Naihanchi (ナイハンチ) Kata, performed in straddle stance (naihanchi-dachi). The name has many proposed meanings. The kata is the core of the Shorin Ryu system. The naihanchi posture and technique is essential throughout the many other Shorin Ryu kata. This kata is equivalent of Sanchin in other systems where a scientific testing and conditioning procedure exists to optimize a practitioners mind and body. Some researchers believe Nidan and Sandan were created by Anko Itosu, but others believe that it was originally one kata broken into three separate parts. There are many modern derivatives of this kata.


There is an excellent resource on Naihanchi Kata, available in three volumes, written by Chris Denwood who also studied under Arakaki Isamu sensei. It is an essential read for anyone serious about understanding this kata.

Buy Here "The Seed of Shuri Karate"


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The chart below gives a quick visual overview of all the techniques required for the kata. The numbers represent the occurrence and also indicate the overall complexity.

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