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#107603 - 04/14/05 04:54 PM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu

Naihanchi Shodan

It is believed that Itosu took the best of all karate on okinawa when he created his forms Pinan shodan - godan

#107604 - 04/14/05 05:15 PM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu

Hi UK,
If I had to choose three kata to showcase the Goju style they would be Sanchin,Seiyunchin,and Tensho.
Although considered a beginning kata now Tensho is really an advanced kata. In Tensho you have to have developed the ability to generate tremendous power in a very short distance.
These are just my opinions. I've been doing Goju for 14yrs.

#107605 - 04/14/05 06:35 PM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu
Multiversed Offline

Registered: 03/11/03
Posts: 642
Loc: Sa, Tx. USA
I don't know if I agree with what you're doing. It sounds like a diluted version of Isshin Ryu. At minimum, just with the Shorin part of it you would need to teach, IMO, Pinan Shodan, Naihanchi Shodan, Seisan, Passai Sho and Dai, Chinto, Kusanku (Mei/Dai/Sho/or Shiho) and Gojushiho.

There is just too much that'll be missed if you did any less than this. You need five kata, done immaculately, to get shodan in the system I train in (Pinan 1 and 2 [3-5 are supplemental], Naihanchi 1-2 and Seisan). For nidan you need to understand and be able to do without thought, Passai Sho and Dai, Naihanchi Sandan, Chinto and Gojushiho. That's five more done as perfect as you can do them. For sandan you need to perfect the remaining kata- Kusanku Mei, Rohai 1-2 and Hakutsuru.

You should also be able to do the supplemental forms Ananku, Wansu and the last three Pinan, but it isn't required.

I hope you know what you're doing. Perfecting kata, and the structure of a system takes diligence and years of mastery of those things you wish to transfer to your students. Rudimentary or basic knowledge or skills in something will result in an inability to properly transfer the things you don't know so well.

Good luck.

#107606 - 04/14/05 08:26 PM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

I'm afraid you're being too theoretical towards this.

There are many systems that have been combinations of the different Okinawan styles. For example most Tomari has been absorbed across various Shorin instrutors.

Isshinryu is one example, but it appears its structure was not based on pick and choose as much as including the different studies the instructor undertook, and perhaps discarding a few of them in the process. Unfortunately as nobody has any source documentation of the founders studies, all there is are various 2nd hand accounts.

But more so what you're describing already exists in Shito-ryu from Mabuni Sensei. Its potential curricula is very vast, but the purpose of the system (except for the instructor) isn't to know the whole system. That's an oversimplification.

If you really want to pursue your answer you'll need about 5 to 10 different instructors who really train you in each kata for about 10 years (I'm assuming you can compartementalize your life to do this simultaneously - difficult at best even if the instructors will consent to teach you).

Only at the point you are really internalizing those kata do you begin to know enough to make the choices you're suggesting, and I would suggest 20 years under knowledgeable instructors to get true in depth study to know what you're picking.

And I'm curious if after 20 years of non-stop study you'll really still want to pick and choose?

Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu

[This message has been edited by Victor Smith (edited 04-14-2005).]

#107607 - 04/14/05 09:24 PM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu

It does sound like you are just re-packaging Mabuni Shito-Ryu into a McDojo.

good luck on your franchise business venture.

#107608 - 04/15/05 12:51 AM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu

from karatama -

It does sound like you are just re-packaging Mabuni Shito-Ryu into a McDojo.
good luck on your franchise business venture.

I will just ignore that comment and put it down to you having a bad day!


thankyou for your considered thoughts. whilst I appriciate your view I think you are missing the whole point of what im trying to achieve, im not creating anything I just want to offer the basic, fundamental kata of okinawan karate to students. The sylabus is simple to allow greater depth of training within 6 kata (to shodan), then the students real training begins in whatever family they prefer. I aim to have expirienced supervision to ensure the technical detail is correct for goju and shorin ryu. I realise you are a self confessed 1 style practioner (and what a style!), and I respect that so I can understand your view.

Victor Smith,

thankyou for your considered thoughts, I agree with alot of what you say, however the point of the post was to ask more expierience MAists their view on 3 representative kata from shorin and goju to be used to introduce students to okinawan karate.

I think we can all agree that sanchin (goju) and naihanchi (shorin) both have very good principles to teach, you get my drift? I think we can theorise all day, get very detailed and correct about things - which is fine as instructors but im looking for real life, doable karate that is of benefit to students - surely it is better to learn a few kata well than many not so well?

I have been training for nearly 20 years, I started in shukokai (1st dan) and then Kenshikan shito ryu (1st dan) then the terrible beast that is karate politics ensured I left to practise other arts, which I did and enjoyed for nearly 5 years with absolutly no regrets. I have been back training soley in karate for a year or so, the art is really opening up to me now - im a little older and wiser!

Im not trying or presenting a 'new' style guys (im no where near qualified!) im simply presenting exisiting superb martial arts in a dojo under correct supervision from my seniors.


thankyou for your suggestions. I do not agree with your comment re Itosu and the pinans and would prefer not to include them in my training. I am of the belief that they were developed as a simplification from superior forms and to be easy to learn in the okinawan school system. (perhaps 1 and 2 are a little different?)


thankyou for your suggestions. I class tensho as a 'similair' form to sanchin, although it has its differences of course, and as such would prefer to use sanchin for what im doing, thats not devaluing tensho in any way. however I am looking for advice in this area from a broad spectrum of expieirienced MAists.

So guys lets make it simple

If you HAD to suggest 3 kata to best present the PRINCIPLES of shorin ryu (shuri and tomari) and Naha te (goju), the forms need to be taught in a structured manner to present the progression from white to green to brown belt what would they be?

[This message has been edited by UKshorinryu (edited 04-15-2005).]

#107609 - 04/15/05 03:51 AM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu

I take offence that Tomari Te always gets lumped together with Shuri Te!

Anyway, so what would be the "essence" of Tomari Te then?

I know of about 8 or so kata, then some ones known by the masters (Rinkan) and a few weapons that were practiced (Shirataru no Kon). Also, Tomari had their own Seisan.

#107610 - 04/15/05 05:15 AM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu

Its a fair point Mark Hill !

The reason I am 'grouping' the 2 familys together is simple logistics, it would be extremly difficult for me to recieve instruction in 'pure' tomari te (although I study matsubayashi). I think it is generally accepted that shuri and tomari are very close together, whereas the naha te does show distinct differences.

However I am an open minded MAist and would love to include 3 pure tomari te kata into the program, which would make 9 in total.

Would you advise me of any 'pure' tomari te styles and I can begin my research and look for instruction! However I believe that tomari te is now taught as part of shorin ryu as a norm?

#107611 - 04/15/05 06:12 AM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu

UKshorinryu - by approximating the essence of each Okinawan -Te, you/your students will be able to mimic each, but will be proficient in none. In 200 years do you think you are the first one to think of this? be honest with yourself. You are trying to package a product, not capture the essence of anything. Am I wrong?

#107612 - 04/15/05 06:48 AM Re: Back To Basics - Okinawan Karate Jutsu

For representing Goju, wat is my motivation to pick sanchin - sesan - kururunfa?
Sanchin = basic training kata. Whenever their is a problem in executing certain movements in kata, my teachers refer me to sanchin to come up with the answer. So understanding sanchin is a must to understand the rest.
Sesan = is a common kata found in all major karate styles. The Naha form explains the basics of Naha fighting tactics and fighting techniques in accordance to maai (distance) and how to overcome it. It is also a good continuation on sanchin in used stances and striking techniques. Do not get fooled by the use of the closed fist, it can be changed into fingertip striking (like Southern Crane style) or keiko ken (Tiger style) or nukite as training purpose. It predominantly learns you how to strike and kick. The kata is also represented in Shuri and Tomari te, so a comparison can be part of the study.
Kururunfa is in my opinion the most beautifull kata there is but it is not my favourite (My execution lacks a lot of finesse, although I recently received the compliment that my opining was beatifull, so I am on the right track). It teaches how to grapple, how to work muchime (sticky hands) and how to break limbs, how to takedown. I believe that when fighting starts at close range, the application from kururunfa techniques will serve the best.
The current order in Goju gekisai - sanchin - saifa - seyunchin - shishochin - sanseru - sesan - sepai - kururunfa - suparinpei - tensho was established after WWII for having an organized method that teaches the entire curriculum of Goju. Before WWII (this coming mainly from an interview I read with Meitoku Yagi) the order would be sanchin - seyunchin - sesan -tensho. They are considered the base upon Goju can be interpreted. Without thourrough study of these kata, Goju can not be understood.
I agree to that statement, but only showing these kata will not encompas the entire style. Kururunfa does encompas all of Goju in my opinion. There are others that say suparinpei is the ultinmate Goju kata but in my opinion it is not.
Why not saifa. Saifa teaches sabaki and body shifting, very imported but not totally representive. Seyunchin teaches grappling and escape grapping, internal power (like sanchin but in grappling and short techniques in stead of striking) and training the shiko dachi. Sishochin/sanseru teach certain aspects but specifically to certain situations. Sepai is a real challange, but the techniques used are not 'direct' enough in my opinion. Leaves tensho, wich is very imported to cool down in Goju. You can start any kata but must end with tensho to let the energy you have builded up, flow out again. It encompasses total softness opposed to the hardness found in the other kata with summum sanchin (total hardness).
So, as representatives of my style I would show sanchin - sesan -kururunfa as synthetis of the style. But if you wish an thorough understanding of Goju-ryu you need at least 15 years of 5d/week training the kata curriculum with much focus on sanchin -seyunchin - sesan - tensho + regular training the other kata's to learn specific figthing strategies and techniques.

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