KishimotoDi – Ancient Style of Karate
KishimotoDi is a small, rare system of Shuri-Te (the predecessor art to Shorin-Ryu styles of Karate). Like Shorin-Ryu, KishimotoDi traces its roots back to “Tode” Sakugawa Kanga. Sakugawa taught his system of Tode (lit. “China Hand”) to “Bushi” Tachimura (a contemporary of the more famous “Bushi” Matsumura Sokon) who then taught it to Kishimoto Soko, for whom the style is named. Kishimoto Soko taught the style to Higa Seitoku, the founder of the Bugeikan on Okinawa, and he made the system a part of his organization’s curriculum. His son, Higa Kiyohiko, is now the head of the Bugeikan, and continues passing on the KishimotoDi system. As of the writing of this article, there are less than 300 practitioners of KishimotoDi, world-wide, and only a handful of instructors.
There are only 4 kata in KishimotoDi, and it contains no weapons kata of its own, although bojutsu and saijutsu are part of the system. Key features of KishimotoDi kata are sinking and twisting, and the kata are considered “soft” forms. In application, KishimotoDi follows three primary principles: “avoid by an inch,” “attack and defense as one,” and “body and technique arrive at the same time.” It is a very direct style. As Ulf Karlsson Sensei says, “it is so simple, it’s difficult.” Most people who train in KishimotoDi come to it with previous training in karate, and it can be difficult to adapt to the softer style, the sinking, and the twisting found in its kata and techniques.
For more information on the kata of KishimotoDi, please visit the main KishimotoDi Kata section.
Video Demonstration of KishimotoDi Techniques