Category Archives: All-But-Events

Video: Bunkai Kumite Bassai

Bunkai Kumite shows the hidden techniques within a kata. Movements that include unarmed techniques of strikes (goho) and locks (juho) as well as weapons application of the bo and katana (bukiho) are revealed. By its nature Bunkai kumite includes at least two players where one is the offensive player and one the defensive player. In team competition there are usually three players working together to show the inner workings of the kata. The offensive player(s) attacks the defensive player(s) with the kata movements in mind and the defensive player(s) uses the movements within the kata to determine an appropriate defensive response. The role of offense and defense may rotate between players so long as the movements of the kata are explored in sequence. Bunkai kumite is typically learned at the time when the underlying kata is well known and understood. The application of the Bunkai elevates the learning of the kata to a higher level and requires a more fluid understanding of the kata. In this respect Bunkai is typically practiced by intermediate to advanced students, however, the benefit of bunkai training can be obtained at any level with the proper instruction and guidance of a seasoned Sensei.


An example of Bunkai Kumite from the 2017 World Koshiki Tournament held in London, Ontario is shown below. Performing Bassai Bunkai is Shihan Andrew Riley, Kyoshi Nick King and Shihan Scott Chaffey. The trio won the gold medal for Bunkai. It was a great demonstration loved by the crowd.

Video: Renshu Ni Kumite

Renshu Kumite Ni is the second of two prearranged sequences (yakusoku randori kumite) developed by Hanshi Masayuki Kukan Hisataka to assist karatedo students to refine their favorite techniques into effective sequences utilizing both offensive and defensive strategies.

In fact, the two renshu kumite were created by Hanshi Hisataka in 1963, shortly after his arrival in New York, and stemmed from his observations after teaching classes of non-Japnese for the first time. He observed that, in general, western sports favored lateral motion over angular motion, and thus one of the prime aims of the renshu kumite ni is to emphasize angular motion.

An unique feature of the renshu kumite ni is that it was the first kumite created for the purpose of developing basic techniques used in competition. Prior to that time. kumite was the application of techniques from kata and the sankakutobi kumite. However, such application techniques were extremely intricate and more valuable in the development of real fighting strategies for life and death situations, as well as total physical, mental, and technical development. Renshu kumite ni (literally meaning kumite “practice”) is a scientifically developed fighting training method that can also serve as preparation for the higher level application kumite.

Renshu kumite ni emphasizes techniques of the rear hand and foot, as opposed to renshu kumite ichi, which emphasizes front hand and foot attacks. In addition, renshu kumite ni also emphasizes the succeeding step (tsugi ashi) and 45 degree angular motion. In effect, this implies escaping to the opponent’s blind spot and aids in deflecting the force of a direct attack. In this way, counterattacks are achieved in a circular motion. Accordingly, what commences as linear motion becomes angular motion, and finally, circular motion.

To practice renshu kumite ni, the karateka should bear in mind the intended target, the optimum technique, the manner of delivering that technique, the distance required to effectively deliver that technique, the timing required, and how to recover from the delivery. In this way, the karateka transcends mere technique and utilizes the three minds (mittsu no kokoro) of zenshin, tsushin and zanshin.


Video: Renshu Ichi Kumite

Both Renshu Kumite Ichi and Renshu Kumite Ni were developed by So Shihan Masayuki Hisataka in 1963 shortly after his arrival in New York and stemmed from his observation and teaching classes of non-Japanese for the first time. He observed that, in general, western sports favored lateral motion over angular motion and thus one of the prime aims of the Renshu Kumite Ni is to emphasize angular motion. The Renshu Kumite(s) contain most of the basic techniques and principles of Karatedo. Renshu Kumite Ichi emphasizes the use of the front hand and is recommended for 10th and 9th kyu students while Renshu Kumite Ni teaches the use of the back hand, and is recommended for 8th and 7th kyu students.

Video: Kata Nijushiho-Dai

The original name of this kata is “Niseishi” kata meaning “Twenty-four movements”. It was developed by Okinawan karate Masters and was designed both for empty-hand and weapon fighting. It has since been adapted by Shinan Kori Hisataka in Kenkokan Karatedo.

In fact, there are not twenty-four movements in Nijushiho. There is a second hidden meaning to this name. Nijushiho stresses combinations of two techniques and 24 could be interpreted as 2 and 4, implying that 2-techniques combinations are worth twice as much (4). This kind of double understanding was quite frequently used in naming kata.

In this kata one faces two opponents and learns diagonal and circular motions both to create an opening in the opponent’s guard and to evade his attacks. It emphasizes rapid foot movements such as neko ashi dachi and kosa ashi and flexible stances (cat stance).

Below may see the same kata as performed by So Shihan Masayuki Kukan Hisataka at the age of 78 in March 2019.

Video: Ten-Chi-Jin Kumite

The ten-chi-jin kumite are six basic attack and counter-attack sequences, three using hand techniques and three using foot techniques, which are designed to develop the ability to decide the correct distancing for a particular technique and also the most effective footwork to get close with that technique.

To achieve this, one hand sequence and one foot sequence are devoted to each of the three ranges: short, middle and long.

  1. For short range (chika ma), only the front foot is moved in offensive motions (fumikomi ashi) and only the back foot (hiki ashi) in defense.
  2. For middle range (chu kan), both feet are used in succession, with a forward sliding step (okuri ashi zenshin) for offense and a backward sliding step (okura ashi kotai) for defense.
  3. For long range (to ma) situations a combination of both short and middle range footwork is used with offensive movements using lunge steps (oi ashi), and defensive ones using receding steps (sagari ashi).

In additon, these kumite should be practiced to develop an understanding of the value of footwork (ashi sabaki), bodywork (tai sabaki), and handwork (te sabaki) for proper defense, especially using them to avoid counterattack.

The ten-ch-jin kumite were developed by So Shihan Masayuki Hisataka, Headmaster of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan, and are based on the concept of ten-chi-jin, or  the three level of life. Thus, the ultimate purpose of this kumite is to develop strategy, energy, and power from nature.

All hand sequences begin in left crane stance (hidari tsuru ashi dachi) with an upper-level guard (jodan kamae) with the left hand open and the right hand closed.

All leg sequences begin in a right crane stance (migi tsuru ashi dachi) with an upper-level guard (jodan Kamae) with the right hand open and the left hand closed.

Video: Kata Koshiki Naihanchin

This kata describes its intent, purpose, and meaning in its name, which literally means “fighting in a narrow space.” there are various versions of this kata and the prefix Koshiki indicates that this particular version is thought to be an original or ancient version.

The meaning of the name is twofold. Firstly, it has a mental or psychological meaning suggesting that one must overcome the self to become a better person. Secondly, on a physical level, naihanchin implies a situation of fighting in a confined area between two or more attackers. For example, the situation faced in this kata has been variously interpreted as being on a narrow bridge, road, or with your back against a wall or precipice. These two meanings summarize the true purpose of karate and budo: self-defense and self-improvement.

As mentioned, there are several forms of Naihanchin in modern karatedo, such as Koshiki Naihanchin, Kudaka no naihanchin, and others. These forms differ in terms of the actual techniques and sequences employed, but it should be remembered that the underlying principles, meanings, and teachings are consistent.

Koshiki Naihanchin is among the oldest kata, having originally been developed on Kudaka Island. In turn the kata evolved into its modern form in Okinawa, having been handed down from Tode Sakugawa to Sokon Matsumura and then to Ankoh Asato and Chotoku Kyan, and finally to Kaiso Kori Hisataka. Naihanchin is condisered to be representative of Shuri-te Shorinjiryu, or Karate developed in the area of Shuri city. It is interesting to note that the famous Master Choki Motobu, in his pursuit of karatedo, is thought to have only learnt two kata, naihanchin and bassai. this shows that a true understanding of kata can only be gained from proper and deep study, and that such a deep level of understanding of but a handful of kata can lead to a complete understanding of karatedo.

There are several primary teaching and strategies to be gained from the study of naihanchin. Firstly, this kata is a practical example of the saying “there is no first attack in karate.” Although naihanchin’s opening move can be interpreted as an attack, it is designed to seize the initiaitve against seceral attackers and is thus a form of defense. Thus, the true meaning of the saying means that karate should not be used for provocation or to cause conflict, but to defend oneself in the best possible way if attacked. In this way, naihanchin emphasizes how to stand, in which posture, guard, and attitude, to best defend oneself from attack from any angle. In other words, it teaches you how to protect your back in the most strategic way.

Secondly, naihanchin teaches one to train for the worst possible scenario, such as standing in a small boat, on a slippery log, on sand, mud, ice, snow, or with your back to a precipice. By mentally putting yourself in such situations a proper understanding of balance, posture and stance can be learnt practically and strategically. This form of training is regarded as being superior in many ways, namely mentally, psychologically, and of course physically.

Thirdly, naihanchin emphasizes opening the eyes to the front and to the back; that is the development of the “third eye” that is able to see all four corners and in all eight directions.

For the above reasons, naihanchin, in one form or another, was tradtitionally the first kata taught in karatedo and this remains the case to this day in Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo. Kaiso Kori Hisataka modified koshiki naihanchin slightly to cover the full range of basic techniques by adding the front punch (shomen zuki) and the front kick (shomen geri) sequences. In this way a truly complete form of the original kata was created. At the beginner level koshiki naihanchin is taught to tenth and ninth kyu (white belt) students. Students of intermediate and advanced levels should continue to practice this kata, developing applications suitable for their level of skill.


Video Kata Kudaka No Naihanchin

Kata Naihanchin (Kudaka no naihanchin or Naihanchin-Dai) is a fundamental kata within the Shorinjiryu system. Both adults and children learn Kata Naihanchin typically as their first kata. Kata Naihanchin focuses on sideways fighting with strong stances and the execution of strong kicks and punches. The kata is typically performed with both a right and left side.

Naihanchin means “sideways fighting” or “fighting within” because in this kata one fights against opponents on both sides. It is one of the oldest kata in karate. In China, it was the most outstanding kata of Shorinji Kempo and since then has been transmitted from Master to Master, from China to Okinawa. In recent times was been adapted by Kaiso Kori Hisataka and is now taught in Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo. Below you may see an older video version of So Shihan Masayuki Kukan Hisataka performing the Kata.

Naihanchin kata is the only kata which does not start with a defensive technique but with a surprise attack aimed at taking the lead in a fight and breaking away from the attackers. Nevertheless, this can also be interpreted as being an overall defensive move. This kata teaches one how to fight in a narrow space, such as a hall or bridge, with opponents on each side. Thus naihanchin kata is performed in two phases, to the right side first, and then to the left, the second phase being a mirror image of the first phase.

Naihanchin kata emphasizes lateral stances (naihanchin and sotobiraki jogotai stances) and the basic techniques useful in sideways fighting. It also teaches the combining of techniques into sequences of attacks, counterattacks, blocks and pauses, etc. This develops a feeling for the rythum of fighting. Naihanchin kata is recommended for 10th to 7th kyu students.

Welcome To The Hombu

The Shorinjiryu Hombu dojo would like to welcome everyone to the new website. The Shorinjiryu Hombu website is intended to be the home for all practitioners of Shorinjiryu. If you practice Shorinjiryu then the Hombu website is your portal to your Hombu. The Japan Hombu welcomes all Shorinjiryu practitioners and provides an opportunity for all to register and be directly associated with the Hombu.

By registering you will:

  1. Be a recognized member of the extended Shorinjiryu family;
  2. Be able to visit the Hombu and take classes;
  3. Be able to attend official international events;
  4. Be able to seek evaluation and recognition of your skill level at the Hombu and have your rank internationally recognized.

The Shorinjiryu family is large and expands to over 30 countries. Become a part of the larger family by keeping your registration up-to-date. Registering is easy and can be done online. Simply click the button below.