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Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1993, 77, 729-730.

O Perceptual and Motor Skills 1993

AN ANALYSIS O F SIDEDNESS I N TRADITIONAL


GOJU-RYU KARATE KATA '

CLIVE LAYTON AND MONO HIGAONNA


Kime Publixhing Institute of Traditional Karate

Summary.-The 684 moves of the 12 Goju-ryu kata (forms) widely practised to-
day were analysed for left-right bias. Significant right-sided bias was evident for kicks
only.

Layton (6, 7) and Layton and Arneil (8) have shown that a statistically
significant right-sided bias exists in the kata (forms) of the Shotokan and
Kyokushinkai styles. Possible reasons for this outcome in Shotokan have
been given by Layton (5, 6). The subject of such bias was deemed worthy of
further study, so an analysis of the 684 moves of the 12 Goju-ryu kata
widely practised today, Gekisai Dai Ichi, Gekisai Dai Ni, Saifa, Seiyunchin,
Shisouchin, Sanseiru, Seipai, Kururunfa, Tensho, Sanchin, Seisan, and Suparin-
pei (1, 2, 3, 4), was subsequently undertaken.
Punches of various kinds make up 12% of the total techniques of
Goju-ryu kata. Of these, 54% are performed on the left side, 46% on the
right side (x2= 0.44, ns). Double-handed punches were tallied left and right.
Strikes make up 22.8% of the total techniques of Goju-ryu kata. Of these,
46% are performed on the left side, 54% on the right side (x2= 0.72, ns).
Strikes include hammer fist, back-fist, elbow, sword-hand, and so on. Kicks
comprise 5.6% of the total techniques of Goju-ryu kata. Of these, 32% are
performed on the left side, 68% on the right side (x2= 5.16, p < . 0 5 ) Foot-
sweeps were tallied in this group but not knee-strikes, which were counted as
strikes. If we combine the above under the broad heading of counter-offen-
sive techniques, we find that 46% are performed on the left side and 54%
on the right side (x2= 1.45, ns).
Blocks make up 59.6% of the total techniques of Goju-ryu kata. Of
these, 51% are performed on the left side, 47% on the right side (x2= 0.25,
ns). Double-handed blocks were tallied left and right. Only the immediate
blocking arm of the small number of augmented blocks was counted. Guards
and clasps were not included in the analysis. When we analyse all the tech-
niques of the Goju-ryu kata widely practised today, we find that 49% are
performed on the left side and 51% on the right side ( X 2= 0.15, ns).
The Goju-ryu kata then, with the exception of the right-sided bias in

'Address requests for reprints to Dr. C. Layton, c/o Kime Publish~ng,PO Box 1, Hunstanton,
Norfolk PE36 5JY, England. Correspondence may also be addressed to Master Morio Higaonna,
Institute of Traditional Karate, International Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do Federation, 1551 W.
Mission Road, Suite A, San Marcos, California 92069, USA.
C. LAYTON & M. HIGAONNA

the relatively small number of kicks, do not show significant counter-offen-


sive and over-all right-sided bias of technique as do the techniques of
Shotokan and Kyokushinkai kata. Master Chojin Miyagi, who assimilated
and devised the Goju-ryu kata, appears then to have opted for balance of
technique. Such action may have been the wisest course to have adopted,
but the field is open for rich and esoteric debate.
REFERENCES
1. HIGAONNA, M. Traditional Karate-do: Okinawa Goju-ryu: Vol. 1. Fundamental techniques.
Tokyo: Minato, 1985.
2. HIGAONNA, M. Traditional Karate-do: Okinawa Goju-ryu: Vol. 2 . Performances of the kata.
Tokyo: Minato, 1986.
3. HIGAONNA, M. Traditional Karate-do: Okinawa Goju-ryu: Vol. 3. Applications o/ the k a b .
Tokyo: Minato, 1989.
4. HIGAONNA, M. Traditional Karate-do: Okinawa Goju-ryu: Vol. 4. Applications of the kata-
Part 2. Tokyo: Minato, 1990.
5. LAYTON, C. Incidence of left- to right-handedness in British Shotokan karate masters. Per-
ceptual and Motor Skills, 1993, 76, 969-970.
6. LAYTON, C . Right-sided bias in Shotokan karate kata. Traditional Karate, 1993, 6, 11, 39-44.
7. LAYTON, C . Sidedness in Shotokan karate kata. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1993, 76, 2 4 2 .
8 . LAYTON, C., & ARNEIL,S. Right-sided bias in traditional K y o k u s M t a i karate kata. Percep-
tual and Motor Skills, 1993, 77, 514.

Accepted July 28, 1993.