Saifa translates as "Smash and Tear" (grabbing and tearing of tissue in close-quartered combat), of Chinese origin and brought from Fuzhou China to Okinawa by Kanryo Higaonna. It is representative of Monkey Style in its actions and methods as it contains quick whipping motions, hammer fists, and back fist strikes, like the strikes of an ape. It emphasizes moving off center line from an opponent's main force, while simultaneously closing distance and exploding through them.
Saifa kata is comprised of two kanji ‘Sai’ and ‘Ha’, (note that the Okinawan pronunciation of Ha is Fa). The kanji ‘Sai’, as in kata Geki-sai, is to ‘smash’. The second kanji ‘Ha’/’Fa’ means to ‘tear’. This can be translated as, ‘Smash and Tear’. The reasoning behind this name came from its bunkai (application). Most kata deal with a defence from a grab by reversing the grab with a lock. Saifa however deals with numerous situations where one tears themselves free from an attacker’s grip then counters with devastating punches, back-fists or hammer-fists
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