Keri No Kata


Lester Ingber, 8th Dan

(Photo of Participants)


Photos with Anton Straughan <> (above right), 1st Dan, were taken by professional photographer Jon Soderstrom <> (above center). I thank Anton for volunteering for this project in spite of his severe knee injury. I very much appreciate the time, energy and expertise contributed by both men.

This form, Keri No Kata, is also on, sponsored by the Shotokan Research Society International (SRSI). This group motivated the development of Keri No Kata. John "Genjumin" Versteeg <> gave this form its present name.

Some discussion on the motivation for this kata is in the file karate.html available from the archive under section @@Kicking Form Keri No Kata.

Here is a brief description of some aspects motivating development of this form.

When I started creating two-person combinations circa 1970, fresh after graduating the JKA/AAKF Karate Instructor's School in 1968, they were just as hard to develop as to learn: The analogy is learning chess well enough to do one move at a time, perhaps seeing ahead 1-1/2 moves. A master must be able to see ahead at least a couple of moves -- this is so hard for a computer but humans deal with this by developing patterns. This leads to the ability to think in "paragraphs" of the language.

While in Instructor's school, I started to develop relatively long single person combinations, 8-12 techniques with 2-3 sub-patterns. These represented a level of combination training above regular training exercises. Two-person combinations with 2-3 sub-patterns requires an even bigger jump. It certainly requires that the developer have the absolute skill to perform all karate techniques as well as be highly skilled in timing, etc.

In the 1970's, it was daunting to see if students could actually learn two-person combinations of typical length 5-6 techniques each side, a new combination each day. I found that once my black belts learned to do a few, a class of brown and black belts (and sometimes some good green belts) could get into the frame of mind to every advanced training period learn and perform these two-person combinations, executed with speed and rhythm that embarrasses much canned action on TV or movies.

Keri No Kata is the length of a typical long standard kata, with a few levels of patterns typical of my two-person combinations. A recurring theme in this Keri No Kata is a repeated tempo of intense back and forth combat, emphasizing kicks and leg control, at several levels of distance between opponents and from the floor, in flurries a bit longer than basic training exercises but not longer than most sparring or fighting matches.

Keri No Kata should be contrasted to themes that occur in many standard kata:

(a) Some of the 26 standard kata are relatively simple training exercises in stance and balance, while other have more interesting themes. In either case, note that there are relatively few different techniques in any given form.

(b) The challenge/opportunity I saw with Keri No Kata was to have to a form that contained many different kicking and other leg techniques in a context of full sparring interactions, e.g., requiring a reasonable complementary sprinkling of stances, hand techniques, and different kinds of timing and distance.

I think there are definite tradeoffs between (a) and (b). Both succeed to a large extent in what they were intended to offer. Most of most kata in (a) suffer by not addressing some features of (b), but it might grate some people to call (b) a "kata" if (b) does not fall within the constraints offered by (a). I see no harm done whether (b) is called a "kata" or not, but I certainly see value in better articulating a somewhat formal creative process that any excellent Instructor can follow to create forms for training on a regular basis. When I first formally published some two-person combinations in my book karate76_book.html available from the archive, I stated:

"TWO-PERSON COMBINATIONS. For advanced students, I have created two-person combinations to bridge the gap between combinations (the study of the interplay between the body and imagination) and the strategic interplay encountered in sparring. Because they are quite difficult to do, mistakes often occur. However, when both partners react correctly with each other, tremendous feedback pertaining to attention and physical techniques is available."

So, two-person combinations and "official kata" serve different purposes, and I think both kinds of training are at the least mutually supportive.

In Keri No Kata I also saw an opportunity to practice some "small" techniques (typically successive techniques from the same side of the body, requiring more precise stance and hip control), as well as slow smooth movements. For example, Choice 2 adds slow leg motions and sweeps that enable sides A and B to move together in sparring synchrony even when moving slowly using these grappling techniques. This is the sense of some T'ai Chi stick exercises with knife applications that I offer in my book karate85_book.html available from the archive.

All karate combinations and kata have many interpretations, applications and extensions, and I expect that Keri No Kata will similarly provide a base for future study.

My 1976 book ok.txt
contains 134 combinations and 16 two-person combinations in Appendix 4, which are representative of over 5000 combinations I created and taught from about 1969-1985. Unfortunately, the collection was lost in one of several moves, along with many other documents.

Keri No Kata
This translates to "Forms of Kicking".

^ North
> East
< West
v South
(Sometimes description will further detail NE, SE, SW, or NW.)

R right leg forward (sometimes requires explanation)
L left leg forward (sometimes requires explanation)

RH right hand
LH left hand
RL right leg
LL left leg

! Kiai
; Pause
* Slow Motion
& Simultaneous Techniques

A side A
B side B

{...} Alternative Interpretations/Training

This kicking form can be done as a single-person form. Just do side A, then follow with side B after the last Pause. Try it 10x slow, then 10x fast.

This kicking form also can be done with a partner. After both people practice it as a one-person form, select who will be A and B. Do the form 10x slow, changing sides A and B each time. Then do the form 10x fast alternating being A and B.

This kicking form includes mid-distance, close-distance, long-distance, flying, sweeping, and floor techniques, the use of legs for kicking at these distances as well as for sweeping, throwing, and double-stepping techniques.

This kicking form also has a Choice option (Void) in the middle, requiring an added level of preparedness and alertness. One side spontaneously decides to lead a given Choice. If this is being performed as a single-person form, then have the last half (side B) follow the same choice. (While learning the form, Choice 1 can simply flow into Choice 2.) If this is being performed as a two-person form, modify the above instructions by performing the Choices each 10x slow, then 10x fast with a spontaneous Choice being made each time.

I have not explicitly described all body power techniques, e.g., vibration, rotation, reverse-rotation, shifting, etc. My texts karate76_book.html and karate81_book.txt go into sufficient detail on the proper use of the body for karate techniques.

If a stance is not indicated, front-stance is implied.

Photos were taken from angles that best illustrate the techniques. Refer to the text for actual positions relative to the starting positions. Figure numbering corresponds to the numbering of techniques. A Latin suffix on the figure number (e.g., .a, .b, etc.) signifies that several intermediate shots of the movements are presented for additional clarity. In general, photos of striking techniques were taken at their full extension before the snap back. Refer to the text for the actual techniques.

(Fig. 1)

v B(S,L)
^ A(N,L)

A: Starting position, front-stance LL forward, facing North.
B: Starting position, front-stance LL forward, facing South.
(Fig. 2)

A(N,R) ^ < B(W,L)

A: Front-snap kick RL stomach.
B: Circle-shift to hour-glass-stance, outside-to-inside sweep
   down-block LH, cross RH to protect against higher kick.
(Fig. 3)

A(E,R) >
       ^ B(N,R)

A: Same leg side-thrust kick.
B: Step and slide back down-block RH.
(Fig. 4)

B(N,L) ^ > A(E,R)

A: Leaning down-block LH to back (W).  Spine, LH and LL parallel.
B: Round-snap-kick.
(Fig. 5)

B(E,R) > < A(W,R)

A: Drive into counter-punch stomach.
B: LL back to reverse-rotation counter-back-fist strike-lock face.
(Fig. 6)

B(E,L) >
       ^ A(N,L)

A: Circle-shift to half-moon stance, body vibration close-distance
   short-punch LH to ribs.
B: Round-knee-kick LL to stomach.
(Fig. 7)

v B(S,L)
^ A(N,L)

A: RL back to back-stance reverse-rotation LH punch to face.
B: LL back close to RL, RL step-back to outside-to-inside open-hand
   high sweep-block.
[8.1] (Choice 1)
(Fig. 8.1)

B(S,R) v
       > A(E,L)

A: Pick up leg away from sweep, side-snap kick to stomach.
B: RL reverse-rotation close sweep-kick front leg of A.
[9.1] (Choice 1)
(Fig. 9.1)

v B(S,L)
^ A(N,L)

A: Leg back to back-stance, reverse-rotation LH knife-hand
   strike-snap to face.
B: Leg back to front-stance, LH inside-to-outside ridge-hand
   sweep-block to outside elbow of strike-attack.
[8.2] (Choice 2)
(Fig. 8.2.1.a)
(Fig. 8.2.1.b)
(Fig. 8.2.2)

*Slow Motion*
Do not complete throws or sweeps.
Use legs when shifting weight to control opponent.
Move synchronized together.

B(N,L) ^ v A(S,R)

A: 1. Step in, hooking LH bent-knife-hands, stepping into RH
      knife-hand strike-lock to neck in front-stance.
   2. Continue LL circle-shifting back to front-stance S, pushing
      ridge-hand on neck.
B: 1. Reach LH hooking bent-knife-hands, blocking strike-lock with
      LH elbow augmented with RH palm against LH wrist, stepping
      back to front-stance, hooking LL heel under A's RL leg.
   2. Continue turning to front-stance N, using a large geared
      ratio of motion to match the full motion of A, LH close to
      face knife-hand pressing against A's ridge-hand-strike.

{A and B can alternate/compete to complete throws.}
{Staff Interpretation:
Develop defenses against staff instead of arm.}
[9.2] (Choice 2)
(Fig. 9.2.1.a)
(Fig. 9.2.1.b)
(Fig. 9.2.2)
(Fig. 9.2.3)
(Fig. 9.2.4)

*Slow Motion*
Do not complete throws or sweeps.
Use legs when shifting weight to control opponent.
Move synchronized together.

v B(S,L)
^ A(N,L)

A: 1. LL again circle-shifting, leaning forward, using back LL while
      facing N to sweep B's LL.
   2. Continue turning to front-stance (S,L), RH hook-punch to L.
   3. Continue to stepping in to front-stance (S,R), sweeping LH
      out to knife-hand strike to face.
   4. Continue turning to back-stance (N,L), RH
      counter-spear-hand-punch stomach.
B: 1. Step back to leaning front-stance (R,N), reverse-rotation
      RH palm-strike-lock to lower back.
   2. Continue turning to side-stance (W),
      counter-sweep-outside-round-block RH.
   3. Continue into front-strance (S,L), RH counter-punch stomach.
   4. Continue leaning forward reverse-rotation LH palm-thrust face.

{A and B can alternate/compete to complete throws.}
{Staff Interpretation:
Use staff to help throw opponent, and taking over control of staff
to counter-attack.}
(Fig. 10)

v B(S,L)
^ A(N,L)

A: Front leg front-snap-kick face.
B: Slide back to back-stance, vertical LH outside-to-inside sweep
   outside-forearm-block, horizontal RH behind LH palm facing out.
(Fig. 11)

v B(S,R)
^ A(N,R)

A: Continue momentum into front-thrust-kick.
B: Step back to cat-stance inside-to-outside sweep-down-block.
(Fig. 12)

v B(S,R)
^ A(N,L)

A: Leg back to back-stance, two-hand inside-to-outside sweep-block,
   LH low, RH higher to protect against rising kick.
B: Front-leg stretch out to round-snap-kick to groin.
(Fig. 13.a)
(Fig. 13.b)

v B(N,R)
^ A(N,R)

A: Step back front-stance, outside-to-inside two-hand sweep-block,
   LH kept low by groin, RH outside round block.
B: RL back to feet close to LL, circle LL back to
   back-thrust-kick LL.
(Fig. 14.a)
(Fig. 14.b)

B(S,L) v
       ^ A(N,L)

A: Step-in-punch face.
B: LL back close, step RL back to angular-side-stance chicken-head
(Fig. 15)

B(S,R) v ^ A(N,R)

A: Step in front-stance past B's kick, counter-inside-block LH W.
B: Crescent-kick to ribs.
(Fig. 16. Knee injury prevented B's jump.)

< A(W)
^ B(N,R)

A: Flying-side-thrust-kick LL to SW.
B: Continue angular momentum of kick, jump high, in place not
   long-distance, turning in air, landing first on RL, driving back
   LL to back-stance RH outside-forearm-block.
(Fig. 17.a)
(Fig. 17.b)

A(S,L) v > B(E,R)

A: Land feet close, LL "bounce" and continue circle-shift
   to side-stance, bottom-fist-strike-lock face.
B: Step RL to front-stance, changing arms to face A, leaning forward
   back-thrust-kick LL stomach.
(Fig. 18)

A(E,L) > < B(W,L)

A: Turn to RH counter-punch face.
B: Turn to RH counter-punch stomach.
(Fig. 19)

A(E,L) > < B(W,R)

A: Pull up front LL & high inside-forearm-sweep-block RH,
   elbow and knee close.
B: RL sweep to A's front leg & LH counter-punch face.
(Fig. 20)

A(E,R) > ^ B(W,R)

A: Back-heel-stomp-kick to back of A's ankle.
B: Continue to bent-arm outside knife-hand-strike-lock SW to back
   of neck.
(Fig. 21.a)
(Fig. 21.b)

v A(S,L)
^ B(N,L)

A: Step down LL close to RL, turn RL counter-clockwise
   (relative to floor) to cat-stance, reverse-rotation LH through
   center, outside-to-inside finger-sweep across eyes.
B: LL side-step in, LL close to RL, circle-shift RL clockwise
   (relative to floor) to cat-stance reverse-rotation LH through
   center, tortoise-head strike to stomach.
(Fig. 22)

v A(S,L)
^ B(N,L)

A: Slide back to back-stance, LH ox-jaw down-block to B's wrist.
B: Drive into front-stance counter-palm-strike ribs.
(Fig. 23)

v A(S,L)
^ B(N,R)

A: LL inside-round-kick stomach.
B: LL on knee, RL front leg close front-stance, two-hand-crossed
   sweep-defense palms across kick, LH low RH high.
(Fig. 24. Knee injury prevented B's full kneeling.)

A(S,L) v ^ B(N)

A: Drop to LL knee close to front RL leg, LH bottom-fist
   strike-snap E to face.
B: RL back to full kneeling, reverse-rotation LH bottom-fist
   inside-to-outside strike-lock to ribs.
(Fig. 25)

A(E) > < B(W,R)

A: Roll to right side, grab floor for stance using right arm and
   left hip, LL side-thrust-kick groin.
B: Spin on knees NW, leaning 45 degrees to vertical, creating stance
   with LH on floor and LL shin, front-snap-kick 45 degrees to
   vertical to NW to face with RL from LL knee.
(Fig. 26)

v A(S)
^ B(N)

A: Roll up to full kneeling to left, RH spear-hand
   counter-punch stomach.
B: RL back and turning on LL knee to full kneeling N,
   LH reverse-rotation back-fist strike-snap face.
(Fig. 27)

v A(S,R)
^ B(N,R)

A: Roll to left side, grab floor for stance using left arm and
   right hip, RL round-snap-kick chest, over B's LL knee.
B: Drive in counter-punch RH using RL knee as back leg of
(Fig. 28)

v A(S,R)
^ B(N,R)

A: RL back close to LL knee, RL front leg of front-stance,
   LH counter-inside-round-block.
B: LL step back to leaning full front-stance, rotate hips to
   RH palm-strike down to side of face.
(Fig. 29)

v A(S,L)
^ B(N,R)

A: Drive LL to front-snap-kick, RL back of front-stance.
B: Slide back to back-stance, RH outside-to-inside sweep-down-block.
(Fig. 30.a)
(Fig. 30.b)

v A(S,L)
> B(E,L)

A: LL to front leg front-stance into RH counter-punch face.
B: RL step-back short step, LL drive N side-stance reverse-rotation
   LH punch stomach.
(Fig. 31)

v A(S,L)
^ B(N,L)

A: Slide back to starting position, front-stance LL forward.
B: Slide back to starting position, front-stance LL forward.


Lester Ingber <>

Copyright © 2000-2019 Lester Ingber. All Rights Reserved.

$Id: karate00_keri_no_kata.html,v 1.58 2019/09/28 01:03:30 ingber Exp ingber $