Nijushiho being performed by Tetsuhiko Asai (1935 – 2006)


Nijushiho (Twenty-four steps) is of unknown origins though some scholars believe that like Sochin, it originally comes from the Chinese Dragon style of fighting. Others believe the kata was created by the 19th century Okinawan master Seisho Arakaki, who may have also invented Sochin and Unsu.

The Okinawan name, Niseishi, was changed by Gichin Funakoshi however both mean the same thing. Whenever it was created, its development follows the lineage of Kenzo Mabuni, who was taught it by his father Kenwa Mabuni, founder of the Shito-Ryu style. He learned it from Higaonna Kanryo, a famous teacher from the Naha-te school and it was passed on to him through Seisho Arakaki.

Kenzo Mabuni is said to have spent some time instructing Yoshitaka, Gichin Funakoshi’s son and as a result of these instructions, the Shotokan syllabus is believed to have gained Nijushiho, Sochin and Unsu.

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