular part of the forearm as opposed to the bone.  

Tatsuo Shimabuku taught Isshinryu to United Stated Marines that were stationed in Okinawa in the late 1950's and 1960's.  Tatsuo Shimabuku wanted Americans not only to learn the physical aspects of Isshinryu but wanted them to understand Okinawan culture, customs, history and traditions.  Shimabuku was quoted in the March 30, 1960 edition of the OKINAWAN TIMES as saying "Even if we cannot promote friendship between Okinawa and America through karate, my true hope is that if karate becomes popular in the United States and Hawaii, then Okinawa would also become more well understood."  Isshin-Ryu was brought back to the United States by these U.S. Marines. 

bottom of page