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Saifa Kata
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Taikyoko

Jodan

Chudan

Gedan

Kihon

Gekisai

Ichi

Ni

San

Sanchin

Saifa

Seiunchin

Uke No

Tensho

Sanseiru

Shisochin

Seisan

Seipai

Suparrenpei (Petchurin)

Kururunfa

Legend

RF   right foot       North   face front from starting position
LF   left foot       East   face right from starting position
RH   right hand       South   face back from starting position
LH   left hand       West   face left from starting position

Saifa is the first classical Goju kata. The kata should be performed consistently. There is little room for individual interpretation.

One focus is definitive transitions between techniques. A second focus is the delineation between "go" and "ju". A third focus is balance, particularly in the crane position.

The first three series of techniques (break, diagonal punch, back fist strike combination) should be performed as 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Don't blur techniques.

From the ready posture facing North.

  1. RF steps 45 degrees toward NE (zen kutso dachi length), pull LF into RF, and pivot into musubi dachi facing W. This step is fluid ("ju") and slow.
    • At the same time, RH pulls into chamber closed hand, vertical.
    • At the same time, LH reaches out 45 degrees open hand and then wraps around RH as you pull LF into RF.
  2. Look N. RH punchs across body and finishes by left hip. LH continues to cover RH. This step is fast and explosive ("go").
  3. LF slides into shiko dachi (body faces W, head faces N). This step is fast and explosive ("go").
    • At the same time, LH moves in circular clockwise motion - reaching out and then pulling opponent in toward you. LH finishes in front of solar plexis (open hand, fingers pointing up).
    • At the same time, RH riken (after riken elbow is ~ 90 degrees).
      Note: LH is circling outside and RH is circling inside.
  4. LF steps 45 degrees toward NW (zen kutso dachi length), pull RF into LF, and pivot into musubi dachi facing E. This step is fluid ("ju") and slow.
    • At the same time, LH pulls into chamber closed hand, vertical.
    • At the same time, RH reaches out 45 degrees open hand and then wraps around LH as you pull RF into LF.
  5. Look N. LH punchs across body and finishes by right hip. RH continues to cover LH. This step is fast and explosive ("go").
  6. RF slides into shiko dachi (body faces E, head faces N). This step is fast and explosive ("go").
    • At the same time, RH moves in circular counterclockwise motion - reaching out and then pulling opponent in toward you. RH finishes in front of solar plexis (open hand, fingers pointing up).
    • At the same time, LH riken (after riken so elbow is ~ 90 degrees).
  7. RF steps 45 degrees toward NE (zen kutso dachi length), pull LF into RF, and pivot into musubi dachi facing W. This step is fluid ("ju") and slow.
    • At the same time, RH pulls into chamber closed hand, vertical.
    • At the same time, LH reaches out 45 degrees open hand and then wraps around RH as you pull LF into RF.
  8. Look N. RH punchs across body and finishes by left hip. LH continues to cover RH. This step is fast and explosive ("go").
  9. LF slides into shiko dachi (body faces W, head faces N). This step is fast and explosive ("go").
    • At the same time, LH moves in circular clockwise motion - reaching out and then pulling opponent in toward you. LH finishes in front of solar plexis (open hand, fingers pointing up).
    • At the same time, RH riken (after riken elbow is ~ 90 degrees).
      Note: LH is circling outside and RH is circling inside.
  10. Look E. LF slides up diagonally so LF-RF are aligned (body faces N ~ shiko dachi width). RF slides into LF and then rises into standing crane stance (RF in chamber). This is fast.
    • At the same time, LH does push up block and RH does a push down block. LH should not be viewable from behind (it is protecting center line).
      NOTE: when teaching/learning this kata, hold this position as long as possible to check balance.
  11. Look N. RF mae geri.
    • After RF pulls back into chamber, look W. RF slides right, LF slides into RF and then rises into standing crane stance (LF in chamber). This is fast.
    • At the same time, RH does push up block and LH does push down block.
  12. Look N. LF mae geri.
    • After LF pulls back into chamber, LF steps back into right zen kutso dachi stance.
    • At the same time, LH crosses under RH, reach out and grab with both hands, then pull both hands into chamber (hands closed, palm down).
    • Double punch (chest height, both hands in seiken zuki).
  13. Look down at floor (~ 5 in front of you), circle hands with LH open and RH fist and finish strike one fist above right knee (don't lean forward/down).
    Application: striking both ears of a person trying to grab your right knee.
  14. RF steps across LF, pivot into left zen kutso facing S.
    • As you complete the turn, both hands open, LH crosses under RH, reach out and grab with both hands, then pull both hands into chamber (hands closed, palm down).
    • Double punch (chest height, both hands in seiken zuki).
  15. Look down at floor (~ 5 in front of you), circle hands with RH open and LH fist and finish strike one fist above left knee (don't lean forward/down).
  16. Look N, RF sweeps as you raise RH above head. RF stomps and lands in re no ji dachi facing N (hips also face N), LH pulls into chamber, RH bottom fist strikes head.
    KIAI
    • RH grabs and pulls into body, LH shitazuki.
  17. Look S, LF sweeps as you raise LH above head. LF stomps and lands in re no ji dachi facing S (hips also face S), RH pulls into chamber, LH bottom fist strikes head.
    KIAI
    • LH grabs and pulls into body, RH shitazuki.
  18. RF steps into right sanchin dachi facing S. RH pulls into chamber and LH seiken zuki chudan.
  19. LF steps diagonally forward SW. Shift body weight onto LF, pivot on LF into right neko achi dachi facing N.
    • As LF steps diagonally, RH extends back toward NE and LH extends across body.
    • As you pivot into neko achi dachi, RH does a ridge strike, then pulls in across body ending open hand, palm down at chest level (by GKK patch). At the same time, LH pulls into left side by belt with palm up.
      There should be approximately one head between LH and RH.
    • RH does half of a mawashi uke, LH rotates in place. Double palm heel strike (LH high, RH low).
  20. Osame.

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