said to learn all of the kata but master one and keep
a few other techniques for fighting. Not the same as
many think and the one thing I have been harping on.
In a actual life and death situation, only the simplest
tried and true techniques you are very familiar and
have fine tuned will have any success in working.
The dojo is the laboratory where we can experiment and
create different dojo bunkai. We can create a
unlimited amount of techniques in a environment that
is suited for the dojo or seminars, but for combat and
in all reality, less is better. Dream, create and practice
other bunkai but have a core foundation of kihon that
you are comfortable with,
Motobu is a prime example practicing mainly naihanchi
shodan kata. Shimabuku always emphasized that it is
not the number of kata but how well we knew a kata.
We should all teach and learn all the kata and if one
is trying to be an instructor it is mandatory you learn
It is a well know fact that Chinto and Kusanku were
Kyan’s favorite kata. Both these kata are suited for
a small person who can use the double flying kicks and
open hand techniques which requires speed and flexibility.
Shimabuku always talked about Kyan practicing Chinto
kata on a bridge near his home.
As already stated each kata emphasizes different techniques
better suited to different people. Each kata has its
advantages. Remember what Nolan Webb said when he earlier
this year visited with Tokumura on Okinawa. he said
Tokumura said Seiunchin kata had everything in it for
self defense. In other words, this is probably Tokumura’s
main fighting kata. He has probably geared himself along
with a few other basic techniques to use the various
techniques found in seiunchin kata along with its strategy
It is interesting that my Hindiandi instructor mainly
taught me one kata with only a few techniques yet it
is a formidable kata that is easy to use in a combat
situation. Something like naihanchi and the way Motobu
used the short kata.
If we look at the past history of kata, you will find
that a kata was a fighting system or style in itself
and was most likely created using techniques that its
creator used successfully in actual encounters. Latter
the different masters started training with different
teachers and learned other kata.
Today there are styles that have 50 or more kata yet
if we look at Uechi-ryu originally they had only three
kata. Today most would be bored practicing only kihon
and one or two kata but in the past, this was norm.
People who understand will not practice 100 different
techniques if they know they will really have to use
it soon. They will practice only the techniques that
they are comfortable with that are suited for there
Since most of us will never have to use our skills if
we follow our training to avoid conflict, it is good
to learn and practice all our empty hand and kobudo
kata. Variety is good and keeps us from getting bored.
Looking for hidden techniques is good but in all reality,
nothing is better then block him and clock him, for
it is the tried and true method passed down under the
majority of Okinawan martial arts and they call it karate.
As Shimabuku stated, Teach all kata but the most important
is master one kata, along with a few other techniques.
Because a dragon hides in the clouds, we must remember,
If every cloud had a hidden dragon, all they would do
is get in the way. So sometimes seeing only the blue
sky is good. Translation, KISS.