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Oklahoma Visit - 2001
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Notes from Tulsa, Oklahoma 2001 (by Vic Lim)


·         Yoku-uke

Ø       Elbow should be bent 90 degrees through the block

Ø       At the end of the block, the elbow comes in (grabbing application)

·         Chamber hand position

Ø       The striking portion of the hand is parallel to floor.  Thus, the knuckles, back of hand, and outside forearm is parallel to floor.

·         Parallel stance (heiko dachi)

Ø       The outside of the feet should be parallel (not the inside). Thus the heels need to be slightly pointed outward.

·         Sanchin dachi

Ø       Length - Toe should be between heel and middle of other foot

Ø       Width – outside of shoulders should be aligned around middle of foot (shoulder width)

Ø       Front foot is pointed in

Ø       The key is hips squared forward, body weight centered left-right

Ø       Feet should be same width apart as zenkutso dachi

Ø       Feet as wide apart as possible (for stability) while still being able to protect groin.

·         Shiko dachi

Ø       Lower leg should be vertical, perpendicular to floor


·         The healing points are the same as the striking pressure points.  Be  careful when you practice, each time someone is knocked out, there is permanent damage.

·         Six meridians – three front (one center, one on each side) and three back.

·         The target area in kata for most strikes are pressure points.

Ø       Think about the hike te – often it is grabbing and pulling attacker in.

·         When thinking about application, think about how the same technique has different application if attacker is striking with right versus left.

·         Combining pressure points simultaneously or sequentially amplifies the effect.

·         What looks nonchalant in a kata is often a very effective and dangerous technique(s).

Gekisai #1 and #2

·         Use Gekisai to test stances for more advanced katas

·         Indivdual tendencies tend to show up in Gekisai, even though it is a simple kata. It exercises all the stances.  Use Gekisa to test stances.

·         Before mae geri, knee is higher than kick

·         Gekisai #2

Ø       The finishing nekoashi dachi should be low, minimal weight on front foot.

Ø       Even though nekoashi dachi is not used much in sparring/fighting, it demonstrates in the kata your profiency in stances

·         Stepping/blocking - For beginners, break down steps into sub-steps

Ø       Look

Ø       Step out

Ø       Pivot into stance

Ø       Block/punch

Ø       As you get  more comfortable, do above at the same time


·         Mai geri, empi, hidden punch sequence

Ø       One application is to elbow attacker’s right chest and land to the left of the attacker (outside), hidden punch hits attacker right ribs.  Kensetsu geri is to attacker’s outside right knee (outside-in) forcing it down.

Ø       Second application is to elbow attacker’s left chest and land directly in front of attacker.  Hidden punch hits attacker’s solar plexus. Kensetsu geri is to attacker’s inside left knee (inside-out) breaking it.  More devestating.

Ø       Another application is to try and kick back knee to break.

·         Before the kensetsu geri, raise knee up to just below hidden punch before kicking.  The combination of R elbow, L hidden punch, and R raised knee (going down to shin) is a GoJu blocking technique.

·         Sweeping take down

Ø       RH is sweeping/grabbin below attacker’s right knee, LH is pushing knee in opposite direction as the take down.

Ø       Zen kutsu dachi stance should not be taught too low.  Slightly lower than normal zen kutso dachi.  As you are performing kata, you can go lower if you want to emphasize the take down.

·         First three steps, slow strong exhale (strike), strong inhale (block), short strong exhale (as the hand finishes block).

·         After kensetsu geri, plant foot in correct position to coil hips, turn and uncoil hips.


·         Keep elbow in place during wrist strikes/blocks.


·         In today’s kata, there is a fixed number of steps and you can pace yourself to expend maximum energy.

Ø       In the old days, the number of steps was determined by the instructor.  The student didn’t know how to pace themselve’s.  The advantage was the student dug down deeper to find energy.  The disadvantage was sometimes the student let up because they didn’t know when the end was going to be and how to pace.

·         Breathing for Sanchin (and in general) should be very low (abdominal).

·         During Sanchin testing, the intent is to just test whether the right muscles are tight.  It is not to hit someone hard.

·         The back should be slightly curved forward.  It is not arched and is not straight up-down.


·         For teaching, in the first three steps after the double-hand block down, the hand blocking forward/up should be similar to ura uke (sideward blocking motion).   This is the original way of doing the kata.

Ø       As an individual, you can make the block more vertical like a scooping block.  This is a later version of the kata.

·         On the first three steps, when the hands raise up together, the back of the hands should form a “V”.  Make sure thumbs are folded in.

Ø       A bunkai application is finger tips to both carotids (block knee and quickly strike carotids – hands are apart).

·         On the first three steps, the application of moving both hands together is to block a knee.

·         After the first three moves, the next step is to bring both hands in (RH closed fist on top), RF step groin kick backwards.  When you do it by numbers, stop here to ensure balance.

Ø       One application is attacker grabs right arm, you rotate your own RH and trap attacker’s hand with your LH.

·         On stepping backwards into nekoachi dachi (double elbow strike), the second one in the sequence, the back foot steps back into zenkutso dachi, then pull the front foot back into nekoachi dachi.

·         As you get more advanced, focus energy on finger tips, not on major muscles.

·         Cadence

Ø       First three steps are slow (like sanchin)

Ø       Step back is fast, step forward is fast

Ø       Step into re no ji dachi is medium

Ø       Step into shiko dachi and back is fast

Ø       Archer blocks are slow with tension

Ø       Explode into horizontal strike


·         Cadence

Ø       First three steps slow like sanchin

Ø       Step back is fast

Ø       Step forward is fast

Ø       Mai geri is fast

Ø       Kensetsu geri is fast


·         On the first three steps, as the hand retracts into blocking position, audibly inhale and audibly inhale.

·         After the three strikes, the scoop up is in front (elbows stay bent about 90 degrees)

·         After the four pushes, the next step steps into sanchin dachi kake uke.  AS SOON AS the block finishes, immediately mae geri / elbow / block.  Don’t pause/halt after kake uke. Pause after mae geri.

·         For Vic, at the finish, RH ura uke (not straight vertical scoop).

·         Cadence

Ø       First three steps slow like sanchin

Ø       Scoop is slow and deliberate

Ø       Double block down is fast

Ø       Step slowly forward into wide heiko dachi (weight mostly on front foot) – LF toe and RF heel is on same E-W line.

Ø       Medium speed block, rapid arm break

Ø       Step slowly forward into wide heiko dachi (weight mostly on front foot) – RF toe and LF heel is on same E-W line.

Ø       Medium speed block, rapid arm break

Ø       Feet together at 45 degrees (pause), Rapid twist with power.

Ø       Quick step out and turn, slow push out (lower hand by hip as if striking backwards)

Ø       After kake uke finishes, immediately kick (don’t pause)


·         First motion, one application is using the first two fingers to grab/dig under the collar bone.

·         During the elbow strike/break (Step #5), the right elbow can go above shoulder momentarily, but it must finish shoulder height, parallel to floor.

·         During the arm break (step 10), the right fist is out in front about a foot in front of LH.

·         Cadence

Ø       First step slow.

Ø       Second and third step is slow.

Ø       Shiko dachi arm break is fast.

Ø       Step into wide heiko dachi is slow.

Ø       Fast ura uke, fast shuto, fast mae geri, fast empi, fast riken.

Ø       Slow neko achi dachi (BILL:  keep LF planted, pull RF into neko achi dachi)

Ø       Slow yoko uke, slow grab

Ø       Fast turn and arm break, pause

Ø       Fast turn and groin strike, pause

Ø       Medium smooth slide into re no ji dachi

Ø       Medium deliberate into shiko dachi

Ø       Fast, powerful, strong kiai stike

Ø       Fast step back into shiko dachi, pause.

Ø       After yoku uke and furi uchi in cross-over step, pivot smoothly and do kake uke slowly.

Ø       Fast down block/strike, fast riken, fast yoku uke, fast mai geri, fast shita zuki.

Ø       Medium step into neko achi dachi (eyes straight forward)

Ø       Fast step back into neko achi dachi, fast turn of hands (keep hands out about a foot in front of body)

Ø       Fast strike above knee (eyes looking down)


·         First three steps have three alternative ways of breathing

Ø       Pull into chamber and inhale, punch and exhale, retract into no kamae and inhale/exhale (like sanseiru and shisoshin and sanchin).

Ø       Pull into chamber and inhale, punch without breathing (hold), retract into no kamae and exhale

Ø       Pull into chamber and inhale, punch and exhale, retract into no kamae and exhale

·         The next strike (LH open, RH shuto striking LH), the elbows should be bent 90 degrees.

·         The three jodan nukite start and end with RH (note the book starts and ends with LH).

·         After knuckle strike, no finger scissors.

·         On downward elbow strike at end, the application is:

Ø       LH blocks and grabs

Ø       RH Upper cut to chin

Ø       RH Riken to nose

Ø       LH pulls attacker in and down, right elbow downward strike to back of attacker’s neck


·         On first two steps, for the kensetsu geri, raise the front knee to just under the hand to block with knee/shin

·         On the ura kake uke, the blocking hand should have the wrist bent so palm is almost flat up.  When you make fist for the next step the wrist straightens out.

·         On the 180 degree turns (with ura uke), whichever foot is in front before the turn is still in front after the turn.

·         Step so feet are in shiko dachi position but knees are only slightly bent (both hands palm down).

Ø       Extend arms and go down into shiko dachi

Ø       Stay in shiko dachi for next moves

·         Bunkai nage application for x-block down to squatting position

Ø       X-block attacker RH punch.  Grab attacker’s RH

Ø       Step toward attacker’s left side and pivot clockwise pulling attacker’s right arm

Ø       Step back behind attacker and sink (attacker’s right arm is being pulled behind attacker’s left side)

·         Bunkai application for stepping into zenkutsu dachi

Ø       Strike to groin

Ø       Blocking ???

Kata Naming

·         Suparanpei literal translation is 108

Ø       In Chinese/Japanese philosophy, 108 is the maximum number of evil spirits.

Ø       On December 31, temples strike the gongs 108 times to dispel all of the evil spirits.

Ø       Thus, 108 meant the “LAST” kata.

·         Seiunchin literal translation is 36

Ø       In Chinese/Japanese philosophy, the number 36 means “many”. 

Ø       Thus, when people talk about “36 families” moving from China to Okinawa, it means “many families moved.  It could be twenty, or forty, or some other number.  It means “many”.

·         Ichi means one or an individual

·         Ni means two or “opposites” (top/down, front/back)

·         San means like heaven/hell/earth or One/two/other

·         Shi means “death”

·         Go means five prophets

·         Ju means five plus one  


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