Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate-Do training consists of the following:
Kihon Waza includes the basic techniques which provide the foundation for Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate Do. Kihon Waza are practiced regularly by students of all ranks, and are considered the cornerstone of training.
Kihon Waza includes:
Kata are sequences of karate techniques developed as a method of training when alone, and as a vehicle for preserving and teaching the essence of a particular style of martial art. Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate-Do focuses on a relatively small number of kata developed or modified by Shinan Kori Hisataka and his son Shihan Masayuki Hisataka.
Tanshiki Kumite describes the practice of single-attack, single-defense and counter-attack with two opponents. Tori attacks with a pre-determined technique, and Uke defends and counter-attacks using any combination of escape, block, hand, foot or throwing technique.
Tanshiki Kumite is practiced with all of the hand and foot techniques available, as well as weapons techniques at a more advanced level. It allows students to practice techniques with the help of an opponent to develop judgement of proper distance, target and timing.
As in all techniques of Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate-Do, both opponents practice Tsuranuki, or going through the target, such that each attack or counter-attack goes slightly beyond the target to foster the judgement of proper distance and maximum power (unlike most styles which practice Sundome, or focused techniques). Of course the counter-attack is aimed at the side of the actual target, or the opponent may decide in advance to duck from the counter-attack to prevent injury.
At more advanced levels, this type of kumite is practiced using Morote, or double techniques; or a single technique can be escaped followed by a series of counter-attacks.
Fukushiki Kumite refers to a number of pre-arranged fighting forms regularly practiced in Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate-Do. The number and complexity of movements increase with more advanced kumite. Practice begins slowly and deliberately, striving for proper technique. Once the basic movements are learned, the students focus on proper distance, target and timing. Eventually full speed and force are applied, allowing students to simulate a full contact contest with minimal risk of injury.
The most regularly practiced kumite in Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate-Do are:
Shiai means contest, and refers to the practice of free-fighting in Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate-Do. Shiai is practiced using full contact, and both opponents wear protective armor, or bogu, to protect the target areas of the torso. Strikes must be made to the bogu, and only strikes which are delivered with force and balance are counted as successful. An ippon may be scored if the technique is judged powerful enough to have disabled the opponent in a real-life situation. (In this case the match may be ended immediately). The specific rules governing each match may vary and are determined in advance by the head judge.
Shiai allows each contestant to experience the thrill, apprehension, pain, and uncertainty of a full contact fight, utilizing the bogu to prevent serious injury. The student is able to see which techniques are effective and which are not. Each participant learns to face the fear of conflict; and develops their stamina, skill and courage. Good sportsmanship, respect, and camaraderie among the contestants is strongly emphasized. In addition, the most highly respected award is that given to the contestant who demonstrates, by a consensus of the judges, Budo Seishin, the best spirit, regardless of their success or loss in the match.
Buki-ho (Traditional Weapons).
The primary traditional weapons used in Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate-Do are the Jo, Bo and Sai. Traditional weapons originated with the use of farm tools and other items commonly available to the working class in Okinawa for self-defense purposes against the sword and spear. Okinawan farmers were not allowed to bear weapons, and were, by nature, a peaceful people. They survived aggression by using their bodies and tools as weapons.
Shinan Kori Hisataka was initially trained in his family's style of kobudo (weapons training). When his father died prematurely, Kanagushiku Ufuchiku was asked to continue his kobudo training. Shinan Histaka later refined his style of kobudo by incorporating elements of Okinawan kobudo techniques with elements of Chinese martial arts he learned while studying Shorinji and Hakkyoku kempo in China. Shorinjiryu Watanabe-Ha Karate-Do teaches the Shishiryu style of bo-jutsu and the Kudakaryu style of sai-jutsu. Shishiryu means 'lion-style', and seems to refer to the great strength and large, flowing movements inherent in Shishiryu bo practice. Kudakaryu refers to the Hisataka family style of kobudo.
The major methods of kobudo practice include Shishiryu bo kata and Kudakaryu sai kata; and the practice of bo-sai kumite and bo-bo kumite which are similar to the empty hand fukushiki kumite.