May 20, 2024

Translated by Jean-Charles Juster.

The penumbra strike, kasumi uchi, corresponds to the technique called “ haishu uchi back of the hand strike ” in modern karate . In Motobu kenpô, we interpret the first movement placed after the kôsa dachi position of the Naihanchi kata as this strike of darkness.

In the photograph above, Motobu Chôki can be seen teaching this technique to women, as a breakdown of Naihanchi. In the Naihanchi of Itosu Ankô, instead of the back of the hand, or uses its internal face, to parry in haitô uke , but Motobu Chôki and Yabu Kentsû used the penumbra strike in this kata.

It is often said “karate katas all start with a parry”, but in classic Naihanchi, we start with an attack. Or at least that’s what some had interpreted.

In recent times, research in classical karate has become flourishing, and it is less and less rare to read the statement that “kata defenses are attacks.” However, I think the basis for this argument comes from quotes from Motobu Chôki books or texts reporting his words.

Was this strike from the twilight kasumi uchi specific to Motobu Chôki? In fact, in the Motobu Udun dii of Motobu Chôyû, this technique is also used.

Therefore, for the Chôyû and Chôki brothers at least, the penumbra strike was not a rare technique. Wasn’t it perhaps a common technique to some extent in classical tii and karate ?

The original article was published on April 4, 2020 on the Ameba blog.

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Motobu Ryu
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