Enshin Kaikan (Enshin Karate) – Japanese Martial Arts
Enshin Kaikan (Enshin Karate) is a style of full-contact Karate created by 1978 All-Japan Tournament champion Joko Ninomiya in 1988. The style is an offshoot of Ashihara Kaikan, itself an offshoot of Kyokushin. As a result of its lineage, Enshin contains all the striking techniques of Kyokushin, but differs due to its inclusion of Judo-styled sweeps and throws.
Enshin also puts a particular concentration on the Sabaki Method. This system seeks to turn an attacker’s power against him and allow the martial artist to sidestep into an attacker’s blind spot. According to the World Sabaki Challenge, Sabaki “means the natural way to use an opponent’s force and energy against them, regardless of size.” In practice, this amounts to a focus on using evasive movements and circular footwork to set up angles of attack. Enshin Karateka train for this by using parries and grabs to facilitate their circular footwork.
Enshin Kaikan is also famous for the “Sabaki Challenge”. This is an annual full contact tournament held in Denver, Colorado where participants can achieve higher scores based on knockdowns, knockouts, etc. Participants do not fight with gloves or protective gear, with the exception of mouthguards and groin protectors. Martial artists from other styles can compete in this tournament if they follow the tournament rules. Notable champions include Ninomiya’s own sons and UFC fighter Patrick Smith. Some dojos will also hold their own regional tournaments, separate from the main Sabaki Challenge, in order to help their students gain more fighting experience.
While Enshin focuses on full-contact techniques, it also uses kata (i.e. Kuro Obi No Kata). According to Matrix Martial Arts, Enshin’s founder (Kancho Joko Ninomiya) “didn’t bother with fancy names, instead the names are things like “shiro obi no kata”, or “ao obi no kata”, literally they are “white belt kata” and “blue belt kata” respectively. However, they include things that were heavily used in Kyokushin, but don’t exist in the original katas like Sanchin and Seisan, things like boxing style jab/cross combinations.” Due to this modern approach, Enshin Kaikan’s katas are more like choreographed shadowboxing than esoteric patterns.
Main Elements of Enshin
- Enshin Techniques
- Enshin Katas – Shiro Obi No Kata, Ao Obi No Kata, etc.
- Karate Terminology
- Full Contact Karate – List of full contact Karate styles (i.e. Enshin).
Demonstration of Enshin Kaikan Techniques
Video of the Sabaki Challenge
2014 San Francisco Sabaki Challenge
- World Sabaki Challenge, http://www.sabaki.com/, Added – 03/12/14
- Enshin Karate, http://enshin.com/, Added – 03/12/14
- Matrix Martial Arts, Practicality of Combat Style Karate Kata, and…, http://alcase.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/practicality-of-combat-style-karate-kata-and/, Added – 0/7/19/14