Who is Patrick McCarthy?

Patrick McCarthy [Hanshi 9th dan] is one of the world leading authorities on the classical fighting arts, widely acclaimed as a highly respected researcher/historian, best-selling author, successful competitive athlete and professional teacher. He is the founding director of IRKRS- International Ryukyu Karate Research Society and creator of Koryu Uchinadi. Patrick McCarthy is a Canadian native who currently resides in Australia.

Hanshi McCarthy has dedicated his life to karate and is passionate about all aspects of traditional fighting arts, with a focus on understanding and preserving its history. Hanshi is a walking encyclopaedia of all things martial arts and is in high demand, travelling the world to lecture on traditional history and philosophy of karate, demonstrating traditional Kata, the associated 2 person application drills, and Kobudo (weapons).


Personal background

Hanshi’s impressive lineage includes a who’s who of Okinawan karate experts. He is a 5th generation disciple of the Okinawan instructors who pioneered modern karate (Kinjo Hiroshi {1919-2013},Hanashiro Chomo {1869-1945}, Itosu Ankoh {1832-1915} and Matsumura Sokon {1809-1899}).

KU lineage

Hanshi’s resume highlights his high success as an all-round competitive athlete, encompassing karate, kata, kickboxing, shoot fighting (wrestling) and weapons competitor. In addition he holds ranks in Jujutsu, Judo, Yamaneryu, Kobudo, & Japanese swordsmanship.

In recognition for his contribution to martial arts, Hanshi has received a number of tremendous honours including induction into the Canadian Black belt Hall of Fame (2012).

Hanshi McCarthy has received worldwide fame and recognition for his many publications, particularly his ground-breaking translation of “The Bubishi” (colloquially referred to as the karate bible) into English. He has spent a lifetime researching in the field – studying in Japan (with a particular focus in Okinawa), China (including the Shaolin Monastery), Korea, South-East Asia, and the Philippines, gaining a thorough understanding of both the history of martial arts and the unique customs and languages of each country. Hanshi’s exploration into ‘the source’ of karate resulted in him successfully tracing the history of modern, Japanese-based karate back to it’s origins in Okinawa, which was highly influenced by Chinese and Indo-Chinese cultures.

** For a more in-depth look at Hanshi McCarthy’s background I suggest the following web sites

Adapting a tradition to a new world

While respectful of the traditions of karate and eager to re-establish the “old ways”, Hanshi promotes the philosophy that karate is a “living art”. Through this philosophy he encourages students to build on the learnings of the past and not just blindly follow the traditional methods.

“Tradition is not about blindly following in the footsteps of the old masters, or even preserving their ashes in a box, but rather in keeping the flame of their spirit alive, by continuing to seek out, understand and improve what they originally sought.”

Hanshi McCarthy

Critical thinking is actively encouraged by Hanshi. This is especially true around the modern interpretation of karate with it’s predominant focus as a rule-bound sports activity rather than a realistic self-defence mechanism. While Hanshi’s views may be seen as controversial, it is clearly evident that modern karate has evolved away from its core function as a means of self-defence when faced with the threat of realistic violence. In saying that, Hanshi welcomes the opportunity to have open discussion on this topic, as honest conversation can only assist in the continued evolution of karate and the broader world of martial arts.

Spreading the word

Hanshi has travelled the world extensively to not only further his own education but also as a strong advocate for preserving these traditions.

In addition to his best-selling translation of The Bubishi, Hanshi has published a number of books; has been regularly published in newspaper and magazine articles; has been profiled in countless articles; has presented numerous documentaries, webinars, radio and tv programs; and has personally produced countless educational/instructional DVD’s.


Patrick McCarthy is an outstanding teacher, officially recognised as “Hanshi” (meaning exemplary teacher/Senior Master- arguably the highest accolade that can be achieved in martial arts). A highly sought after master instructor, Hanshi has taught in more than 20 countries for over 40 years.

It’s not just about karate history

Supplementing his knowledge of the history of karate is an in-depth understanding of the human anatomy and body mechanics. Hanshi has formulated the Habitual Acts of Physical Violence (HAPV) theory developing a simple yet effective way to study the functional application principles of karate. Understanding the human body, its distinct functions and anatomical vulnerabilities, is essential for any serious martial artist in being able to apply and predict what will occur in a real-life confrontation.

Hanshi’s in-depth knowledge of karate allows him to systematically breakdown complex techniques, simplifying them for the relevant audience, providing students with “building blocks” and allowing them to grow as martial artists as their confidence and competency increases.

Hanshi has a deep understanding and appreciation for the fact that individuals differ in learning styles and tailors his teachings as required. This includes different capabilities, physical prowess, learning abilities, speed of learning different principles and how these are best applied to the arts. Further, he has a great ability to capture his audience’s attention when walking through a given technique and explaining its contextual history.

Based on the traditional heritage of karate, with modern day insight and the concept of applying realistic HAPV principles through 2 person applications, Hanshi McCarthy established Koryu Uchinadi.



Koryu-Uchinadi.it/Hanshi McCarthy

Usadojo.com/interview Patrick McCarthy

Ikigaiway.com – Interview with Patrick McCarthy


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