Movement by Hanshi Zenpo Shimabukuro

The following YouTube video shows an excerpt of a seminar by Hanshi Zenpo Shimabukuro, 10th Dan, of Seibukan Karatedo, the style founded by his father (Zenryo Shimabukuro sensei) based on the Shorinjiryu of Master Chotoku Kyan.

In various videos of Hanshi Shimabukuro, I’ve constantly been impressed by his masterful demonstration of power and economy of movement. A very interesting video.

Kenkokan Dojo Renovations

I was interested to see that the Shorinjiryu Kenkokan So-Hombu Dojo in Tokyo is being renovated. The Shorinjiryu Kenkokan headmaster (and my former teacher), So Shihan Masayuki Hisataka (Hanshi 9th Dan) has recorded a short video showing the work in progress.

I spent 2 years training at the Kenkokan So-Hombu Dojo, and it is interesting to see the renovations. Operating since 1955 in the current location (near Waseda in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward), the Dojo was quite small but had a great atmosphere. I loved every minute of my time training there.

It looks like the new dojo will be larger and will have sprung wooden floors and walls, with tatami mats to allow for practice of throwing techniques and ground fighting.

Congratulations to Hisataka Sensei and all at the Kenkokan on the new dojo. I look forward to seeing news from the official re-opening in October.

Iain Abernethy Releases Beyond Bunkai DVD

Beyond BunkaiIain Abernethy, Sensei (guest on episode 9 of The Applied Karate Show podcast) has announced the release of a new DVD called Beyond Bunkai.

I’ve always found Iain’s DVDs to be very professional, with excellent production quality and interesting and thought-provoking content. I’ve appreciated recently that Iain has been releasing some of his titles as downloadable movies, and hope that he will add Beyond Bunkai as a download soon!

According to Iain’s newsletter update,

This DVD presents a unique non-scripted flow drill that includes all the motions found within Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan. Ideal for the more experienced bunkai practitioner, and essentially infinite in its variations, this drill shows the depth of Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan and includes gripping skills, head-butting, biting, gouging, seizing, locking, controlling limbs, chokes, cranks, takedowns and close-range kicking.

This drill is also unlike most flow drills in that it is not carefully scripted nor does it involve giving up a position of advantage so your partner can have their turn. The drill instead enables the practitioner to dominate at close-range, flow past any obstructions the enemy may present, safely escape, and practise applying the bunkai of the kata in a realistic context. This DVD also includes a breakdown of the kata itself and a discussion on the history of Naihanchi / Tekki Shodan.

Iain Abernethy is one of the world’s leading exponents of kata application and practical karate. He has been invited all over the globe to teach his approach and to help people return to the original combative nature of the traditional martial arts.

Beyond Bunkai is available in PAL and NTSC format from http://shop.iainabernethy.com/acatalog/DVDs_UK.html.

Naihanchin 360

Thanks to the fine folks at KoryuFit.com for posting this interesting interpretation of a classic kata – Naihanchin (also known as Naihanchi, Naifuanchi or Tekki).

As a kata, I’ve long been fascintated by Naihanchin, and the possibilities this seemingly simplistic form provides us through its myriad of applications.

As a practitioner of Shorinjiryu karate, Naihanchin is usually one of the first forms learned. Yet the Naihanchin forms in Shorinjiryu differ markedly from those in most classical systems, with our forms having a lot more movement, including larger steps, and movement away from the lateral line. Many can’t see the connection between a Shorinjiryu Naihanchin and that practiced in other styles, without first seeing the missing link forms, such as Naihanchin no Sho (as taught in the Watanabe Ha lineage), and the Koshiki Naihanchin form introduced in the Kenkokan organisation.

Watching the Naihanchin 360 form shows that clearly the applications seen by many are more expansive than the base pattern lets on.

Similarly, the Naihanchin application used in the Kodo-ryu of Nathan Johnson sensei shows that the kata is very much a grappling form, at least from their perspective.

I’d be interested in hearing other perspectives on Naihanchin and its applications.