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Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Curriculum

Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do is a culmination of knowledge and training of the founder, Taba Kensei, Hanshi.  It consists of eighteen Kata (型 or 形, literally: "form"), seven Yakusoku Kumite and all of the techniques and principles found within.  There are no "hidden" or "secret" moves.  As a karate-ka learns, the proper techniques and principles are taught and increasingly emphasized.  The Shogen-Ryu kata are all performed similarly to those of many other Shorin-Ryu schools, especially the Matsubayashi-Ryu branch, but each one has a uniqueness that represents the unparalleled insight of Taba Sensei.


普 及 型 一­­­ & 二
Fukyugata Ichi & Ni
"Promotional Kata"

These two introductory kata were created in 1941 at the request of the Governor of Okinawa to allow beginners and school children to practice karate beginning with more basic kata.  Fukyugata 1 was created by Osensei Shoshin Nagamine, the founder of Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do and one of the three main instructors of Taba Sensei.  Fukyugata 2 was created by Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-Ryu.

ピンアン 初段 - 五段
Pinan Shodan - Godan
"Peace Kata"

Pinan shodan through godan were created by Anko Itosu in 1907.  They were created with the intention that they would be taught to high school students.  They are commonly considered to emphasize speed.  It is debated whether Itosu created the Pinan Kata from the current higher level kata or from an unknown "lost kata" called "Chanan."  Gichin Funakoshi modified the Pinan katas and renamed them "Heian" when he introduced karate to mainland Japan.  He also changed Pinan 1 to Heian 2 and Pinan 2 to Heian 1.  There are several technique differences between the Pinan kata of Shogen-Ryu and other branches.  One of the most noteable being the "attack" mentality of the first technique of each kata.

ナイハンチ 初段 - 三段
Naihanchi Shodan - Sandan
"Horse Riding Kata"

While the creator of these kata is unknown, Naihanchi were the original beginner kata before the creation of the Fukyugata and Pinan Kata.  Kata Naihanchi utilize the Naihanchi-dachi, or "Horse Riding" stance.  They are commonly considered to emphasize power and may have developed from a single, longer Chinese Shaolin form called Naifuanchin.


The first advanced kata of the Shogen-Ryu curriculum.  Originally a Chinese form, it is characterized by strong power movements, most of which are performed in the zenkutsu-dachi stance.

王 冠
Okan (Wankan)
"King's Crown"

While the creator of this kata is unknown, it was practiced primarily in the Tomari region of Okinawa and is a combination of power and elegance with sequences of offensive and defensive techniques.  The Shogen-Ryu Kata Okan is a favorite kata of Taba Sensei and has been scrutinized extensively in its development within Shogen-Ryu.

鷺 牌

Another kata of unknown origin that was practiced primarily in the Tomari region of Okinawa, Rohai is a graceful kata identified by its single leg stance techniques in which the other leg is drawn up and ready to strike.  One particular way in which the Shogen-Ryu Kata Rohai differs from the Tomari Kata Rohai is that the left arm does not get thrown above the head during the single leg stance techniques.  Rather, the left arm is thrown up to chest level with the snap of the hip to block the middle region of the body.

汪 楫

Believed to have been brought to Okinawa by a Chinese envoy named Wanshu in 1683, this kata is identified by its use of kakushi-zuki, or hidden fist punches.

拔 塞

This kata is known for its numerous knife hand techniques done in series.  In line with the Shogen-Ryu philosophy of efficiency, more emphasis is placed on shotei uchi, or "palm heel thrust," rather than shuto uchi, or "knife hand" strike.


Literally "54 steps," this kata is recognized by its use of the double spear hand and the movements resembling a drunken person.

鎮 闘

The only kata in the Shogen-Ryu curriculum (as well as most Okinawa Karate) to be performed at a diagonal to the front, Kata Chinto is the first kata to use a jump kick.

公 相 君

The longest and possibly most difficult kata of Shogen-Ryu.  This kata was brought to Okinawa in 1761 by a Chinese Martial Artist named Kusanku.

Yakusoku Kumite

Yakusoku Kumite (約 束 組 手) is a series of seven pre-arranged partner drills influenced heavily by Choki Motobu, a Karate Master in Okinawa in the early 1900's who was known for his fighting ability.  Yakusoku Kumite literally means "Promised Fighting" and is a way to allow karate-ka to have the adrenaline increase and contact of a fight without as much risk of injury.  Reflexes and technique are allowed to be developed under controlled circumstances.  As a student advances, they can increase the speed, power and timing of the Yakusoku Kumite and create variations to the basic patterns.

Yamane-Ryu Bojutsu

Yamane-Ryu Bojutsu is a system of Kobujutsu, or weapons art, originating in Okinawa.  It is a beautiful and powerful art that, unlike many other Okinawa weapons arts, is not widely practiced.  Also, unlike many other systems of Okinawa Kobujutsu, Yamane-Ryu Bojutsu uses the Rokushaku Bo, or 6 foot staff, exclusively.  While some instructors will teach other weapons along with Yamane-Ryu Bojutsu, the other weapons are not part of Yamane-Ryu.

Yamane-Ryu is not part of Shogen-Ryu and training in it is not a requirement for training in Shogen-Ryu.  However, many of the yudansha of Shogen-Ryu study Yamane-Ryu and teach it at their dojo.

周 氏 の 棍
Shushi no Kon

朝 雲 の 棍 一
Choun no Kon Ichi

朝 雲 の 棍 二
Choun no Kon Ni

砂 掛 の 棍
Sunakake no Kon

佐 久 川 の 棍
Sakugawa no Kon

白 太 郎 の 棍
Shirotaro no Kon

白 樽 の 棍
Shirotaru no Kon
泊 白 樽 の 棍
Tomari Shirotaru no Kon

Other Arts

The instructors of Shogen-Ryu study and train in several other arts. These arts add to the study of Shogen-Ryu, not as much in a supplementation manner but rather by giving a different perspective of viewing Okinawa Karate-Do.  Knowing the techniques of a different art can give you a better understanding of your own. Some of these arts/styles are:

Okinawa Kobudo
Kali / Escrima / Arnis
Gung-Fu / Wushu

Brazilian Jujitsu
Japanese Jujitsu

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