Kata Suparinpei (also pronounced Superenpei) is one of the original Kata from Ryu Ru Ko Sensei while he was in Fuzchou in the Fukien Province of Southern China and was handed down to Kanryo Higaonna Sensei and on to Kenwa Mabuni. It is one of only four-Kata still pronounced in its Chinese form. Visually it is similar to the Chinese White Crane Kata and the Kempo Kata of the Dragon! Its Okinawan counterpart is Pechurin.
Superinpei is the number 108 in Chinese and the Kata itself is sometimes called or translated as; 1. 108 Hands 2. The final 108 hands 3. 108 Techniques.
And has special significance in Buddhism. Buddhists believe that man has 108 evil passions and once a year on December 31st at midnight a bell is rang at Buddhists temple to drive away those 108 evil passions. The number 108 has a significant calculation of 3 X 36, the number 36 is significant from Kata Sanseru and the number 3 exemplifies past, present, and the future. The number 3 is also significant in ALL aspects of Naha-te clearly evident in Kata Sanchin (three battles!).
It is also believed that Superinpei could be in reference of the 108 men who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor in the 1600’s along the country side of China. (Does this have a familiar sound to it!). Superinpei by reference could also hold a meaning of 108 men each with a different evil passion or all of these together. 108 men who joined forces to fight their 108 passions, they ended up being called ‘vigilantes’ and also studied a martial art which had 108 movements (3x3x3 again!) Superinpei (another direct contact to the 108 men who traveled through out the country side in China in the 1600’s)
Superinpei is Naha-te’s longest (standard) Kata containing more applications and techniques than any other Naha-te Kata and uses classic breathing however silent [Ibuki]. Yes still can executed with perfect form and end in Zanshin. Many of the techniques in this Kata can also be found in earlier Naha-te Kata (Sesan and Sanseiru, etc…). Master Hirokazu Kanazawa of Shotokan Karate International, add this kata to his association and called it Hyaku hachi ho (Japanese translation of Suparinpei).