Yui Shin Kai Kata

Translated as form kata embodies the strengths and skills from Kihon and builds the combination and understanding of Bunkai translated as analysis of movement and its meaning. It makes you aware of its purpose and why the movement is necessary within the kata. Its Embu-Sen or kata line is traditionally 90 degree and 45 degree angles.

Shuri KataTomari KataNaha KataAragaki Kata
Pinan NidanJitteSanchinNiseishi
Pinan ShodanJiinTenshoSochin
Pinan SandanJionSeienchinUnsu
Pinan YondanSaifa
Pinan GodanRohai ShodanSeipai
Naihanchi ShodanRohai NidanSeisan
Naihanchi NidanRohai SandanShisochin
Naihanchi SandanSanseiru
Koshiki NaihanchiItosu no WanshuKururunfa
Kushanko DaiChinteSuparinpei
Kushanko Sho
Passai Dai
Passai Sho
Shoto no Wanshu

The Yuishin Kai kata syllabus is extensive and the main influence is from Yasuhiro Konishi who studied with Gichin Funakoshi and Kenwa Mabuni. Covering Shuri, Naha, Tomari and Aragaki the kata represent a significant element of the training. The journey starts with Pinan followed by Naihanchi, Kushanku and Passai whereupon Sanchin is introduced to Shodan. From here the training embodies more the Naha training with Tensho and Seienchin and the practice of Tomari kata in Jitte and Jion. This gradual immersion into the 4 styles of kata gives the student a strong feeling of the affinities whilst highlighting the Tokui necessary to understanding the special points and differences.

Matsumura PassaiChatanyara no KushankuWankan
Tawata no PassaiUehara no KoshokunSeiryu
Sakuma no PassaiChibana no KoshokunShinpa
Shoto no Passai DaiShiho KushankuAnanko
Shoto no Passai ShoWansu
Koshiki no PassaiMatsumura no RohaiUechi no Seisan
Kyan no PassaiMotobu NaihanchinSeiru
Ishimine no PassaiKyan ChintoOshiro no Seisan
Oyatomari no PassaiMatsumura Seisan
Motobu no PassaiTaisabaki 1/2/3
Matsumura (Tomari) no PassaiTaikyoku 1/2/3

Bunkai is taught firstly as individual techniques followed by the assimilation of combinations. Initially as separate aspects of the kata with one opponent it is then undertake in combination (Randori). This gives flow to power, movement to technique and distance to execution. This is then followed by multiple opponents attacking, making critical, timing, the use of space, position and awareness (Zanshin). Strategy (Heiho) is key as well as the ability to control the rhythm and timing of your opponents.

It is important to remember that each grade provides a strong direction for the student to take. It is not sufficient just to say more kata and quicker or more pair work! For Shodan a student must have strong techniques and show these clearly. For Nidan the student must show the ability to understand and show combination and for Sandan a student must show his face. It is not acceptable to look in the mirror and always see the teacher, as a student of Bujutsu one must become oneself. This philosophy is espoused through all the grades, building the understanding.
I have listed the most common kata broken down into the styles. Many of the kata have more than one name due to style identity and character interpretation.

  • Pinan – also called Heian and taught often in a different order. Some styles start with Pinan (Heian) Nidan first and others with Shodan first. Nidan is translated as two and Shodan one, so the approach has some merit.
  • Naihanchi – also called Naihanchin from the style and Tekki commonly used in Nihon Karate Kyokai (Shotokan) and named by Gichin Funakoshi.
  • Kushanku – also called Kanku and Kosoken/Koshokun
  • Passai – also known as Bassai
  • Shoto Wanshu – also known as Empi
  • Chinto – also known as Gankaku
  • Seisan – also known as Hangetsu
  • Jitte – also known as Jutte

The Yui Shin Kai Karate system was developed around four main influences:

  • Seiko Fujita (1898-1966)
    Koga Ninjitsu
  • Yasuhiro Konishi (1893- 1982)
    Ryobu Kai Karate Jutsu
  • Shinken Taira (1898-1970)
    Ryukyu Kobujutsu
  • Gozo Shioda (1915- 1994)
    Ueshiba Akido.

The style is unique in that it still retains all the traditional qualities of Bujutsu where everything including Jujitsu and Shuriken Justu were taught to the students. This is in contrast to the segregated teachings found commonly today where you have to attend different dojo to acquire different skills.

The system follows strongly the three principles of Japanese Bujutsu;

Kihon, Kata and Kumite