The patch itself is in the shape of an Isshinryu fist. The female character is a sea goddess named Magami by Master Shimabuku. She represents the serenity that a Karate ka should display.

  • Her left hand is held open in a sign of peace; her right is clenched in a fist, representing strength in case of bad intentions.
  • The dragon ascending towards the three stars represents a sign of good luck and wisdom.
  • Also Master Shimabuku's first name Tatsuo, means "Dragon Man", which may be significant as well.
The Isshin Ryu patch as it is known today is of oval shape to represent the vertical Isshin Ryu fist. In the center is the figure of Mizu-Gami (water goddess) and at the top are three stars representing Master Shimabuku's three teachers: Chojun Miyagi (Goju Ryu), Chotoku Kiyan (Shorin Ryu), and Choki Motobu (Snorin Ryu).

The stars are at the top to represent the Masters' looking down on the developing karateka, Tatsuo Shimabuku. They are in heaven, and if you follow the right path, they too, will guide you to attainment.

The emblem is bordered by a red (sometimes orange) circle signifying the flame that surrounded Shimabuku in his dream. The flame signifies evil; the water purity; and Mizu-Gami, the equalizer, and it is always worn on your uniform over the heart symbolizing the "one heart way."

Above Mizui-Gami flies a dragon. The dragon in Eastern mythology represents good fortune. Also, the serpent, like the karateka, is born of the sea (or starting from the bottom), and when the dragon matures (or the karateka developes) he ascends into the heavens and achieves attainment.