Newville Scorpions Isshinryu Karate



Written up by Sensei Vern Graham

The Study of Isshin Ryu karate includes physical conditioning, learning Kata forms, self-defense, and sparring with opponents, as well as the development of the mind in the areas of self-discipline, and its connection with your physical movements.  

The “Basics” of Isshin Ryu Karate are the basic stances, movements, blocks and punches found in the style.  

They are the foundation for good karate performance, and the basis for what you will learn as you progress.  They must be practiced continually as you progress, in order to achieve and maintain the proper form, focus, and power in your techniques.  

The following are the Basics, but there are many things you must know about them that are not listed here due to space limitations.  

You should work with a qualified Black Belt in order to obtain the additional instruction, and use this only as a reference.  

First Stances:  Heiko Dachi, Seisan Dachi, Musubi Dachi  

C-Step:  Forwards and backwards, starting in Heiko into Seisan dachi.

Side Block / Straight Punch:  Block should be shoulder high with elbow 1 fist away from the ribs.  Punch is to the solar plexus, using a vertical fist with the thumb locking the wrist, while the Block retracts to the hip.  It should not extend fully, 
(Elbow 1 fist from ribs).  Striking point on fist is the top 2 large knuckles.  

Head Block / Upper Cut:  Block should be above the head covering across to the other ear, at a 45 degree angle, and with the forearm facing the expected strike (palm toward the forehead).  Punch has the palm up and aims at the upper lip / nose area.  It should move in a straight line from the hip.  

Leg Block / Face Punch:  Block starts with fist at opposite shoulder and swings down past the other fist at the hip before crossing in front of the groin to the leg block position 1 to 2 fists in front of the thigh of the forward leg.  Punch is delivered in a straight line from the hip toward the opponent’s upper lip/nose.  It ends with the elbow slightly bent and the fist at a 45-degree inward angle. 

Circle Block / Palm Heel Strike:  Block starts out with open hand moving across the waist to the other hand and circling up to a side block position, only with a focus downward and with the hand open, palm up, and the wrist locked back as far as possible.  The Palm Heel strike follows a straight line from the hip to the opponent’s upper lip / nose area, with the fingers up and the wrist locked back.

Front Kick:  Start in Seisan Dachi and kick with the rear leg.  Lift the knee to waist or higher (height of knee determines kick height).  Kick to the front with the focus straight at the opponent rather than up, extending the ankle and pulling the toes back so as to strike with the ball of foot.  Retract as quickly as you kicked, and set the foot down in the front position of a proper seisan dachi.  Knees are bent throughout, and hands remain in a relaxed guard position.  

Angle and Side Kicks:  Start in Seisan Dachi and kick with the rear leg.  Swing your guard toward the opponent and raise the kicking leg with the knee high and at a 45-degree angle toward the opponent (this will be straight at him if an angle kick).  The foot should have the ankle locked in a position where the toes are pulled up toward the knee, with the bottom of the foot turned in toward your other knee.  From this position the foot must follow a straight line toward the opponent.  Halfway to the Opponent you must pivot on your supporting foot, and use a hip pivot as well, to drive a stomp-like kick toward the opponent.  The striking point will be with the heel and outside edge of the foot.  Retraction must be quick and you set the foot down in the proper Seisan stance, front position, straightening both feet as necessary.  Knees must remain bent at all times and the guard position of the hands/arms must be maintained as well.



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