Nai Hanch Nidan

February 17, 2017 | By | 11 Comments


What's Really Inside

One of the Shuri style Karate Kata that is most widely used and revered is the Nai Han Chi... it is even used in some Naha based Karate (Goju's Secret Kata).

The Kata is from ancient China, but beyond that there is little empirical evidence as to it's origins.  Some conjecture that it originated from two Chinese Styles being Tam Tui (Springing Leg Set) for it's side to side legwork as well as from Praying Mantis Style.

In any event this is one of the most powerful and efficient fighting Katas, if you can change your context.

Many times people perform a Kata for it's actions and other benefits such as exercise, coordination, exhibition and even Bunkai or martial techniques.

The techniques typically start as a defense, then a counter attack which is fine, however with a change of context in your Kata, you can also change your possibilities and escalate the worth as well as potential for that Kata.

But techniques always fail under pressure, stress and if the attacker does not attack just right.  Instead of memorizing a bunch of attack specific techniques, try working instead with tools and targets.


Nai Han Chi Nidan

As a brief example let's look at a series of actions in Nai Han Chi Nidan, and adapt it to tools and targets rather than a specific technique.

The context of target (more specifically the collar bone, can be worked with any tool or action from the three sections of Nai Hanch.  Not only that, but they can be linked together all focused on the same target... "Kyusho" (internal anatomical vital target).


Film Presentation

You will be watching the context and methods of attack to the clavicle, the anatomical structures and affects, a Medical explanation, a simulated repair and a real repair.  This will illustrate how the ancient medics could not help this type of injury and why death could and did ensue.

The target is called Danshu in Hohan Soken's Notes and depicted in many sets of scroll, manuals and notes of the great Masters of the Martial Arts... they had the correct context.

Click here to watch the full film breakdown in Podcast 11

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Further Reading Sources:



#Kyusho   -ep

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Category: Protection

Comments (11)

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  1. Jon M says:

    You have mentioned in the past that Naihanchi and Sanchin katas contain whole systems of study. I was hoping to start an interesting discussion here, so I was wondering if you can expound on that statement. You have also delved greatly into 2 other katas I study , Seisan and Seiuchin, Are you saying that though they have a lot to teach, there is much more included in the first two. I have heard Naihanchi and Sanchin referred to as the “Mother and Father” of forms, but there are also other forms mentioned in the Bubishi to consider.

    The old concept stated that these katas were named after individuals and contained their favorite techniques and focused on their favorite areas/points of Kyusho activation. But you have open this concept up to much more including the mapping of vital areas in the movements.

  2. admin says:


    I suppose if one actually worked any Kata deep enough, they would or could find an entire system of protection. I have only really dug into a few as it does take decades of daily work to get this far with them.

    Yes here are two main forms or Kata mentioned in the Bubishi, however I chose not to extrapolate on them as no one can account for the validity of their current performance or structure. So instead I found for myself those that suited the myriad of components the Bubishi depicts… and have successfully interjected these components (which is funny as you find them, the manual makes complete sense, not just a mish-mash of thoughts or articles).

    Also to that sense when someone shows you a Kata or teaches what they have in theirs… it is then yours to interpret (Bunkai) as you so wish. I have been accused of stealing a Kata as well as not doing them correctly… if a Kata is freely or publicly offered, it is the individuals to then research and create their own “world” with in it.

    A Kata understanding is within the holders base of knowledge and skill set, not the control of another.

    Now since you named 4 Kata above, let’s focus more on one… please select which one we discuss in greater detail (although the discussion could be for any of them), as it will help us focus to a finer level of detail. This focus is sadly missing in today’s arts as people strive to learn more Katas, gain belts and or paper.

    Nai Hanch, Sanchin, Seiuchin or Seisan sir?

  3. Arotella says:

    This suspense is killing me, can I pick? Let’s go Seisan!

  4. admin says:

    Hey Anthony, Well since it was Jon M that asked, I will defer to his choice first.

  5. Arotella says:

    Copy that – I am waiting with bated breath

  6. admin says:

    I am ready, but I only do Pangainoon/Uechi Seisan, I have not done a Tomari Seisan since 1995… so give me some time to find one on YouTube and we can begin.

    By the way there is a post coming up on this topic on 3/17/17 called “Complete System” — Scheduled

  7. admin says:

    On another note let me start a new post for Seisan.

  8. admin says:

    For an example of building a system from a single Kata, read:

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