Matsumura Seito (Orthodox): This system was founded by Grandmaster Hohan Soken. Hohan Soken was a direct descendent of Soken “Bushi” Matsumura. Bushi Matsumura taught his system to his grandson (due to the death of his son), Nabe Matsumura. Nabe Matsumura then taught the system that he had learned to his nephew (due to lack of children). Hohan Soken originally called this system Matsumura Shuri-te. Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu means “the true style of Matsumura”. An interesting note comes from Master Soken who is quoted as saying that only the Matsumura Seito style teaches the true Hakutsuru kata of Bushi Matsumura. It is said that Bushi Matsumura only taught this kata to Nabe Matsumura because it was a secret of the family system and should therefore stay within the family. Nabe Matsumura then taught the kata only to Master Soken. Fortunately Soken decide to share this kata with students outside of the family. The USKK style head for this branch is Master Phillip Koeppel.
Matsubayashi: Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu was founded by Shoshin Nagamine in 1947. The literal translation is “pine forest style”. This is the newest or youngest branch of Shorin-ryu. Nagamine gave it the name Matsubayashi out of respect for two of this three instructors, Chotoku Kiyan and Choyu Motobu, who were both direct students of Soken Matsumura. The USKK style head for this branch is Master Robert Yarnall.
Kobayashi: Kobayashi Shorin Ryu was founded by Chosen Chibana in 1928. The literal meaning of this style is “small forest style”. Chosen Chibana was a student of Anko Itosu, who trained directly under Soken Matsumura. An interesting note comes from Master Eizo Shimabukuro who has stated that the Kobayashi and Shobayashi styles of Shorin Ryu are the exact same, the difference in name came from Chibana misspelling the kanji characters which changed the pronunciation of the words. The USKK style head for this branch is Master Eddie Bethea.
Shobayashi: There is some controversy over how was the actual founder of this branch. Some give credit to Chotoku Kiyan and others to Eizo Shimabukuro. Most people give the credit of founding the style to Shimabukuro. It should be noted though that the Shobayashi branch is heavily based off of the teachings of Kiyan. Shimabukuro was a student of Kiyan. This system was has both Shuri-te and Tomari-te influence in it. Kiyan studied under Matsumura and Itosu in Shuri-te and under Matsumora in Tomari-te. This branch of Shorin-ryu also incorporates the kata Sanchin from Goju-ryu.
Sukunaihayashi: This is a very small branch of Shorin-ryu that is left out of most texts. Master George W. Alexander states that this branch was created by the students of Chotoku Kiyan. He says Chotoku Kiyan called his own system “Mi-gwa-Te” “Mi-gwa Chan was a nickname for Kiyan which meant “small eyed- Kiyan”. The students of Kiyan changed the name to Sukunaihayashi.
*Note there are many deviations within each of these branch, but these five branches are by far the most popular and widely known.
Courtsy to http://www.geocities.ws/karatejmh/Shorinryubranches.htm