Grand Master Seikichi Iha’s first instructor the infamous Shinpan Gusukuma outlined the three foundational principles of karate as kata, jutsu, and gyaku. Without all three, the martial application is lost.
Kata is the foundational form by which the body develops proper posture, breathing, balance, flexibility, and unified muscle/tendon/hip control for maximum outpower.
Jutsu encompasses the bunkai, or analysis of the martial techniques; only some of which are derived from kata. Over time, these techniques become muscle memory. Almost all kata movements have multiple bunkai, but bunkai is not limited to kata analysis nor the bunkai of curriculum.
Gyaku is the “reverse”, or the continuous counter-application to the bunkai. It is represented in the spontaneous free-flowing of movements as counters to attacks. Oyo bunkai in the curriculum is a baby step toward gyaku; moving from block printing to cursive, yet still within the “wording” of kata. Gyaku is free composition based upon the “theme” of kata.
Sensei Iha reminds us that it is the responsibility of the dedicated student to seek out partners for the exploration of jutsu and gyaku. There we find the joy of exploration.
copied from the Iha Dojo Facebook page.
Kiyoshi, 8th Dan, Virginia Dojo
Roberto is an 8th Dan, Kyoshi, awarded by Grand Master Seikichi Iha, 10th Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Shorin Ryu. Roberto began his martial arts journey in 1969 and started training with Sensei Iha in 1979. He continues to train with Sensei Iha and is now one of Iha’s senior students.
As a retired Foreign Service Officer he concentrates on teaching proven-effective adult-focused self defense karate at the Virginia Dojo in Alexandria VA. Many people call the Virginia Okinawan Karate Dojo the Martial Arts Grad School because Roberto teaches proven effective often brutal, pressure points, joint locks and grappling applications that Sensei Iha taught him during 40+ years of instruction in addition to the obvious percussion techniques of punching, kicking and blocking. See examples of traditional Kata, Kumite, & Bunkai here.
Roberto is a member of the East Coast Beikoku Shidokan Karate Black Belt Promotion Board and the National Black Belt Promotion Board. Among his numerous awards are:
“Best Martial Arts Teacher in Washington, DC” in 2017; “Best Martial Arts in Washington, DC” 2018; “Best Martial Arts in Alexandria” 2019; and “Best of Lessons.com” in 2018 and 2019
Virginia Dojo, 6416 Grovedale Dr., #302-B, Alexandria, VA 22310