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Suparinpei the lost Kata of Wado Ryu Karate

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Suparinpei the lost Kata of Wado Ryu Karate

Suparinpei, or ‘One-hundred and eight,’ is widely known as the ‘Lost Kata of Wado Ryu.’ Originating as Petchurin, this kata was brought to Okinawa from China’s Fukien Province over a century ago. It encompasses intricate movements at varying speeds, coupled with carefully synchronized breathing control. It was considered the most advanced and hardest to master of the 13 Goju Ryu Kata developed by Karate master Chojun Miyagi, Suparinpei is comprised of 108 fighting movements, symbolizing the 108 desires or temptations listed in Buddhist doctrines.

 

Suparinpei 108 movements

While tradition attributes its origins to Buddhist teachings, the kata’s 108 movements align with the 108 major maiming and striking points on the human body that cause maximum damage. Some speculate that Suparinpei has roots in the acupoint school, established by Feng Yiquan, this is supported by references to the Indian medical Sastra, Susruta Samhita, which highlighted ‘108 vulnerable points’ on the body.

 

Ohtsuka-Sensei once practiced Suparinpei, but eventually decided to drop it from the Wado Ryu system due to conflicts with the inherent core concepts of Wado. Despite this, its popularity among Wado practitioners led to its resurgence; it was also considered very challenging to learn, which in turn drove karate masters and instructors to challenge themselves. Hakoishi Katsumi, 8th Dan, recreated the ‘new’ Wado version in 2001, now practiced in JKF-Wado Kai Dojos globally. Within Wado Ryu/Kai systems, Suparinpei undergoes slight variations, influenced by the Technical Directorship in JKF-Wado Kai. The British Wado Kai adheres to the version introduced by Hakoishi Sensei in 2003.

┬áThe kata’s precursor, Petchurin, was formulated in the early 1600s by Chinese martial-arts master General Ye-Fai and taught to Higaonna Kanryo in the Fukien Province by Shorinji Kempo master Ryu-Ryu-Ko. Renamed Suparinpei by Chojun-Miyagi, its roots trace back to Xie-Zhongxiang, also known as Ryo-Ryo-Ko, a master of Shaolin Chuan-fa in the Fujian Province of China. Xie-Zhongxiang’s system, based on acupoint striking methods, influenced prominent figures like Higaonna-Kanryo, Miyagi-Chojun, and Nakaima-Norisato.

 

Suparinpei is a worthwhile challenge

From my own personal perspective this is a very difficult Kata to learn. Do not try and learn from a YouTube video, make sure you learn from a competent instructor who knows it well and can explain and show you every fine detail of each move.

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