Entrance to the Barn Dojo....

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Seiunchin "uke" in pictures

Reversing the grab to use an arm-bar.

First Seiunchin entry or receiving technique against a wrist grab.

Trapping the hand to escape a grab.

Second Seiunchin entry or receiving technique against a wrist grab.

Dropping back to avoid the push
and control the arm.

Third Seiunchin entry or receiving technique against a two-handed push.

Side-stepping to block a push
and attacking at the same time.

Fourth Seiunchin entry or receiving technique against a two-handed push.

I mentioned in a much older post that Goju kata are composed of combinations or sequences that teach not only the bunkai (or imi-wa) of individual techniques but also the principles of the system. But in order to see any of this, you have to start with the "uke" techniques or the entry techniques. This, I think, may be what was meant by the saying: "Karate Ni Sente Nashi" (There is no first attack in karate). In other words, karate is a system of self-defense and does not initiate a violent or aggressive encounter. But it would also seem to go further than this--that is, the idea seems to be reflected in the techniques of kata. Each sequence or combination of techniques begins with an "uke" or receiving technique, regardless of which of the classical kata you are considering. From there it is easier to understand the "controlling" or bridging techniques, and finally the "finishing" techniques in kata, and in turn the structure of kata. There are, of course, some who dismiss this view of kata, and there are certainly many more who make their names and reputations on finding hundreds of applications for each subtle movement, an infinite variety of techniques or levels of bunkai, if you will. But one should always approach things with an open mind. So here are the five entry techniques of Seiunchin kata. 

Tying up the arms to escape a grab.

Fifth Seiunchin entry or receiving technique against a wrist grab.


  1. Sensei,
    Hope all is well. Question for you...
    During one of our training sessions you taught the meaning of what appears to be 2 elbows in Seiunchin. For some reason I have not been able to generate the leverage on the elbow as we did before. All the other techniques seem to work out great, I never anticipated having trouble with this one especially since its so straight forward...
    maybe it's time to convert the Blog into a Vlog :)
    All the best,

  2. Hi Cris,
    Yeah, if I could ever figure out how to do all of those high tech things. But then I'd be giving it away to people I don't know. Not sure how I feel about that. The two elbows in Seiunchin? You referred to it as an arm lock--a good enough name. Try to work it off someone grabbing your right punch with their right hand. But you also have to do the techniques in the kata the way that Shodokan does these techniques. Different schools do different things, but everything I'm doing is based on Shodokan kata movement.


  3. I thought it was off a cross body grab...I'll try it of the punch. Now in thinking them grabbing seems to give A better angle and proper leverage along with a more realistic scenario. I'll get to work and make tape. Thanks

  4. Cris,
    An additional note: You should be able to work it off the grab as well. I just think the block or grab of a punch is a bit more realistic. Angle are important, as is the step, and how the feet/step is shown in kata may be a bit confusing.