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The symbol that is synonymous with Shito-Ryu Karate worldwide is the original Mabuni family crest or 'mon'. The aristocratic Mabuni family had a chronicled lineage during the Ryukyu Kingdom period in Okinawa. It is unclear when the mon originated, but it is logical to say that it was generations prior to being adopted by Kenwa Mabuni as the official symbol of Shito-Ryu.

The physical characteristics of the mon well represent its use as the symbol for Shito-Ryu Karate-Do. The outer circle is interpreted as symbolising a ring or circle of a family (Wa), while the inner lines represent 'human' or 'human-being'.

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Shito-Ryu Mon image

The crest therefore symbolizes that we are all human, with our different characters, faults and idiosyncrasies that go with this, but we must endeavour to show kindness and consideration for our fellow man through a gentle heart. These same precepts are part of the "Go Do Shin" written by Mabuni Kenwa in 1929.

NOTE: It is not known when the colour changed to the now familiar red.

The information above was given to Carter-sensei by Soke Kenzo Mabuni in 2002 and jointly translated & interpretated by Carter-sensei and another Shihan Kai member.

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