Which karate kata have been least altered?

Today I’d like to ask which style of Karate has the least altered kata; like for instance, the kata of shotokan and kyokushin have been HEAVILY altered. So have the kata of Shito ryu, and fatelfully wado ryu. I’ve heard Anko Itosu had his time of changing the kata and removing the most deadly stuff. But I don’t know much about the kata of Goju ryu, Uechi ryu and Shorin ryu. How much have they been changed and how much have the deadliest techniques been removed. Like the kyusho and tuite applications. I heard from someone that Shorin ryu has the most pressure point attacks in their kata, and that Goju ryu has the most grappling and throwing techniques. Is it true? Also, could someone please tell me which which kata are the most preserved?

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3 Responses to Which karate kata have been least altered?

  1. Rob B says:

    Who knows? Much of the early history of martial arts was oral and not written so what the “original” kata were has been lost.

  2. Sensei Scandal says:

    You’re certainly on the right track… just a couple of adjustments.

    Up to the time when Hohan Soken passed away, the Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu had the oldest and untainted kata within the Shorin System. Soken Sensei left Okinawa before the conversion of “jutsu” to “do”. When he returned, he saw the huge difference and was told about the change. He refused to comply, because he was just a Badass who no one would dare mess with. LOL! After his passing, most of the students scurried to have their own identity within the style. They changed a lot of the style and claim that Soken Sensei taught them the secrets. They’re all full of it-shay.

    There are only a couple left who received the real teaching and one of the passed away a few years ago. His name was Kosei Nishihira. He was an outstanding practitioner who not many in the karate world even heard of. Their is one who is posted on a video on Youtube who has not been identified, who when you see his performance, how smoothe, and the use of his body, you can tell this man is the real deal. I believe he is the nephew of Soken Sensei as I found out that he did have a nephew surnamed Nishihara.Here is a video of him –


    The other older Shorin Ryu schools, or schools that returned to the old ways are Kishaba Juku, Kyudokan.

    As far as Shorin Ryu having the most PP attacks, really, all three Village Arts – Tomari, Shuri and Naha are endowed with Kyusho, Grappling and Throwing technique. Learning the locations of the points and the sciences behind their effectiveness is key to finding what technique within the kata attacks what point.

    The Motobu family – Choki Motobu, are the last Royal Family of Okinawa, descendants of the Sho Kings. Choki Motobu was a Prince and his son is still considered a Prince by the Older Okinawans today. They had their own art called Palace Hand – Udundi. This art was taught to one outsider named Seikichi Uehara, who was one of Okinawas most extraordinary Masters. I personally don’t know how much of the complete art he received but he taught a few people before he passed away at the age of 100, still an active practitioner and teacher, living as a person more like in his 50’s.

    As far as being unchanged is concerned, I believe the least unchanged is Uechi Ryu. Kambun Uechi learned 3 kata from a Chinese man named Chou Tzu Hou. He began teaching them to his son Kanei Uechi. It was known as Pangainoon, its Chinese name. After Kambun’s death, his son named it Uechi Ryu. Some of the Master’s older students did not follow the son, continued teaching only the three kata and kept the original name of the art. I do not follow this arts history too much but I heard that it also had its own version of Suparinpai kata.

    There are some forms within the Okinawa systems called “Hakutsuru”. The history of these forms seems to be shrouded in mystery and their origins inconclusive.

    I have seen real Chinese White Crane and none of these “Hakutsuru”(means White Crane) kata have much in common with the Chinese Art. There are some who adapted forms like Happoren(Ba Bu Lien in Chinese) but you can tell that it is not like any of the Hakutsuru forms either.

    All the kata have been altered some how.

    In Goju Ryu, Miyagi Sensei himself did some altering but if you want to know which is the closest to the oldest version, I would say that it is Ken Shi Kai’s headed by Hokama Tetsuhiro. He is the most knowledgeable and best taught Master of Goju Ryu today.

  3. ♥eye of the tiger♥ says:

    Katas change ALL THE TIME- every year our dojo goes to a big seminar where our current head of our style teaches us the changes- though often they are very subtle such as a jodan punch rather than chudan punch and only1-3 changes but sometimes there are major changes.

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