Uke no Go Gensoku, Shito-Ryu’s Five Principles of Defense

The following principles are what all Shito-Ryu practitioners strive to master. Although it is an endless task…

Rakka: Like a falling flower
To block with such force that if the technique were applied to the trunk of a tree it would lose all of its flowers. A block should be executed so decisively that it not only halts an opponent’s attack but utterly defeats it with a single technique.

Uchi Uke Yoko Barai

Ryusui: Like flowing water
To flow with your opponents movements, using them against him and as an aid to your defense. Respond to your opponent using fluid movement.


Nagashi Uke

Kusshin: (“Darting out and in”) Control of an attack that uses body movement originating in the knees. Keep your spine straight and use your knees to control your height, giving you balance and the strength of your legs so that little effort is required to control the attack. Springing. A reflexive, darting “out and in” kind of body shifting from any angle.

Shuto Uke Kokutsu Gedan Barai

Tenshin: Tai sabaki,(rolling the body by stepping out)
Essentially avoiding your opponent’s attack using body movement. Stepping out in all directions.


Shotei Uke

Hangeki: Counter attack
When the need arises, respond to your opponents attacks with decisive, powerful counter-attacks. By utilizing the first four principles you may never need to implement the fifth, but if required you should apply you whole mind and body to the counter.


Jodan Tsuki Uke