I didn't know that. I've been around long enough to meet a thousand people who claim they have their 'own' style, but the Kyokushin guys seem pretty consistent, and it seems like the same goes for the Shorin-ryu. Correct me if I am wrong.
What's the supposed general consensus on Shorin-Ryu, again?
It's not a matter of right or wrong. It's just that, as you well know, there's a distinction between different takes on a style and different styles.
Originally Posted by crappler
Like Shotokan, Kyokushin is a style practised by thousands wordwide, so--like Shotokan--KK has a number of different takes on the style. Part of it is that both original style orgs fractured into a number of splinter orgs when the founders passed away. Shotokan has--among others--JKA, ISKF and IKA. KK has IKOK and some numbered-off IKO's. In both styles, the orgs are based in a number of countries.
The Shoto orgs all have their take on what constitutes Shotokan, and the KK orgs have their own versions of Kyokushin. The different KK orgs get along quite well with each other for the most part; with the Shotos, it depends. To further complicate things, there are dojos with lineage but which have gone independent, feeling either that their take on the style is truer to the founders' vision than that of the big orgs, or that theirs is a more 'modern' version of the style (be it Shoto or KK).
Even with the org-associated dojos however, teachers--without feeling the need to stop calling their style "Shotokan" or "Kyokushin"--will have their takes on the best techniques in such-and-such situations, which kata need more work than which others, what level of contact to use in strikes to the head in jiyu-kumite, and so on. The similarities between takes on a given style will allow a watcher to still identify the major differences between styles. Nobody is likely to mistake IKO(3) Karate for Shotokan or ISKF Karate for Kyokushin. However, we might recall that many Soke were adamant in stating that "Karate is Karate" and that versions of some styles may start resembling practices of entirely different styles. The IKA's take on Shotokan, Gosoku-Ryu, is known for hard-conditioning and hard-sparring and might, by an outsider, be mistaken for KK.
A different take on a style does not constitute a different style--until some school, formerly from an existing lineage, actually dispenses with the old style-name and practises something sufficiently different that it becomes a style unto itself. For example IKO(3) and IKOK are both KK, practising what they consider to be Oyama's Karate even thought they do not do 100% the same things in their dojos. On the other hand, IKOK and Kudo (formerly Daido-juku) are sufficiently different that they constitute distinct styles, despite some commonalities of origin.