When practicing Tensho Kata you should think like the wind and the ocean, that you control their motions and destination with your hands and breathing. Guide them to a calm and tranquil being within the universe.
The opening of the hand signifies knowledge and wisdom, the circle motion back and forward represents the coming together of all people in harmony.
The upper palm strike represents the evolution of time.
The raising and lowering of the wrist and palm signifies the sun and the moon and their destiny.
The moving of both hands in unison signifies negative and positive coming to together creating the energy of life.
Moving the palms together up and over suggests the art of breathing is in and out. When you are born you breathe in and when your time comes, you breathe out.
Tora Guchi signifies the four seasons coming and going. Both palms extended up and down suggest Fearlessness, Compassion and Charity.
The last move to finish, which is hidden, suggests holding the jewel of life, which is Enlightenment, Satori or Nirvana.
The stance Sanchin represents the element of ether, communication with heaven and the silent Gods.
This Kata is alien to most human beings; however the deity seems to be at home with this discipline, understanding the different mudras that this Kata depicts.
On a Buddhist rosary there are 108 beads, 105 eulogize and 3 doctrine, it seems to elude the superficial explorer and will only recognise the truth.
As to the universe, it shows the past, present and the future. We have seen the deity of the past and we now see the deity of the present. We must wait to see the deity of the future.
I look forward in heaven, to looking down on earth and seeing whose destiny is chosen for the future.
Photo courtesy of Dylan MacMaster
A short but quick and energetic discipline, with hand and foot combinations that suggest conflict in a confined space.
This is the kata that displays the posture of the deity of Goju Ryu Busaganashi and it is said if you study him you will know Goju Ryu.
I believe that Shinzato Jinan Sensei enjoyed performing this Kata. I hope to meet with him in my next life and discuss the finer points.
As to imagination, one can feel the disturbance of the land and the beginning of a land slide, the ups and down that you feel on your descent.
The blocks and attacks that you incur can be an escape from a forest, which has been gnarled in the storm.
As to the second to last move, when you shout, this suggests your defiance in meeting your demise and in the last move the exhalation is the cessation.
_Immediately what comes to mind is the oriental world of the graceful Crane bird.
As to the spirit world, the Phoenix bird symbolizes immortality and the resurrection of life after death. Only one Phoenix exists at one time, which would suggest only one Kata. The Phoenix was usually depicted as the Heron but in classic literature as a Peacock or an Eagle.
The first movement to the side could suggest the Crane bird warding of an attacker, the forward movement could indicate the flapping of the wings in an attack.
The movement at 45° suggests the Heron bird stalking it pray, close to the waters edge and the middle knuckle thrust could be deduced as the beak of the Heron bird piercing it’s pray.
From the low stance, and rising with both hands aloft, this could be the Graceful display of the Peacock bird, signifying detail, precision, colour and beauty.
And the last move is the representation of a Peacock bird, display it’s non-compliance to be approached, the Kiai (the shout for spirit) is quite daunting.
_There is a suggestion that this Kata could be a sister Kata to Seiyunchin, as it uses supported or double handed techniques and the absence of Zenkustu dachi.
The first move suggests interaction of the planets and space in time; it also represents the circle of life and that time is only seeing the past.
The double handed techniques suggest the power of working together as a commodity for the good of all and the prolongation of truth.
The 45° step and the double hand movement suggest the turbulent waters before a tidal wave then the descent into a low stance suggests an earthquake.
Then the spiralling movement is a fearsome tornado to the end move, suggesting the beginning of calm.
_ Your foot movements should resemble the time lapse of a hypnotic Cobra snake.
From the first kame and punch, imaging you are trying to extinguish a lighted candle without touching it.
On the retraction and the turning of the hands, imaging you are doing Sanchin breathing without noise, at the same time your arms are as powerful as a boa constrictor, until the Juji Uke, which resembles the bite of the Cobra.
_ The kick, elbow and punch suggests a stampede of horses.
From the Juji Uke think like the stealth of a tiger, ready to pounce and surprise it’s pray.
As to the last move, this resembles a begging or happy dog.
The Element that this Kata portrays is Fire.
Shisochin Kata resembles the Dragon.
The Nukite strike could demonstrate the defiant mood of the Dragon, hissing and displaying it’s tongue.
The step back and then quickly moving forward suggests Karate Ni Sente Nashi and the Mawashi like movement could be the wings of the Dragon in defence.
The distinctive Zenkustu Dachi is the element of Fire and the four different directions that the Kata displays suggest the Dragon attacking forward and at the same time defending the rear end with its tail.
The palm heel strike to the face suggests the advancing of the flame and the downward palm heel strike could represent the tail in defence.
The Hiki Uke movement and the kick into Zenkustu Dachi could represent the descent of the Dragon crushing its foe.
To the last move, Tora Guchi, this could be the Dragon proudly displaying it’s triumph.
The ready position with the left hand over the right hand signifies gentleness overcoming strength, our natural behaviour is to greet a person with calm and equanimity not aggression. The first move in this Kata shows water finding its own level, as you sink into the stance.
The first hand movements resemble a volcano which suggests the father of creation, as the eruption settles thus life is created, in time everything moves or changes.
Most of the techniques are double handed or supported, which indicates that human beings should exist as friends and that with a helping hand, life can exist without hardship or conflict.
All movements suggest this Kata to be the element of Earth, indicating logic isolating power.
Equanimity is a state of mental or emotional stability or composure arising from a deep awareness and acceptance of the present moment.
Chief Instructor OTGKA