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Shrin-ry Seibukan

Shorin-ryu Seibukan ( Seibukan Shorin- are contained in this kata. A major characteristic of this
ryu), also known as Sukunaihayashi, is one of the many kata is the use of zenkutsu dachi (zen-coot-zoo da-chi)
Okinawan Shorin-ryu styles of karate. (legs straight stance). This version of the kata, along with
Seibukan Karate do was founded in 1962 by Zenryo the modied version of Fukyugata Ni, were developed in
joint cooperation with other Okinawan member systems
Shimabukuro (1906 ~ 1969). Sensei Zenryo, 10th
Dan Hanshi, was the foremost student of Sensei Kyan (Rengokai and Okinawa Prefecture), as a representation
of traditional Okinawan styles, mainly for joint demon-
Chotoku. After 10 years of training under Sensei Kyan,
Sensei Zenryo built his own dojo in Jagaru, Okinawa in strations and exhibitions. Due to the large dierence
1962. He named his dojo asSeibukanmeaningthe in Okinawan style kata, stances, and movements, it was
holy art school. In 1964, Sensei Zenryo received his agreed upon to create the two kata solely for this purpose.
10th Dan black belt from All Okinawan Karate do Fed- Fukyugata Ni (Miyagi Chojun) (Modication of Gekisai
eration. After his untimely death in 1969, his son Han- Dai Ichi)
shi Zenpo Shimabukuro succeeded him as the head of Master Miyagi Chojun originally created this kata.
Seibukan karate do. Hanshi Zenpo Shimabukuro (10th Fukyugata Ni is also known as Gekisai Dai Ichi in Go-
Dan black belt) was born in Chatan Cho, Okinawa, on juryu. The Goju-ryu kata, Gekisai Dai Ichi and Ni, were
the 11th of October, 1943. As the head of the movement, created by Miyagi sensei in 1940. In their development,
he has loyally maintained the tradition of Sensei Chotoku he had two ideas in mind: Spiritual and physical develop-
Kyan which he has inherited from his father, Zenryo. He ment of the individual, and to increase the popularity of
is the Supreme Instructor & Technical Director and Pres- karate. It was also important to him that kata was suitable
ident of the International Okinawan Shorin Ryu Seibukan for everyone despite of age and physical condition. The
Karate do Association which has branch dojos in over 18 name of kata is quite harsh because it means to destroy.
foreign countries.
Miyagi sensei chose the name to promote self-esteem of
the young people, their training spirit, especially because
they were living in hard times due to the war. Fukyugata
Ni includes powerful and sharp techniques, and Miyagi
himself emphasized that they should perform them with
full speed and power. The main stance in this kata is
zenkutsu dachi. This stance is made by slightly bending
knees with toes pointed forward. Basic form two (Fukyu-
gata Ni), is one level harder than the rst. The series of
movements and bunkai in this kata contain catching and
throwing techniques.
Seisan (Shuri-te) (Sokon Matsumura)
Kyan Chotoku learned Seisan kata from Sokon Mat-
sumura, the master of the Shuri-te branch. This kata
contains long distance techniques like rensoku tsuki geri,
which are representative of the shuri-te style. It was as-
sumed that Seisan was the rst kata taught to him by the
great master Matsumura, and due to the age dierences,
was learned by Master Kyan at a tender age. This kata still
remains as the rst major Sukunaihayashi lineage kata to
The Kata of Seibukan (Sukunaihayashi)
be taught in Seibukan. Seisan is a powerful kata, where
Fukyugata Ichi (Nagamine Shoshin) quick changes from shiko dachi to zenkutsu dachi come
Master Nagamine Shoshin originally created Fukyugata into its own as a source of power. This ancient form
Ichi. This kata is meant to be the rst basic kata prac- was a favorite of Master Zenryo Shimabukuro, and was
ticed, and contains basic movements of karate-do. Body performed by him in many exhibitions. Even at an ad-
dynamics are in basic sequence so that a beginner can vanced age, Master Zenryo Shimabukuro used this kata
easily understand them. Also basic punches and blocks to demonstrate his excellent tness.


Ananku (Kyan Chotoku) ous block and counter techniques were of primary im-
It is speculated that Kyan Chotoku developed the Ananku portance. The movements of Wanchin kata demonstrate
kata. From several sources it is claimed that Ananku many of these types of techniques, taken from Passai,
is Taiwanese in origin, and that Master Kyan brought it Seisan, Gojushiho and Kusanku.
from Taiwan to Okinawa. However, the appearance of Chinto (Tomari-te) (Kosaku Matsumora)
this kata is very Okinawan in form, movement, and tech- Chinto is one of the treasures of Seibukan. This version
nique. Many of the techniques, stances, and movements
of the kata is taught only to Seibukan family members.
are representative of existing Sukunaihayashi kata. It was favorite kata of Kyan Sensei, and is undoubtedly a
Wansu (Tomari-te) (Maeda Pechin) Sukunaihayshi kata. It is taught at a higher level of stu-
Maeda Chiku taught this Tomari-te lineage kata to dent, usually in the Nidan class. This is partly due to the
Chotoku Kyan. Wansu is rather short, but technically dif- fact that it is a very demanding kata to perform, and the
cult kata, very dierent from Seisan or Ananku. It con- bunkai is hard to master. Ancient masters of Tomari were
tains many techniques where block and counters are made very fond of close combat techniques, and you can see
simultaneously. Also Wansu contains it s trademark hard these techniques in the Chinto kata. Many of the bunkai
technique, the eective use of kataguruma (remans involve locking maneuvers, throws, all characteristic of
carry) throw. close combat type of techniques.

Passai (Tomari-te) (Oyadomari Kokan) Kusanku (Shuri-te) Yara Pechin (Yomitan)

Passai is an age-old form, and one of the oldest versions Kusanku is the longest and most dicult of Sukunai-
of this kata is Seibukan s Oyadomari Passai. Passai is of- hayashi kata. It is also the most beautiful kata of our style.
ten explained as a low light or night ghting kata, because This is a favorite of Hanshi Shimabukuro Zenpo, and
of its many sagurite (searching hand) techniques. The he freely demonstrates it at all exhibitions, seminars and
name of the kata means tobreak through the fortress. It demonstrations, always receiving admiration from the au-
might have received the name from the beginning move- dience!
ment where the defender throws a strong forward move- Tokumine No Kun (Tokumine Pechin)
ment combined with an augmented chudan-uke, meant Tokumine No Kun was the only weapon kata passed
to unbalance of attacker. After this powerful start, the on by Kyan sensei. It is assumed that it was the only
kata changes characteristics by making fast blocks and weapon kata that he had formally learned. The colorful
strikes with open hands to vulnerable points of human master, Tokumine Pechin, on the Yaeyama Islands taught
body. There are many angular movement changes, all
this kata to him. This particular version of bo (sta) kata
quickly executed and in varying degrees. In the last part is quite rare, even on Okinawa
of the kata there is combination technique where the at-
tack is avoided by ducking the opponents attacking arm, Additional Kata of Seibukan System
while simultaneously blocking the opponents other arm For many years, Master Chozo Nakama was a close friend
and striking a key point in the stomach region. By bend- to the Shimabukuro family. He was also one of the fore-
ing the body one can add extra power to the strike. This most disciples of Master Chibana Chosin, as well as hav-
technique has disappeared in many of the modern karate ing the honor to know for many years, the famous Oki-
styles version of Passai. nawan ghter, Choki Motobu. Because Nakama Sensei
Gojushiho (Shuri-te) (Matsumura Sokon) was humble, modest and an honorable master of karate,
his name did not become very well known in the modern
This kata is sometimes referred to as the drunkard form, day martial arts world. Master Zenryo Shimabukuro en-
because it contains movements where the kata performer couraged his son, Zenpo Shimabukuro, and his nephew
mocks a staggering move. As a result of this unortho- Zenji Shimabukuro, to train under one of greatest Oki-
dox and crafty technique, Gojushiho is noted for tech-
nawan martial arts sensei, Chozo Nakama. Through
niques that throw the opponent o, by surprise. This formal introduction and request, both were accepted as
makes the Gojushiho kata dierent in appearance from
students of this great master.
the other kata represented within the Sukunaihayashi sys-
tem. Notable bunkai techniques include throwing, crane The following list of kata contain the forms that were
style strikes, and attacks toward weak joint areas learned by Hanshi Zenpo Shimabukuro, and are now part
of the kata syllabus in the Seibukan system. Movements
Wanchin (Zenryo Shimabukuro) and bunkai of this kata have not been changed to t the
Wanchin is the kata of Zenryo Shimabukuro. It is built Seibukan form of techniques, and are preserved as Hanshi
from elements of other kata which sensei learned from Shimabukuro learned them from Master Nakama. This
Kyan Sensei. The Wanchin kata name is a combination of can be seen in the stances and delivery of technique.
the kanji from Wansu and Chinto. Zenryo Sensei wanted When comparing these to other of Nakama and Motobu
the name to sound Chinese, thus Wanchin in the kanji students version of the kata, you will see they are very
writing. Zenryo Sensei believed strongly that simultane- much alike.

Pinan 1-5 (Itosu no Pinan) ponent. The technique in Jion that addresses this type of
Itosu Anko, who was a sensei to schoolchildren, devel- attack is very eective in relieving oneself of a hair grab
oped this series of kata. Itosu took elements from dier- from an opponent. Some modern day systems, through
ent kata, Kusanku for example, and incorporated them in misunderstanding of this technique, or modication to
the series of forms. It is interesting to note there is men- meet current trends, have changed this unique technique
tion that elements of the old Channan kata located in the to a normal jodan uke in the bunkai explanation.
techniques of the Pinan series. In Okinawa, there are still
some teachers who say that they still know how the kata
Channan is performed, but the likelihood is that the kata 1 References
does not exist in complete form anymore. The Pinan se-
ries contains many high stances like choku dachi and nar- (Japanese)
row stances like neko ashi dachi. There exist many basic
foundation maneuvers in the Pinan kata, as well as many New Website
basic techniques, presented in an easier format than the IOSSKA (International Okinawan Seibukan Shorin-
complete traditional kata they came from. ryu Karate-do Association) Ocial International
In many mainstream Japanese styles, Pinan is known site
as Heian. Funakoshi Gichin made this name change.
His philosophy was to teach Pinan Nidan rst because he Alaska/Northwest Seibukan (USA)
felt it was an easier transition into the Pinan series. Seibukan India
Naifanchi 1-3 (Motobu no Naifanchi)
Seibukan Kerala,India
The Naifanchi (Daipochin) kata comes from the famous
Okinawan karate-ka, Choki Motobu, who is famous for seibukan Canada
his actual active testing of bunkai in real ghting situa-
Akari-ki Karate: Sukunaihayashi
tions. This sometimes happened by suspicious means,
and many a teacher would watch this kind of conduct
with disapproving eyes. It was said that Choki Motobu
knew only three kata, the Naifanchi series, Wansu, and
Passai Guwa. Motobu for the most part, was victorious
in his use of the kata bunkai. In many Shorin-ryu styles,
Naifanchi (Heishugata) acts as foundation to further kata
(Kaishugata) like Sanchin in the Goju-ryu system. Mas-
ter Tatsuo Shimabukuro, the founder of Isshin-ryu
(blend of Goju-ryu and Shorin-ryu), was quoted as
saying that, Naifanchi is mother to Shorin-ryu and
Sanchin is father to Goju-ryu. When these two come
together then Isshin-ryu is born.
In many mainstream Japanese styles, Naifanchi is
known as Tekki. Funakoshi Gichin made this name
The primary stance in this series of kata is kiba dachi,
which emphasizes the strengthening of the legs and hips.
A distinct characteristic of the kata is the technique where
the circular movement of the arms protects the head in a
block, while simultaneously setting up the opening for the
uraken. The appearance of kata can be seen as simple,
but from careful study and practice of the bunkai, it is
very rich in techniques, and is seen as an eective ghting
Jion (Itosu no Jion)
Chosin Chibana is credited with teaching this powerful
kata to Chozo Nakama. It diers from the others, be-
cause it emphasizes defenses for hair grabbing. At the
time of Chibana Sensei was living, some men used to
wear their hair in a topknot. These topknots were very
easy to grab, and an excellent way to gain control of an op-

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