Saifa Kata

This week I chose Saifa kata as my focus. I had initially decided to simply work my way up the list of Sho Rei Shobu Kan kata, but something about Saifa popped into my head, and I began the weekly focus, by reanalyzing the opening movements of the kata.

I was always taught, those movements were for escaping a bear hug. That interpretation never sat well with me, because to me it didn’t make much sense. I find those movements make much more sense in the context of a take down/throw. Using zenkustu dachi, you move in close while lowering your weight as you do so. The forward foot should be the foot nearest your opponent, same side hand does hikite, grabbing your opponent or their clothes. The left hand then comes around behind them hugging and trapping them to you. Bringing your rear foot forward into a fudo dachi, raise yourself, and thus lift your opponent breaking their balance, and you rotate 90 degrees away from them while still holding them, you could then let them go and fall on their own, or you could drop into shiko dachi to straddle them and deliver a strike after the throw.

Considering hikite is the pulling hand, this bunkai makes much more sense to me, with the focus of one hand coming to the hikite hand, the shifts and changes in weight, and level, and hopefully it makes sense to you.