Featured Kata

Naihanchi / Naifanchi (Video’s are below) .

About / History: It is speculated by some that the kata Naihanchi (Naifanchi, Naifanchin, Naihanchin) is derived from a Chinese Tam Tui (Northern Mantis) form called Dai-Po-Chin (Dai-Fan-Chie in Cantonese, and Da-Fan-Che in Mandarin). Some say this means “whirlwind” because of arm movements in it, while other say it means “Big Chariot.” There is another similar form in some Mantis styles called Xiao-Fan-Che, or “Little Chariot.” They are said to be part of the Chariot (Fan-Che) set from the Shaolin temple. Tradition has it that the “Dafanche” was part of sixteen sequences systemized by Shaolin Monks at the prime of Shaolin history, and that it was later perpetuated into the Northern Mantis style. If Naihanchi is not derived from it, it is at least similar to it. But the similarities in the name and in the form are a little hard to overlook. One report of how the kata got to Okinawa is through the Chinese master Ason. The story goes that Ason was one of the first Chinese teachers in Kumemura, and built up his style on the base of the original Naihanchi Kata, which apparently he brought from China. His students were Sakiyama, Tomigusuku, Gushi, Nagahama and Tomoyose. But the style ended with Tomigusuku and was not passed on. The report alleges that only the Naihanchi kata was passed on into the Naha te, from where Matsumura and Itosu got it. Some believe that Matsumura was a pupil of Ason, but other reports claim that Ason came to Okinawa too early on for that to be true. Whatever the case, somehow the kata got from Ason to Matsumura, directly, or through other masters. Then again, did Matsumura get it from China, directly from Shaolin? It is not out of the question to suppose that this kata was perpetuated in Shaolin as well as the Mantis style.

Some claim that Bushi Matsumura created both Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan, apparently from a pre-existing kata, perhaps the one he recieved through the Naha-te line if that story is true. Some believe either Itosu or Choki Motobu created Naihanchi Sandan. Some say that Itosu created all three of them, and that Matsumura had nothing to do with the first two at all. However, Nabi Matsumura taught Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan, but he never studied under Itosu.


Koryu Naihanchi Kata by Katsuyuki Shimabukuro Sensei: Katsuyuki Shimabukuro Sensei, was a student of Higa Yuchoku who was a student of Chibana Sensei


Koryu Naihanchi Shodan; Bushi-te Koryu Naifanchi by Yoshizawa Sensei Yoshizawa Sensei told me that Modern Japanese martial arts is a great sports martial arts. But only the front part of the body is attacked. People’s vital points are also in the back of the head and back. Koryu Naifanchi firmly protects the backside.


Koryu Naifanchi Shodan: This old version of the Naifanchi Shodan is taught by the Genseiryu Karate-do Federation. This Koryu version was taught by Seiken Shukumine (1925–2001).