Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Postures of Isshin-ryu Karate

This is an article originally written by me in 2006 and was published on the internet site Wholehearted News, revised 2012. - Joey

Isshin-ryu Karate No Kamae
"The Postures of Isshin-ryu Karate"

“Perhaps the most essential single element of physical form, as one aspect of classical disciplines, is kamae, or combative engagement posture.”
- Donn F. Draeger, Author of Classical Budo

Within the Isshin-ryu system are a wide variety of postures, positions and stances that are intended to facilitate concepts ranging from the understanding of body mechanics to offering symbolic gestures.  The kamae are an integral element of the kihon, kata and kumite of Isshin-ryu, and one posture in particular, played a part in the creation of the system.  Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei, the creator of Isshin-ryu Karate-Do, used a kamae from his kata, Sunsu, as an influence for the style's symbol, the “Isshin-ryu no Megami."[a]
Kaneshi Eiko Sensei (one of Tatsuo Sensei’s most senior students and present during Isshin-ryu’s creation) said, “Shimabuku made Sunsu with ken (sword) and Megami together." This statement meant that the picture of the Isshin-ryu no Megami (Goddess of Isshin-ryu) holding her right hand in a closed fist and left open hand was influenced by the kamae found in Sunsu kata.  The Sword in Buddhism represents both knowledge and wisdom which has the capacity to cut through ignorance, delusion and attack evil.  This alone shows us the importance of kamae not only for its self-defense postures, but also for its symbolism. Therefore, kamae should be studied and understood by those training Isshin-ryu.

"Without determination man is an untempered sword." ~ Confucius

I’ve heard of, and witnessed, some sensei teaching that kamae are useless in actual self defense situations, however, this can not be further from the the truth. Postures are used in all situations, physically, mentally and spiritually. Motobu Choki Sensei, Shimabuku’s fourth karate teacher, said  “Kamae is in the heart, not a physical manifestation."[b]   This is the true essence of not only kamae, but Isshin-ryu Karate-Do as a whole.  Since some postures are very inconspicuous, some practitioners of Isshin-ryu may not be aware to the depth of their importance. In this article I will cover some of the kamae taught, and explain their purpose, and hopefully inspire the study of kamae from those that may not have previously explored the deeper meaning of kamae in kihon, kata and kumite.

Kihon No Kamae
The postures used when practicing Kihon (Upper and Lower Body Exercises) in Shimabuku’s Agena Dojo, were either fists held on the hips (posting), or held in the front.  One of the foremost authorities of Isshin-ryu Karate, and my main source of information for this article, Arsenio Advincula Sensei, teaches both positions but emphasizes posting on the hips when practicing Ashi No Bu (Lower Exercises) and Te No Bu (Upper Exercises). The reason being is that posting on the hips aids the new student to punch from the proper position taught in Isshin-ryu.  However, when practicing other drills, for example “Tatsuo’s Kumite” (45 Techniques taught by Shimabuku Sensei), the hands are held in the front to simulate how we would normally be standing in a real situation.

Another kamae taught in Isshin-ryu Kihon is the double grab from the Toe-Rip or Heel-Thrust Kick.  In Kihon, its emphasis is not a kamae, although it is an outstanding fighting posture.  I attended a Rape Prevention Seminar taught by Advincula Sensei, with ladies who had no martial arts experience, and this open hand kamae was the very first thing taught, and was the main posture used for the entire seminar.  Besides the obvious defensive advantages, the kamae - if performed correctly - gives one the ability to execute a multitude of blocks and counter-strikes.  Another advantage of this stance is, it's the universal symbol to stop.  This shows our attackers that we do not want a confrontation, which is a prime lesson taught in Okinawan Karate-Do.

Kotekitai No Kamae
Kotekitai are a set of three forearm conditioning exercises that were taught by Shimabuku Sensei to condition the forearms. The first exercise consists of one person performing twist punches at chest level, and their partner performing quick, hard chops to the muscle of each forearm. Although it isn't emphasized as a posture in Kotekitai, this exercise teaches a kamae that is used in the fifth section of  Tatsuo’s Kumite.  This guard is used while defending against a knife attack in an improvisational drill where the attacker is performing either a left, right or double knife thrust. The defense is chopping downward thwarting off the knife attack, the exact same way the first Kotekitai is performed.

Seisan No Kamae
When a student starts to learn Seisan Kata, they begin to study movements, concepts and strategies that prepare them for lessons taught in the following kata, accumulating until the system can be taught as a whole and the postures in kata are taught in the same manner.  Once all of the kamae are understood, students can mix and experiment with various postures during kumite to learn their purpose and effectiveness in a various situations, and ultimately being able to control the situation with movement and posture alone.  In order to acquire this ability, one must begin with the fundamental posture of Isshin-ryu.

The first stance, called Seisan Kamae or Kihon Kamae, is Isshin-ryu’s fundamental fighting posture.  To the beginner, this stance seems to leave us in a position where our targets are vulnerable to attack, however, as we progress in skill we place ourselves, and our opponents, into situations at our discretion so we can use Seisan Kamae as it was meant to be - our primary stance.  A few of the many features of Seisan Kamae are that we can rapidly use all of our weapons, giving us the ability to punch, strike, kick and move to any direction.  Seisan Kamae is directly related to the fifth code of the Kenpo Gokui, which states “The body should be able to change direction at any time.”  The eight precepts of the Kenpo Gokui are used as a moral, philosophical and physical guide to the Isshin-ryu Karate-Do practitioner is linked to everything done within the style.

Another kamae taught in Seisan Kata is the “Juji Kamae,” or “X” type guard found after the double head block.  Even though this posture is only used in one small part in this kata (the first turn), it is possibly the most utilized guard found in Isshin-ryu strategy.  The main feature of this kamae is it covers our center mass and we can attack or defend to the three basic levels, high, middle and low. This is taught twice in Chinto Kata and once in Kusanku Kata as a posture, although it is used for a split second in the majority of blocks within the Isshin-ryu system. The importance of this kamae cannot be overstressed.

Skipping ahead to the last kamae taught in Seisan Kata, we find a posture that teaches us to create an opening to invite an attack.  In these movements we bring our open hands overhead and circle them downward in a wide arc and rest them on our hips.  This kamae is one of the many lessons of combat strategy taught within kata. As history has proven, many smaller and weaker militaristic forces have overcome larger, more powerful opponents by the use of superior strategy, it’s important to study these concepts.

Seiunchin No Kamae
The opening movements of Seiunchin Kata, which are repeated three times, contain blocking movements that can be used as a kamae.  Incidentally, most blocking movements in all kata can be modified to be postures and vice versa.  However, to ensure the preservation of the system, we should not confuse students with applications until the bunkai taught by Shimabuku Sensei is understood, and, sensei should clarify when a technique is not Tatsuo Sensei’s original teachings.

In Shimabuku’s basic bunkai of Seiunchin there is only one kamae taught as such.  This posture is where we evade into a cat stance and place the closed right fist on top of the open left palm.  According to Advincula Sensei, it was modified by Shimabuku Sensei to be a kamae. When Advincula was first taught Seiunchin Kata, it was a backfist to the top of the foot or back of a hand, then Shimabuku modified it to a hammer-fist, and later to a kamae.  This posture, and other closed fist and open hand techniques relate to the third precept of the Kenpo Gokui, “The manner of spitting or drinking is either hard or soft.”  This verse relates to the yin and yang where the open hand represents soft and the closed fist represents hard.  Many techniques found in Seiunchin Kata are performed with this concept of Go-Ju, or hard and soft.

Naihanchi No Kamae 
Naihanchi is one of Isshin-ryu’s fundamental kata.  In most Shorin-ryu stlyes, Naihanchi is a primary kata where fundamental techniques and concepts are taught.  In Goju-ryu, Sanchin Kata serves the same purpose.  Since Isshin-ryu stems from these two styles, both of these kata have significant importance to understanding the Isshin-ryu system.  Sanchin Kata is the hard, the “Yang” of  Shimabuku’s style, and he said that Sanchin was the father and that Naihanchi is the mother, the “Yin” of Isshin-ryu Karate-Do.  This is a concept, and one has to understand that kata, and the kamae within them, are more than just physical movements teaching defensive techniques.  By design, kata are symbolic.  For example, in Seisan, Sunsu and Sanchin Kata, there are 3 reverse punches stepping forward each time. Clearly, no one is going to fight like this.  So what exactly is it teaching?  It’s teaching that it’s a very important technique,  it’s symbolic, three means multitudes.  In Kusanku Kata we are learning defensive techniques for night or low visibilty and in the opening movements we stomp the floor to the side of us to make the attacker punch in that direction.  Is this scenario ever going to happen?  Probably not. What the lesson is teaching is to use diversionary tactics.  Hidden within kata are many lessons such as these, many of them being philosophical and psychological in nature.  After many years of study the understanding of these lessons slowly, and subconsciously, manifests within the practitioner teaching us not only how to defend ourselves, but also how we act and think.  Naihanchi Kata is a paragon of how kata, and kamae symbolically teach these lessons.

Naihanchi Kata in my opinion is - from a psychological standpoint - a kamae.  To help explain my reasoning look at the definition of the word “kamae.”  It’s literal translation from Japanese to English is “posture, position, style.”[c]   A definition of posture is “a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude,” and this is exactly a purpose of kamae. [d]  Some kamae are hard, unmoving, and some are soft and flexible.  Number 5 of the Kenpo Gokui teaches us that “the body must be able to move at any direction at anytime,” but when Shimabuku explained the code, he said we should go with the times and don’t always be serious.  This is teaching us about our behavior, our position or posture towards situations, our kamae.

Physically, the Isshin-ryu Naihanchi Kata teaches us to have a solid hard base while remaining completely relaxed from the waist up, but to also strike and block instantly with fierceness and fluidity.  This also has symbolic meaning.  If we have our mental attitude, or “heart” as Motobu Sensei explained kamae, the same as Naihanchi’s physical concepts, this kata would in essence be a symbolic kamae.  For example, if we compare the mental posture of a mother, what Naihanchi is to Isshin-ryu, we’ll see the same thing.  A mother is soft, loving, caring and gentle with her child.  However, when protecting her offspring, a mother would act with ferocity and attack like the wildest of beasts. This is also represented in the Isshin-ryu no Megami symbolizing being soft and gentle like a woman and hard and fierce as a dragon - at the same moment in time.  So again, in my opinion, Naihanchi is teaching us a kamae, psychologically.  
The physical posture taught in Naihanchi is ironically called  me-oto-de, or "husband and wife hands.”  One arm is in the position of a standard middle block and the other fist is placed under the elbow of the middle block.  This is excellent posture for blocking and striking simultaneously with the ability to equally block and strike with both hands.  Advincula Sensei said he asked Shimabuku what was the purpose of the placement of the fist under the elbow and Shimabuku responded by striking Advincula Sensei with a hammer-fist to the solar plexus.

Wansu No Kamae
In the beginning of Wansu Kata there is a kamae known for its Kakushi, or “hidden fist.”  This symbolizes that we do not want  conflict, but are prepared if we have no other choice.  Matsubayashi-ryu, a branch of Shorin-ryu,  places the fist behind the back to present this symbolic gesture.[e]  In Isshin-ryu Karate-Do, we begin the kata by bringing both hands in front of the groin with a left open hand and a right closed fist and raising it to a kamae in front of the solaplexis, another example of a symbolic posture in kata.

The next kamae is a high/low open hand guard evading into a cat stance. This posture gives the illusion of our upper level being open, therefore enticing our opponent to attack high.  When, or if, the opponent attacks high, we block, attack low, grab and throw our opponent. After the throw and strike, we “pop” up from a seiunchin dachi into diagonal long, wide seisan (angled zenkutsu) stance with our left open hand placed in front of our chest. This kamae teaches us proper body mechanics for scanning our surroundings and gives us extra energy when turning to strike or blocking an attack.  

The standard double open-hand kamae found after the side kicks in Wansu Kata are the first of many open hand kamae taught in the following kata.  All of the open hand kamae may be similar in appearance and purpose, but they all have slightly different interpretations if being used offensively or defensively.   Advincula Sensei wrote the following:
 “In defense, the leading foot as a rule uses shielding /blocking/deflecting hand or arm allowing the defender to retract and post his power hand either on the hip, chest or lower ribs to counter punch with the strongest authority as taught in kihon, Ippon Kumite. This is a basic strategy taught in Okinawan karate with the ideal, one punch, certain kill.

“In offense, as a basic rule, the leading foot and leading hand or arm is placed and used as a shielding/blocking/deflecting hand or arm similar to the defensive kamae. The power hand is often held closer to the solar plexus allowing better defense to protect the center of ones own body yet be better positioned to also punch in offense or counter punch in defense.”[f]
The first open hand kamae taught in Wansu Kata is a prime example of what Advincula Sensei explains above. The lead hand is deflecting a punch to make an opening for the step-in elbow taught  in the kata. 

The final movement of Wansu Kata is another standard open-hand kamae, we are moving from the double chops to side up into what appears to be just another fighting posture. In actuality, we are adding controlled force (chinkuchi) to a block by bringing our body up from the lower widened seisan stance, to a diagonal seisan while performing a propeller type open hand block. This extra torque produced by turning our body into the block can add the energy needed to break the balance of the attacker. 

Chinto No Kamae
The opening posture of Chinto is performed in a cat stance with the “X” type guard that was covered earlier in this article, although some ryuha (substyles) of Isshin-ryu practice this movement as scooping a punch with the left, then chopping the punching arm with the right.  This can be performed with these movements from Chinto, but according to Advincula Sensei, Shimabuku taught this movement to him as a kamae.  Shimabuku told stories of his first Shorin-ryu teacher, Kyan Chotoku Sensei, practicing Chinto Kata on the old Hija stone bridge in Okinawa.  Kyan Sensei was known for the prowess of his double-jump kick which is found in Chinto and Kusanku Kata.  His reputation was not for the height of the kick, but the distance; hence the relevance of the first and second Juji Kamae taught in Chinto Kata.  The kamae gives us the ability to equally defend all levels if our opponent counterattacks while we are shooting forward.

The next kamae is a another standard open-hand posture with another new interpretation. The bunkai is that we are being crowded by our attacker and we execute a chop to their solar plexus to move our opponent backwards. Immediately following this kamae is another that teaches the strategic concept of giving the perception of being open.  In this invitational kamae we drop back into a seiunchin stance with our right arm held to the rear and our left held palm-up at chest level.  Upon the opponent’s attack, we step into Seiunchin Dachi performing a cross-body block and twisting into an angled zenkutsu dachi while simultaneously chopping to the throat of the opponent.  The stances and motions in this segment are the same as those described above in Wansu Kata.  The seiunchin/angled zenkutsu transition after the throw in Wansu uses the same “pop” and produces the same torque found here in Chinto, only it has progressed from a preparatory posture into an advancing stance to counterattack.

One of the main lessons taught within Chinto Kata is fighting to the front and rear.  It takes great practice to flow from the transitions between the turning and spinning techniques, though learning and using the correct postures will greatly increase the proficiency of the practitioner. The ability to generate tremendous energy when utilizing the twisting and torque producing motions that are stressed in Chinto Kata, will give the student the skill to perform similar movements in the next kata, Kusanku.

Kusanku No Kamae
Kusanku begins with putting the hands together in front on the groin, raising them overhead, which symbolizes Heaven, moving them downward in a wide arc to the bottom, representing Earth and then a standard open-hand kamae to the center, symbolizing Man in the middle.  These opening movements are common to Eastern philosophy and exemplifies the “Do” in Isshin-ryu Karate-Do.  The opening movements are symbolically demonstrating the harmony between Heaven, Earth and Man, which are the “three powers” or Sansai.  It’s essential to life that these three remain in harmony, we should also live in harmony with fellow man.  The first code of the Kenpo Gokui states, “A Person's heart (mind) is the same as Heaven and Earth.”  This core concept of Karate-Do is one that the Okinawans wish to be translated to the practitioners of their beloved art.
Shikinoo chui shiihii shiru kurasuru.
 “Let's live helping each other in this world”
-Okinawan Proverb
After the opening, we step forward three times using a standard open hand kamae, with another variation of bunkai.  This time we are performing what is called an “ox-jaw” to the attackers wrist. There are no words in the English language to portray the shocking millisecond of excruciating pain that is administered when this block is properly demonstrated.  It’s definitely not a technique that the uke will ask to see again.  

After a series of rising and dropping techniques we move to a set of kamae which are used to search for our adversary in little to no light. This posture is called Sagurite No Kamae.  Sagurite, which means searching hand, is used four times in Kusanku Kata and upon touching our opponent we evade into another “X” type kamae.  There has been much debate to the fact if Kusanku Kata was taught for night-fighting by Shimabuku Sensei, while that is a topic for another article, maybe the next kamae explained will solidify the concept of Kusanku Kata teaching techniques for fighting in the dark.

Following an evasive cat stance and back-fist, we perform the only crescent kick within Isshin-ryu and execute two postures where we are low to the ground scanning upward left to right seeking our attacker.  There reason is to get low and look high, searching for a silhouette.  An important lesson of nighttime warfare is to stay low to prevent being located and making it easier to see the outline of a higher target.  While many of the techniques and kamae taught in Kusanku can be used in either day or night, this one obviously has little use in clear visibility.

Following this series, is a posture called Ryu No Shita Kamae, meaning "Dragon Toungue Posture." Advincula Sensei wrote that “if you look at this kamae, you can see where it would look like a dragon lowering his tongue inviting someone to step on it.” [g]  This kamae is not to be confused with the kamae found in Wansu Kata, where one hand is raised, because both hands, in Ryu-Shita No Kamae, act as the tongue of the dragon.

 In addition to those explained here, Kusanku Kata teaches a wide variety of postures and stances to increase the power and agility of the student who learns and drills this kata correctly.

Sunsu No Kamae
Shimabuku used movements from kihon, kata, some of his favorite techniques and own innovations when creating Sunsu.  The postures in Sunsu have been taught in previous kata, with just a few exceptions. One of these being the opening kamae, which is taught in Sanchin - the last empty hand kata.  Some ryu-ha of Isshin-ryu teach Sanchin in different a order, although in a chart posted in Shimabuku’s Agena Dojo listed Sanchin as the last karate kata taught.  Sanchin Kamae has the advantages of well protecting our midsection and places both our fists in a position where they are ready to counter - with or without retracting to post, this posture will be covered in greater detail below. The next kamae is a variation of the Juji Kamae taught in Kusanku Kata, but in Sunsu Kata the posture resembles a “triangle.” The advantage of this slight difference is, with the triangle our arms are closer to our opponent when defending from the sides, more so than with the “X” type posture.

Sunsu Kata travels through a variety of techniques and postures until near the end of the kata where we find Sunsu Kamae.  As previously stated, Shimabuku used this posture when creating the Isshin-ryu No Megami.  To understand the relationship of this kamae and the Megami is to understand that Isshin-ryu was inspired by Shimabuku not only for his karate, but also for his beliefs and philosiphy.  Advincula Sensei explained it well when he wrote: 

 “We must remember that Isshin-ryu was conceived because Tatsuo had a vision from Ryuzu Kannon or the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion riding a dragon around him. His name Tatsuo came from the oriental constellation Tatsu, or Dragon constellation. The name Isshin, one heart,  comes from the three *** stars on line that means one and also means heart. This is from Shimabuku Sensei being a sumuchi and understanding the ancient constellations. Tatsuo was a very religious person. He had to be. His system came from a goddess, his name and the name of his system from the stars which represent the heart of the Azure dragon constellation, Tatsu.”[h]
Kaneshi Eiko Sensei when talking about Tatsuo Sensei and the Megami said:
  “It doesn't make any difference what God it is, it's his God. Bu No Kamisama (God of the Martial Arts). That's how much he was into the martial arts.” [I]
Some sensei only teach the physical aspects of Isshin-ryu, or, just briefly explain Tatsuo’s beliefs to their students - notwithstanding the fact that his beliefs are why we have Isshin-ryu.  In my opinion, if a sensei is teaching “traditional” Okinawan Karatedo and Kobudo, the customs, traditions and beliefs of Shimabuku Sensei must be taught.  It is hard for us to fathom the level of understanding that Shimabuku had between the physical karate movements that he practiced, and his personal beliefs.  Tatsuo’s son, Shinso, said that his father created Sunsu to enhance 4 of our 5 senses.  Improving our hearing or taste through kata is something that some westerners may have a hard time conceiving as possible, nevertheless, the purpose of studying these aspects does not lie in if we can do it ourselves or not, or even if we believe it can or can’t be done. Learning about topics such as these gives us more knowledge about Shimabuku Sensei, Okinawa and Isshin-ryu as a whole.

The original way that Sunsu Kamae was performed was with a one-legged stance called a Tsuru-Dachi or a “crane stance.”  This is done by lifting the foot to the back of the knee and hooking the toes around the leg.   When doing this we should have an outward force on our toes so when we release we gain a type of inertia giving a slightly more powerful kick.  In the mid-1960’s, Shimabuku modified the tsuru-dachi to a reverse-T stance,  Advincula Sensei still teaches both using the T-stance as a back up.  The hand position in this kamae is done in Chinto Kata, and even though one hand is open in the Isshin-ryu symbol, the entire posture of Sunsu Kamae is the representation of the Goddess in the Megami.

Sanchin No Kamae
Upon completion of Sunsu Kata, the practitioner embarks on learning Sanchin. This kata is the Yang, the hard, or “Go” of Isshin-ryu Karate-Do.  San-chin, translates to “three battles” which is the battle unifying the mind, body and spirit (air).  Shimabuku taught that Naihanchi Kata is the mother and Sanchin Kata is the father of Isshin-ryu.  Where Naihanchi (which travels left to right, “----”) and Sanchin (which travels front to back “|” ) meet,  Isshin-ryu (+) is formed.  As stated above, this kata as with Naihanchi Kata, in my opinion, is in essence a kamae.  It teaches us to have the proper mindset for battle, a mental posture that begins with the physical kamae taught in the kata.  Sanchin Kata, is taught to produce chinkuchi,  which is cultivating energy from using proper body mechanics and control.  Chinkuchi gives us incredible destructive power and the ability to absorb tremendous blows without receiving any bodily damage. 

As we step up from a natural stance into sanchin-dachi, we grip the floor with our toes, push our buttocks forward, push our diaphragm down when we breath in, hold the shoulders down and back, squeeze our fists, expand our arms and exhale with ibuki (restricted) breathing, bringing our arms out and back ending with a sudden burst (kime). Additionally, and just as important element of Sanchin-Kamae/Kata, are the eyes. I’ve heard Advincula Sensei, who calls it “Sanchin-Vision,” on quite a few occasions say that a good sensei can tell if you know San-chin by looking at the eyes.”

This means that even if we have proper body mechanics and breathing technique, if we don’t have the proper mindset, we haven’t yet conquered the mental battle of San-chin.  There is no other kamae that covers the essence of an entire kata, as Sanchin-Kamae.  Everything taught within the kata, is taught within the kamae.   Advincula wrote that “Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei often said Sanchin was the essence of karate, and sanchin was performed for health.  Shimabuku stressed doing karate not only for self-defense, but also for health and fitness saying how can one practice karate if one was not healthy.”[j]

If we look at each kamae taught in Isshin-ryu, we will see that like our kata, each kamae serves a specific purpose. Kamae are just as much a part of the Isshin-ryu Kihon as Charts One and Two.  There are many drills to practice the transitions from various postures to others, and, postures to different techniques. The ability to flow from one kamae to the next, as they are needed, will greatly increase the arsenal of those proficient in this skill  The use of the correct posture places us where we can strike, without being countered. We can draw our opponents off-balance to the front, push them to the rear, or sides by stepping and shifting into postures suitable for the situation at hand. Kamae certainly adds to the beauty in the movements and is one of the things that separates karate, from other martial systems like boxing or grappling.  Kamae greatly adds to the “art” of karate.

In closing, I will quote Advincula Sensei once more.

 “The art of karate is similar to dance. To be able to move about, up and down, with fluid movement, ever changing rhythms and tempos assures either grace or even power along with beauty. Dance can be associated with kihon, kata, or kumite. It allows expressions in many terms and in many faces.”[k]

I hope the readers of this article receive a renewed appreciation of Shimabuku’s ingenuity when creating Isshin-ryu Karate-Do.  I want to thank Advincula Sensei for teaching and helping me with this article, without him sharing his experiences with Master Shimabuku our resources and knowledge would be far more limited.  

I also want to thank my students Chad Dowdle and Jeremy Miller for aiding with the photographs. Thank you for reading.

About the Author 
Joey Paden practices and teaches on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he has been a student of Isshin-ryu since 1983 and following the teachings of Advincula Sensei since 2000. He is graded Roku-dan.  He can be contacted at:

[a] Advincula, Arsenio; 1984, Interview with Shimabuku Tatsuo students: Kaneshi Eiko, Shigema Genyu and Kaneshiro Kenji. 
[b] Swift, Joe; Wisdom from the Past: Tidbits on Kata, Applications from Pre-War Karate Books.
[d] Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
[e] Shoshin Nagamine; 1998, The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do; Pg. 189 Picture #14
[f] Advincula, Arsenio; Isshin-kai Karate Disscussion Group; Message #17545
[g] ibid; Message #8550
[h] ibid; Message #3621
[i] Advincula, Arsenio; 1984, Interview with Shimabuku Tatsuo students: Kaneshi Eiko, Shigema Genyu and Kaneshiro Kenji.
[j]Yahoo Isshin-kai Karate Group; Message #17420
[k] Yahoo Isshin-kai Karate Group; Message #21513