If you’ve watched the Seiuchin Kata Bunkai video, you’ve gotten the technical skinny for applying a double joint lock against several straightforward attacks. However, in the video, I only presented the form’s overt technicalities, not the covert ones. The sub-rationale explains why the moves are done in the exacting manner shown. Lying beneath the surface action of any kata is a subflooring of internal formulas revealing a dynamic clash of Biofield energies.


Isshin Kempo Versus Isshinryu:

The video sequence performed is from the Isshin Kempo system, a close relative to Isshinryu with some key differences. We consider Isshin Kempo to be Isshinryu’s internal sister art, which is why those familiar with the Isshinryu variant of Seiuchin kata may notice some technical nuances to the moves demonstrated. I believe Isshinryu was not passed along with its bunkai clearly established. A lively debate could be started around several questions; what constitutes practical bunkai and was isshinryu’s founder aware of Kiko (internal) principles in his own kata? No one seems to have a clear historical grasp on this point.    



In all the best constructed Forms, breathing is never random. Every move is breath specific. When the breath is properly aligned with the Form, you will find a significant uptick in strength. The four-move Seiuchin sequence in the video follow precise respiratory patterns; Breathe out on the first retreating Seiuchin step. Breathe in on the second retreating Seiuchin step. Breathe out on the right knee strike. Breathe in when concluding the double joint lock while slip-stepping into Seisan dachi.   



The initial retreat functions best with the left leg falling back into a Seiuchin dachi as opposed to a Kiba Dachi. This posture, with its large, distinct arm motions, creates a strong energy draw. That is, you will be drawing a charge off the opponent leaving them physically weaker for your counter with the double locks. This is why I stress in the video that you must not move your rising left arm to the inside of the attacker’s arms. Neither the Horse stance, nor a right foot retreat, will draw the same strong charge from the opponent. Incorrect actions will result in a drop in your own energy field, leading to physical weakness. Kiko results are not obvious until strong attacks or resistance to your defense is given, or you conduct strength tests after concluding these actions. There are five layers to consider in all kata work:


  1. Making sure each of your selected tools is optimal, or in the optimal position.
  2. Selecting the correct tactics, which the kata provides in its sequencing.
  3. Selecting the correct strategy, which, in this case, is to lead the attacker into an ever-weakening internal state.
  4. Selecting the correct state of mind, which is to dominate the attack.
  5. Applying Kiko, to control the fundamental energy currents alongside your natural talents and strengths.