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Midwest School of Isshinryu Karate
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Tatsuo Shimabuku
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Isshinryu Basics
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 Mondays & Wednesdays
Youth Classes - 7-7:45 P.M.

Adult Classes - 8:00-9 P.M.


Fox Valley Montessori School

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850 N. Commonwealth Ave. Aurora, Illinois 60506



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China occupied Okinawa many years ago and virtually took away all the weapons the Okinawans had.  Later the Japanese did the same thing when they occupied the island.  It?s a rule of war that when you take the people in battle, you take their weapons.


In order to practice Karate during these times, most of the Karate training was done in the form of Kata.  Most of the time in the Dojo is spent on Kata training.  Some styles have up to 30 Katas. In Isshinryu you have 8 empty hand Katas and 5 weapons Katas, (2 Sai and 3 Bo).  Quite often the name of a Kata referred to the master who developed it.

The first Kata a beginning student learns is Seisan, in which he learns a vertical punch with the thumb on top instead of the twist punch.  The twist punch is prevalent in most other Okinawan and Japanese Karate.  For several years Sensei Shimabuku taught the twist punch, to avoid controversy, but he returned to the vertical punch for several reasons: he felt it was faster and could be retracted more easily without elbow breaks.  Further, the wrist tends to be stronger and focus need not be applied at the end of a twist while the arm is fully extended.

ARA-KEZURI (Beginning) - Learning the proper sequence and form.

NAKA-KEZURI (MIDDLE) - Combining the sequence and form into one. A question and answer period.

HOSO-KEZURI (TOP) - Knowing proper sequence as you perfect your techniques while adding power and spirit to your Kata.  "BUNKAI".

SHIAGE (HAVING REACHED THE TOP) - Having the knowledge and skill to teach other students.

Empty Hand Kata's

1. Seisan:  From Shorin-ryu, emphasizes straight forward stances, the front kick (Mae Geri), and introduces the "Break", a move designed to free a Karate-ka from a wrist grab.  The move can either slip the hand off or break the offending arm at the elbow.  The Kata is based on a system of defenses to all sides.  There is a bit of breathing in the Kata but is not considered a Breathing Kata.  A unique throw is introduced at the end of the Kata where you grasp an attacking foot with both hands and violently twist to throw the opponent.  The emphasis is on strong, rapid techniques. (performance time 60-65 seconds)

2. Seiuchin:  From Goju-ryu, it is a Kata with no kicks and introduces reinforced blocking and punching elbow strikes.  Taught to Shimabuku by Chojun Miyagi. (performance time 55-60 seconds)

3. Naihanchi:  From Shorin-ryu, this Kata is fought along a wall, dealing with three opponents.  The knees are drawn in to protect the groin, introduces an upward elbow strike. (performance time 35-40 seconds)

4. Wansu:  From Shorin-ryu, known as the "Dumping Form" because of the throw in it.  This Kata introduces the side snap kick, the theory of avoidance with a side-step attack, forward elbow and Nukite-Grab-Punch combination.  (performance time 45-50seconds)

5. Chinto:  From Shorin-ryu, adapted from a legendary Chinese sailor.  Introduces the Flying Front Kick, a Spinning Block, Chinto Pivot and first Kata to introduce attacking from any posture other than a two-foot stance (e.g., Flying Front Kick, and a punch off of one knee). (performance time 55-60 seconds)

6. Kusanku:  From Shorin-ryu, Kata designed for fighting in the dark, using sweeping blocks to detect opponents.  Uses many of open-hand techniques, avoidances and introduces simultaneous hand and foot attacks.  One of Isshinryu's longer Katas.  (performance time 60-70 seconds)

7. Sunsu:  Created by Tatsuo Shimabuku, nicknamed "Strong Man Kata" because "Strong Man" was also Shimabuku's nickname.  The most difficult Kata to perform as it incorporates parts from all the different Katas in Isshinryu.  It opens with Sanchin, uses moves from Wansu, Kusanku as well as Chinto Pivots and Seisan Blocking Patterns.  Introduces only Thrust Kick in Isshinryu, Front Push Kick, and Spinning Elbow Strike.  (performance time 65-70 seconds)

8. Sanchin:  From Goju-ryu, this Kata, developed by Gojuryu's founder Miyagi Chojun, emphasizes slow, powerful motions combined with breath concentration.  The stances are exclusively Sanchin Dachi.  (performance time 117-122 seconds)

Weapons Kata's

9. Kusanku-Sai:  Almost the same as Kusanku, except that you are armed with three Sai's.  The third one is a spare if you should happen to drop one, but as most you know, in the last part you throw one Sai, pinning your opponent's feet to the deck.

10.  Toko Meni No Kun:  Toko Meni Kun was creator of the Bo approximately 300 years ago.  The Bo was practiced on the left side of the body or from a left sided stance until Souke made the changes to the right side of the body.  It was his favorite Bo Kata.

11.   Chatan Yara No Sai:  Souke related the story of a Buda expert by the name of Controu.  Mr. Yara had a big fight with Mr. Comba Yara who was armed with a sword.  Mr. Yara, during the course of the fight, ran into the fort and acted like he was going to hide, but at an opportune moment, jumped out on him and cut off Comba Yara's right arm.  Thus, the fight ended.  Since that time, Mr. Yara has become famous for his ability with the Sai's and the Kata Chatan Yara No Sai is appropriately named.

12.   Shi Shi No Kun No Dai:  The creator was Shi Shi No Sekata, a very famous Karate man as was said in the history of Isshinryu Karate.  Souke fought with the 13th generation of Shi Shi No Sekata.

13.   Urashi Bo:  One shows the front of the Bo to the opponent, but uses the Back Hand Strike in this one.  There was the big fight on Okinawa between a Matsumura and Mr. Huntagawa (who is responsible for Urashi Bo).  Matsumura threw Huntagawa with a Bo with a Groin Throw, but Huntagawa killed Matsumura the instant that he was thrown.








60-65 seconds 



55-60 seconds



35-40 seconds



45-50 seconds






65-70 seconds



65-70 seconds



117-122 seconds



75-80 seconds



70-75 seconds



130-135 seconds



110-115 seconds

    Mondays & Wednesdays
    Youth Classes - 7-7:45 P.M.
    Adult Classes - 8:00-9 P.M.

    Individual: $30 per month
    Family Rates (monthly):
    $30 First Family Member
    $25 Each Additional Family Member

    Phone: 1 630-384-9876 (Voicemail)


    Midwest School of Isshinryu

    About MSOI
    Since 1974, the Midwest School of Isshinryu Karate has helped Fox Valley parents raise happier, healthier, safer kids through its affordable karate classes. 
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    Our Instructors
    Master Smith started his martial arts training in Isshinryu in 1972 under Sensei Patrick Buckley. Sensei Buckley, a student of the late James Chapman….
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