Posts tagged ‘Kata’

February 13, 2015



June 3, 2011

Naifanchi / Naihanchi / Tekki Kata

Lately I’ve been spending some much-needed time practicing Naifanchi Kata. This has always been one of my favorite forms. It can be found in every major karate system in various degrees. It was Sokon Matsumura (1796-1893) who is said to have brought Naihanchi into karate. ‘Anko‘ Yasutsune Itsou (1830-1915) a student of Matsumura specialised in Naihanchi and believed that it was both, “the easiest and hardest kata to learn”.

It is my belief that Naifanchi Kata is a complete fighting/self-defense system in its own right. There is much depth in the kata that many students never understand nor take the time to master. One of the reasons is that the kata is broken down into three steps, (Shodan, Nidan & Sandan) to make learning the form much easier and I believe to hide many of the “truths” of the kata.

As I have traveled the world and practiced in many dojo, I have found that there are very few Martial Artist that practice all three parts of the form and even rarely putting the three parts together to complete the whole form. Most school & styles practice Shodan with some having learned and teach Nidan. Many of the instructors I talk to say their instructors know Sandan but they themselves haven’t learned or been taught it. And over the years I’ve only talked to a few that say they knew it was one whole kata broken down into three parts.

Each time I practice the kata, I learn more and more about it. In thinking about the techniques that are in the form, I find that it is a well-rounded form. To think that Nifanchi is a fighting system all on its own is not hard to believe nor is it all that far-fetched. It used to be said that in order to master (understand) a form, it must be practiced daily for three years. Being broken down into three parts, we find that it actually takes 9 years to master Nifanchi. I have been practicing it for over 30 years now and am still having insights to its techniques. Even after all these years, I still feel if I haven’t achieved mastery of the kata yet. (Will I ever?)

Choki Motobu (1871-1944) taught many grappling and throwing techniques all from the Nifanchi Kata and was the kata he emphasised in his teachings. If you’re interested in having highly effective close in fighting techniques, then Nifanchi is the Kata you need to study and master. Not just one part of the form either. You must seek out and learn all three aspects of the form, putting them together as a complete form and you will find great insight to how many of your techniques you will begin to understand with deeper meaning.

May 18, 2011

The Kata of Lion’s Roar Kempo Karate & Jitsu and their Origins

Lion’s Roar Kempo Karate & Jitsu Kata
White Belt, 9th Kyu:

Kihon Te Waza – Yoshukai

Ippon No Kata 1-5 – Wado Ryu

Ippon Kumite 1-3

Yellow Belt, 8th Kyu:

Kihon no Kata – KoChinDo Kempo

Ippon Kumite 4-6

Yellow Belt, 7th Kyu:

Wanshu – WadoRyu

Ippon Kumite 7-10

Green Belt, 6th Kyu:

Nifanshi Ishi – Ko Chin Do Kempo

Ippon Kumite 11-13

Green Belt, 5th Kyu:

Nifanshi Ni – Ko Chin Do Kempo

Nunchaku Kata 1

Ippon Kumite 14-16

Geen Belt, 4th Kyu:

Nifanshi San – Ko Chin Do Kempo

Nago No Kun (Bo kata)

Ippon Kumite 17-20

Brown Belt, 3rd Kyu:

Seisan – Yoshukai

Gihon Kumite 1-3

Brown Belt, 2nd Kyu:

Kusanku – Wado Ryu

Sai Kata

Gihon Kumite 4-6

Brown Belt, 1st Kyu:

Passai – Shoto Kai

Gihon Kumite 7-10


Niseishi – Wado Ryu

Tui-fa Kata


Chinto – Shoto Kai


Seipai – Shito Ryu

Kama Kata

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July 28, 2010

Free-Styling Sparing

In Lion’s Roar Kempo, we do not practice any free styling sparing until the student has reached the rank of Brown Belt. And when we do free spar, we do it full contact wearing chest protectors, Kempo gloves, boxing head gear, mouth piece and cup.

The reasons are multi fold. First, I don’t believe a student is ready to preform free sparing until he has been practicing for several years. There is no way that they can correctly preform punches & kicks with any balance, power, technique or control in less then Brown Belt level. Most sparing done at lover levels of rank look like a slap fest of who tagged who first. Its sloppy and ridiculous! On top of that, none of the students have any confidence in themselves or in the techniques they are trying to apply when free sparing.

Most importantly, the reason we don’t free spar until Brown Belt is that Lion’s Roar Kempo is a true Martial Art and not a Martial Sport. All our techniques are geared towards self-preservation/self-defense. When we train, we have the attitude of seriousness knowing that  without focus in action, by not being serious, we could hurt our training partner or get seriously hurt ourselves. When we spar it is with technique and force. It is not done as a game of tag as I see in other schools.

What we do at the lower levels of rank is train in Kata, Bunkai of Kata and, Ippon & Gihon Kumite. In Lion’s Roar Kempo we have 20 ippon kumite and 10 gihon kumite to master. These 30 techniques  will take the student to Brown Belt level. They teach, proper technique, timing, distancing, control, and the proper way to interact with a training partner, something I see lacking in many American schools/dojo.

Lion’s Roar Kempo Karate & Jitsu feels the Ultimate in Self-Discipline, Self-Control & Self-Respect.