Saturday, 23 January 2021

The IRON PALM kata

There are three ‘iron palm’ kata, from Asai Style Karate in 国際空手道松濤館 (International Karate Shotokan), these are:




掌手大   (Shote Dai)


掌手小   (Shote Sho)


Like all of the other karate from Asai Sensei, they are 自由型 (Jiyu-gata); that, is free-choice for those holding Dan. While they are not ‘compulsory’ they are quite popular as they possess many excellent bujutsu-karate waza.

Needless to say, the main weapon is SHOTE itself (the palm hand), which is more commonly referred to as TEISHO (small palm) in Shotokan circles; however, all three of these kata contain many other open-handed weapons of the body such as kakuto, shuto, haito, haishu and others.

Furthermore, all three feature only one keriwaza: Kizami mae-geri. While josokutei (the ball of the foot) is targeted chudan, it can naturally also target gedan where haisoku (the instep) can be employed. Furthermore, the chambering of the kick, in close range, can be used as a knee followed by a low mae-geri.

In Sensho the jodan palm attacks impact on a light angle. As its name suggests, ‘turning palms’ is its combative theme. Shote Dai and Shote Sho drive through with the jodan palm thrusts. Shote Dai is more linear, Shote Sho is more circular and has more complex combinations better suited to higher graded practitioners. All three kata are directly applicable as is, but also contain a deeper layer of applications.

I practice and teach unique versions of these three kata, which retain the way Asai Sensei taught and applied them. For the last week, them and their respective applications have dominated my kata and kumite practice/training; hence. That motivated me to discuss them briefly here today.

 My hope is that everyone is well, positive, practicing and improving! Greetings from Oita, Japan. Osu, André

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2021).

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