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Kan is a Japanese word referring to a place or building. Ryu is family or style. Both are often used to specify a grouping of martial artists that share a common heritage. Both can be used in a style name, for example Shido Kan Shorin Ryu.

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Q: What is the difference between karate ryu and kan?
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It was derived from Shorin Ryu karate from Okinawa. It was brought there from Okinawa by Gichin Funakoshi. Shoto was his pen name that he wrote poetry under. Kan means place or house. It got its name from the first dojo, Shoto Kan, or House of Shoto.

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