|Posted by Shito-Ryu Australia Karate-Do Kai on February 5, 2010 at 10:00 AM|
The above Kanji is for the kata Myojo which was a private kata of Kenwa Mabuni Sensei, the founder of Shito-Ryu Karate-Do. The information that I have about this kata comes from my personal contact with members of the Japan Shihan Kai of the late Kenzo Mabuni Soke.
The word Myojo can be interpreted to mean "morning star" however, the Kata derived its name from the name of the Japanese High School where Kenwa Mabuni Sensei attended to teach the students self defence. The Kata contains the self defence sequences that Mabuni Sensei taught to the students.
As far as I am aware, Myojo Kata was a private Kata devised by Kenwa Mabuni Sensei which was not taught or demonstrated to the general public. The kata was only taught to Shihans from Seito Shito Ryu by the late Kenzo Mabuni Soke. I have been fortunate enough to learn the Kata and Bunkai as taught by Kenzo Mabuni Soke and I should point out that it is nothing like the versions that can be viewed on YouTube which are vastly different from the Myojo as taught be Kenzo Mabuni Soke.
I have never taught Myojo to any of my students before and I recently decided that I would introduce it to members of the Honbu Dojo (Williams Family Karate Academy). I wanted to emphasize that Kata is more than a set of movements practised in a certain pattern, so instead of telling everyone that I would be teaching them a rare kata I broke the kata down into 6 combinations. We practiced each combination like a line drill and then looked at the application by working it with a partner to see how each set worked as a defence against an attack.
After everyone started to become familiar with the combinations, I put the moves together and showed them the kata. It was an interesting and different way to teach a new kata and I think (hope) everyone who participated found it interesting!
If you were at training this week and learnt Myojo, please leave a comment and tell us what you thought of the Kata and also the way it was presented ie: bunkai first. I would really like to see your comments and feedback.