Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Seiyunchin Origins

Miyagi Chojun teaching Seiyunchin 
As with most Gojuryu history, the origins of Seiyunchin are hazy at best, though it seems the kata has long been known and practiced in Okinawa. It is pronounced in different ways depending on the various schools, including Seiyunchin, Seiunchin, and Seienchin. The former pronunciation was the one I heard most at Yoyogi Ryushinkan, though not the only one. 

Moreover, different kanji can be used, so it is often written phonetically in the katakana script as セイユンチン. The most common characters used by Okinawan masters such as Eiichi Miyazato and Morio Higaonna are 制引戦, meaning "control pull fight.” These seem appropriate given the throwing and grappling techniques found in the kata, as well as Miyazato Sensei's Judo background.* Another set of kanji is 征遠鎮 and pronounced Seienchin, more commonly used in Shitoryu. This loosely translates as “attack far suppress.” More information on the history of this kata can be found here
* See next post for further clarification on the kanji used in Gojuryu for this kata.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Renshukai Update

Members of Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan continue to train together as "Renshukai" at the refurbished Shinjuku Sports Center in Takadanobaba on Monday and Friday evenings. Aragaki Kancho regularly instructs during the Monday sessions, with the focus on kata, especially Sanchin.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Ryushinkan Seiyunchin Kata

On the tatami again - and with too much motion of the head in the opening stages. Watching videos of one's own kata performances provides valuable insight into the many areas that can be improved, especially posture and other bad habits which are not visible in a mirror.  

Friday, 9 December 2016


Seiyunchin (制引戦) is the first "black belt kata" and has many unique and interesting aspects. There are no kicks; only hand techniques are used, such as back fist and elbow strikes. There are techniques to unbalance, such as leg sweeps, throws and close-quarter strikes.
The shikodachi stance is employed throughout, moving both diagonally and in straight lines. 
The kanji characters used above mean respectively 'control,' 'pull' and 'fight,' and this is clearly seen in the opening, which begins slowly in a series of solid stances, drawing the opponent in and pulling down, before exploding into rapid strikes.