A system of physical education ideally possesses three characteristics: it promotes the development of strong, healthy minds and bodies, is interesting, and is useful. Not only does Seiryoku Zenyo Kokumin Taiku (Maximum-Efficiency Physical Education) meet all three requirements admirably, it goes well beyond being merely gymnastics or simply a martial art.

This kata was developed around 1924 and consists of two groups of exercises. One is practiced alone, the other with a partner. All but one of the exercises have direct application to self-defense. This kata is ideal to use with judoka to warm-up with or warm-down from judo practice. Each of these exercises should be performed powerfully, and with maximum speed at the moment of impact. When striking with the fist, your arm should make contact with the surface of your target at a right angle. Do right and left-handed forms of each exercise at least five times each.

Tandoku Renshu

Goho-ate Five-direction Strike

Hidari-mae-naname-ate (Left-front Crossing Blow)

Start in the basic natural posture. Clench your right fist and draw it back to your side, the back of your hand to the right. Punch to your front corner and fix your eyes on your fist. Your right arm should be level with your shoulder. Draw your left arm back a bit.

Migi-ate (Right Side Blow)

Bring your right fist to the front of your shoulder, with the back of the hand up. Strike to your right with the side of your fist, then fix your eyes on the fist. Again your arm should be at shoulder level. Put your right arm in front of you. Open the hand and turn your palm up. Immediately strike to your rear with your elbow. Be sure the elbow passes close to your side.

Ushiro-ate (Rear Strike)

Put your right arm out in front of you. Open the hand and turn your palm up. Immediately strike to your rear with your elbow close to your side.

Mae-ate (Front Blow)

Turn the palm of your right hand down and clench your fist. Punch to the front and fix your eyes on your fist. Your arm should be at shoulder level, with the back of your hand up.

Ue-ate (Upward Blow)

Draw your right fist to your right chest. Tilt your hand upward to the right and punch directly up, keeping your eyes on your fist. The back of your fist should be to the right. Bring your fist back down to your shoulder, then down to your side. Unclench your fist.

Ogoho-ate Large Five-direction Strike

(This group differs from Goho-ate in that (except for the last exercise) you take a step in the direction you strike in.)

Ohidari-mae-naname-ate (Large Left-front Crossing Blow)

Step to your left front corner with your right foot and punch as in hidari mae naname ate.

Omigi-ate (Large Right Side Blow)

Bring your fist back to your left shoulder. Step back to your original position with your right foot and strike to your right.

Omigi-ate (Large Right Side Blow)

Bring your right fist to the front of your left shoulder, step to the right and strike to the right.

Oushiro-ate (Large Rear Strike)

Drop your right arm to your side and unclench your fist. Step back with your right foot and strike to your rear with your right elbow.

Omae-ate (Large Front Blow)

Step forward with your right foot and punch to your front.

Oue-ate (Large Upward Blow)

Bring your right foot back to its original position and position your right fist at the level of your right shoulder. Bend your knees a little. Jump up or rise to your tiptoes and punch straight up.

Goho-geri: Five-direction Kick

(Effectiveness in kicking depends directly on stability of the body as a whole. Keep your hips firm and steady.)

Mae-geri (Front Kick)

Shift your weight to your left foot, bend your right knee slightly, draw the toes of your right foot back, and kick with the ball of your right foot at your opponent’s kneecap. Keep your eyes on your toes.

Ushiro-geri (Rear Kick)

Bring your right foot up to your thigh and raise the leg until the thigh is horizontal. Kick straight back at your opponent’s kneecap or shin with your heel. Be sure you kick with the bottom of your heel, not the area near the Achilles’ tendon.

Hidari-mae-naname-geri (Left-front Crossing Kick)

Bending your right leg, raise the foot to your right back corner. Kick with the ball of your foot to the kneecap of an opponent standing at your left front corner. Look at your toes.

Migi-mae-naname-geri (Right-front Crossing Kick)

Bring your right foot across to the outside of yor left leg. Kick with the ball of your foot to the kneecap of an opponent standing at your right front corner.

Taka geri (High Front Kick)

Bring your right foot back. Kick with the ball of your foot to the midsection of an opponent standing in front of you. Fix your eyes on your toes. (Note: To put power into your kicks, you must keep your hips steady.)

Kagami-migaki (Mirror Polishing)

Spread your elbows to your sides and bring your hands in front of your chest, palms out, fingers spread apart. Raise your hands in front of your face, at first letting your fingers overlap, right fingers in front of left. Move your hands in opposite circles, up, out, and down, then back up. Let the fingers of your left hand come in front of those of your right as you bring your hands up to your face. Repeat the polishing movement several times. Now polish in the opposite direction, down, out, up, and back down, again alternating the hand whose fingers go before those of the other hand. The mirror represents the mind, the act of polishing the ethics by which our minds are refined. Whether against enemies seen or unseen, execute every technique with true fighting spirit.

Sayu-uchi (Strike to Both Sides)

Clench your fists and bring your forearms to your chest, palms down, right arm on top. Strike to both arms and bring them across your chest again, left arm on top. Strike again. After doing several sets, lower your arms and stand in the basic natural posture.

Zengo-tsuki (Front-Rear Strikes)

Clench your fists and draw them back to your chest, palms down. Punch with both hands at once to the front, keeping your eyes on your fists. Your arms should be at shoulder level. Open your hands, turn your palms up, and strike to your rear with both elbows. Repeat the exercise several times, then lower your arms.

Ryote-ue-tsuki (Two-Hand Upward Blow)

Clench your fists and raise them to your chest, palms inward. Look up and punch straight up with both hands at once.

Oryote-ue-tsuki (Large Two-hand Upward Blow)

Go through the same motions as in the previous exercise, but jump up or rise on your tiptoes as you punch.

Sayu-kogo-shita-tsuki (Left-Right Downward Blows)

Bring your right fist up to your armpit as though lifting a bag. Bend to your right and punch down while drawing your left fist up into your left armpit. Keep your eyes on your right fist. The back of your right hand should face to your right. Repeat the movements to your left. Do several sets, then lower your arms.

Ryote-shita-tsuki (Two-hand Downward Blow)

Raise both fists to your armpits. Raise you heels, bend your knees, and punch directly downward with both fists at the same time. Stand and repeat the exercise several times, then return to the natural posture.

Naname-ue-uchi (Front-Side Upward Cut)

Bring your right hand up to your left shoulder, palm down, thumb and fingers straight and held together. With the knife edge of your hand, strike the right temple of an opponent standing to your right front corner who is taller than you. Fix your eyes on the hand. Lower your right hand and go through the movements with your left hand. Do several sets, then take the natural posture.

Naname-shita-uchi (Front-Side Downward Cut)

Raise your right hand to your left shoulder as in the previous exercise. Strike with the knife edge of your hand at your opponent’s wrist, which is at your right front corner. Keep your eyes on your hand. Lower your right hand and go through the movements with your left hand. After several sets, return to the natural posture.

Onaname-ue-uchi (Large Slanting Upward Cut)

Raise your right hand to your left shoulder as in the previous exercises. Stretch to your right, coming up on your left toes, and strike with the knife edge of your right hand at an opponent who is above you. Alternatively, bring your right hand to your upper left chest, twist as far to your right as possible, letting your left arm come forward, and strike at an opponent directly behind you. Repeat the exercise with your left hand and do several sets, then return to the natural posture.

Ushiro-sumi-tsuki (Rear-corner Blow)

Bring your right fist above your shoulder, your elbow out to the right. Pivot as far to the left as you can on the ball of your right foot while leaving your left leg where it is. Punch down to your left rear with your right fist. Repeat the exercise with your left hand and do several sets. Return to your natural posture afterward.

Ushiro-uchi (Rear Blow)

Moving your right arm clockwise in a large circle in front of you, bring it up as if to wipe your brow with the back of your right rear. As you punch, twist your body and neck as far to the right as you can. Fix your eyes on fist. Repeat the movements with your left arm and do several sets, then assume the natural posture.

Ushiro-tsuki/mae-shita-tsuki (Rear/Downward Blows)

Bend both arms and bring the fists up in front of your shoulders, the backs of the hands facing forward. Bend backward and punch over your shoulders at an opponent standing behind you. Your fists, the backs of the hands upward, should pass close to your ears. Spread your elbows to the sides and return to an upright position. Bend forward and punch straight down, the backs of your fists facing forward. Repeat the movements several times, then return to the natural posture.

Sotai-Renshu (Joint Exercises)

Kime Shiki: Forms of Decision

Idori: Kneeling Techniques

Ryote-dori (Two-Hand Hold)

Sit and bow to your partner at a distance of about 1.8 meters. You, the tori, should be on the left. Clench your fists and move forward together, using your arms like crutches, until your knees are 10-12 centimeters apart, then place your fists on your thighs. Your partner grabs both your wrists, thumbs on the inside. Pull your hands to your sides and come up on your toes. Move your left knee out to the left. Step to the outside of your partner’s right knee with your right foot and free your right hand by pushing it toward your left shoulder. Sit back down and put your fists on your thighs.

Furihanashi (Shaking Loose)

Gyakute-dori (Reverse Two-Hand Hold)

Tsukkake (Stomach Punch)

Kiri-gake (Head Cut)

Tachiai: Standing Techniques

Tsuki-age (Uppercut)

Yoko-uchi (Side Blow)

Ushiro-dori (Hold from Behind)

Naname-tsuki (Carotid Cut)

Kiroroshi (Downward Cut)

Ju Shiki: Forms of Gentleness

The starting distance is about 2 meters apart. The exercises are divided into two sets. This group of exercises is made up of ten techniques from the Ju no Kata. Each is performed as in the kata.

Set 1

Tsuki-dashi Kata-oshi Kata-mawashi Kiri-oroshi Katate-dori

Set 2

Katate-age Obi-tori Mune-oshi Tsuki-age Ryogan-tsuki


Reference:

  • Kano, J. (1986) Kodokan Judo, Japan: Kodansha International Ltd.

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