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Seiunchin 制引戦

     This kata seems to have been brought to Okinawa by Higaonna Kanryo, who is said to have learned it under the master Ruru Ko, or perhaps under Wai Xinxian, who is said to have taught at the old Kojo dojo at Fuzhou City in Fujian Province. Recent research has indicated that Ruru Ko was actually Xie Zhongxiang, founder of Whooping Crane boxing, but this kata is not included within that style, thus hinting that Higaonna had either learned it elsewhere, or else developed it himself. However, here we run into a problem, as Nakaima Norisato (founder of Ryueiryu) is also said to have learned this kata under Ruru Ko. Another theory is that Miyagi may have been responsible for creating this form or introducing it from other sources.

The word Seiunchin is written as "Control, Pull, Fight" by many Okinawa Gojuryu stylists, as well as Isshinryu teacher Uezu Angi (son in law of Shimabuku Tatsuo), perhaps hinting at the various grappling and grabbing techniques contained within. A good example is the "reinforced block" which can actually be applied as a wrist-crushing joint lock (Tokashiki, 1995), and the "archers block" which can be used as a throw (Higaonna, 1981; Kai, 1987).

Otsuka Tadahiko, a Gojuryu teacher who has spent considerable time in China and Taiwan researching the roots of his system, tells us that his research indicates Seiunchin may mean "Follow-Move-Power" which would be pronounced Sui Yun Jin in Mandarin Chinese (Otsuka, 1998). Kinjo Akio says that his research has revealed to him that Seiunchin may be from a Hawk style of Chinese boxing, and mean "Blue-Hawk-Fight" which is pronounced Qing Ying Zhan in Mandarin, or Chai In Chin in Fujian dialect (Kinjo, 1999).

This kata is preserved in many modern styles of karatedo, including Gojuryu, Shitoryu, Isshinryu, Shoreiryu, Kyokushin, Shimabuku Eizo lineage Shorinryu, Ryueiryu, etc.

*from The Kata of Okinawa Isshinryu Karate-do: An Informal Discussion on their Possible Origins by Joe Swift


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