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Imi (Meaning)

My good friend and senior, Sensei Pat Nakata, said that his sensei, Choshin Chibana (founder of the Kobayashi-Ryu form of Shorin-Ryu and student of Anko Itosu), did not speak about bunkai (applications). Instead, they used the term imi (meaning).

Often, the way a technique was done in the kata differed from its actual meaning. For example, punches were usually done to the middle or high levels, but not in a downward direction. This was because it did not look good to punch someone who had fallen (or been dropped by a punch).

Chibana Sensei learned the imi of kata from Itosu Sensei. I have found learning the imi of kata from Nakata Sensei to be fascinating. The fact that we practice different forms of Shorin-Ryu does not matter in the least.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin