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FOUR ADDITIONAL KATA

Master Hirokazu Kanazawa explains why four Kata from other styles are integrated into the SKIF curriculum:

"I added the four kata (Seienchin, Seipai, Gankaku-sho and Nijuhachiho) to give SKIF more history, and for technical reasons. For example, Seienchin is from Shito-ryu and Seipai is from Goju¬ryu. These two kata include the shiko-dachi (square stance), which we don't have in our 26 Shotokan kata. In the Shotokan kata, we have kiba-dachi but not shiko-dachi. But both stances are very important and complement each other. Kiba-dachi is very strong but rigid. It is like a house make of bricks and cement. Shiko-dachi is also strong but a little more flexible. lt is like a house made of wood. lt is also the stance used by Sumo wrestlers. For older people, who have knee problems, shiko-dachi can be easier and better for them. Kiba-dachi is very good for younger people and people with strong knees. These kata have different timing and a different meaning or philosophy from out other Shotokan kata, so this helps Shotokan people learn more and have a broader understanding of karate-do.

"Both Gankaku-sho and Nijuhachiho are very old kata, so included them in the SKIF system partly for history and partly for their techniques. For example, Gankaku-sho is the old version of out Shotokan Gankaku kata. So it gives us this history. But it also includes many different stances, and it is very good for stance training and for changing from one stance to another. This is very important for more advanced students. Likewise, Nijuhachiho is a very original kata. lt gives us history and also many different techniques that we do not have in out 26 Shotokan kata.

"Both are from the crane style, which was mostly practiced in the village of Tomari in Okinawa. So they are sometimes called Tomarite kata. The Shito-ryu style largely originated from there.
Whereas, the Goju-ryu style largely originated from the village of Naha in Okinawa. Shotokan, however, is mostly from Shorin-ryu.

"I learned Nijuhachiho and Gankaku-sho from Master Inoue ("Inoway") who lived in the countryside of Japan near Gifu. He did not teach other people but he practiced a very original style of karate-do and I had a friend who knew him. He just wanted to keep his karate for his own practice. But through my friend I asked him if he would teach me. At first he said no but when my friend said my name he agreed. But he said he would only teach me the kata three times. If I did not learn it by then he would not teach anymore. Fortunately, I learned the kata. After he taught me, I found out that he had not even taught Nijuhachiho to his own son, so I felt very lucky. I think his son became upset and maybe later he taught the kata to his son. I have not seen him in several years and I am not sure if he is still alive."

kanazawa seienchin kata