Suisho-no-Kon Step-by-Step Breakdown

How to Learn Bo Kata Suisho no Kon with Step by Step Breakdown

This post details the step-by-step breakdown of the previous kata video I posted, Kata Suisho no Kon. It uses a series of freeze-frames from the practice video to show each of the specific moves in the kata along with descriptions and tips. I also include a step-by-step PDF reference sheet that you may download and print. Along with the previous practice video, this should greatly help you learn and practice this intermediate bo kata as a supplement to your local instruction.

[Note: The photos below are freeze frames from the live action practice video, so they are not as perfect as if they were specifically posed photos for each move.] 


Suisho no Kon Bo Kata Freeze-Frame Step-by-Step Breakdown

Opening Sequence

This kata begins in a Musubi-dachi (heels together) with Bo behind Right arm/hand. Then unwind into starting position and announce the name of the kata.

1A) Yoi. Musubi-dachi (North). Bo held vertical on Right-side behind R-hand/arm.
1B) Rei (bow).
2A) Open. Reach L-hand over grasping Bo with palm up under R-elbow while unwinding the Bo into a Fuso right, vertical at R-side with thumbs down, as you L-step out forward into Shizentai-dachi (natural stance).
2B) L-hand drops down to an open-hand low-block position. Announce kata: Suisho no Kon.

First Horizontal Strike Combination

The following moves are done with a single step. Flow from one move into the next, but not just as if spinning/flipping the Bo around. Think of each move as a strike with power behind it. You may vary the cadence and pacing to place more emphasis on specific strikes to suit. I tend to emphasize the forward thrusts. Keep the horizontal moves all on the same plane and try to target the forward tip of the Bo to hit the same small target on each strike of the set.

3A) Reach L-hand across chest to grip Bo palm forward, thumb down
3B) L-step forward into Zenkutsu-dachi. R-side strike.
3C) L-side strike.
3D) Same side R-down strike with L-hand under R-arm.
3E) Unwind switching R-hand as it passes high, both thumbs facing middle, both palms down.
3F) Flow into L-hand forward thrust on R-side.
3G) R-hand side strike, from R to L, ending on L-side.

Second Horizontal Strike Combination

Same as the previous set but with thumbs always toward the middle of the Bo without any hand switches. Also performing the strikes on the opposite side as previous set.

4A) R-Step forward into R Zenkutsu-dachi. L-side strike.
4B) R-side strike.
4C) L-down strike with R-hand under L-arm.
4D) Unwind flowing into R-hand thrust on L-side.
4E) L-hand side strike, from L to R, ending on R-side.

Third Horizontal Strike Combination

Same as the previous set but on the opposite side.

5A) L-Step forward into L Zenkutsu-dachi. R-side strike.
5B) L-side strike.
5C) R-down strike with L-hand under R-arm.
5D) Unwind flowing into L-hand thrust on R-side.
5E) R-hand strike, from R to L, ending on L-side.

Side Thrust/Poke to East/West in North Facing Shiko-dachi

These side thrusts and pool cue pokes are done in a Shiko-dachi (Jigotai-dachi). Perform the side thrust with Bo horizontal to the ground. Perform the pool cue poke with the Bo pointed upward at about a 30°- 45° angle, as if striking an attacker on horseback. Trap the near end of the Bo under your arm in both cases.

6A) R-step forward into Shiko-dachi (N). R-side thrust (E).
6B) L-side pool cue poke high (W).

South/North Side Thrusts

Side thrusts to South/North in East facing Shiko-dachi. Perform the thrusts horizontal to the ground trapping the near end of the Bo under your arm.

7A) R-step back turning R into Shiko-dachi facing (E) looking (S). R-side thrust (S)
7B) L-side thrust (N).

West Side Vertical Block

From the East facing Shiko-dachi, step backward turning to face North into Zenkutsu-dachi. Perform the Left side block to the strong-side (the side of the forward leg) holding the Bo vertically.

8) L-step back (W) into (N) facing L-Zenkutsu-dachi. L-strong-side vertical block (W).

Side Thrust/Poke to South/North in West Facing Shiko-dachi

These South/North side thrusts and pool cue pokes are done the same way they were to the East/West in 6A/6B.

9A) R-step forward into (W) facing Shiko-dachi. L-pool cue high poke (S).
9B) R-side thrust (N).

East Side Vertical Block

From the West facing Shiko-dachi, step backward turning to face North into Zenkutsu-dachi. Perform the Right side block to the strong-side (the side of the forward leg) holding the Bo vertically. Same as step 8 but to the opposite side.

10) R-step backward (E) into (N) facing R-Zenkutsu-dachi. R-strong-side vertical block (E).

Kneeling Block/Strike Combination

This kneeling combination drops to one knee while blocking an attacker’s down strike followed by taking out both of the attacker’s knees with helicopter strikes. When performing the helicopter spins keep the back end of the Bo close to your body just enough away to clear your knee but not hit the attacker’s leg and extend the front end of the Bo further out to take out the attacker’s knees or ankles. Just remember you are striking with the front end of the Bo (front hand on each strike), not the back end of the Bo on these helicopter strikes.

11A) Drop to L-knee into Iagoshi-dachi. Horizontal high block.
11B) R-hand switch while unwinding into R-low helicopter strike.
11C) Both hand switches while unwinding into L-low helicopter strike.

North/South Side Thrusts

Side thrusts to North/South in West facing Shiko-dachi. Perform the thrusts horizontal to the ground trapping the near end of the Bo under your arm. Same as step 7 but facing the opposite direction.

12A) Unwind Bo switching L-hand (both palms down again) while rising up into Shiko-dachi facing (W) and flow into R-side thrust (N).
12B) L-side thrust (S).

Retreating Blocking Sequence

This final sequence of moves is a series of alternating side and high blocks while retreating back to the final close position. All side blocks are performed with the Bo held vertically and the high block is with the Bo held horizontally above the head. Keep both hands relatively far apart with both thumbs toward the middle of the Bo.

13) R-step backward (E) turn R into (N) facing R-Zenkutsu-dachi. R-strong-side vertical block.
14) R-step backward into L-Zenkutsu-dachi. L-strong-side vertical block.
15) L-step backward into R-Zenkutsu-dachi. Horizontal high block. Kiai.
16A) R-step back into L-Zenkutsu-dachi. L-strong-side vertical block.
16B) R-weak-side (opposite side of the front leg) vertical block.

Closing Sequence

The kata ends by rotating the Bo back to where it started and bowing out.

17A) L-step back while unwinding Bo and switching R-hand.
17B) Return to Yoi. Musubi-dachi with Bo behind R-arm/hand.
17C) Rei (bow).

Suisho no Kon Bo Kata PDF Reference Sheet

The following PDF reference sheet is a single condensed page to use as reference while learning and practicing the kata. It is useful to help you remember what all the moves are until they are committed to muscle memory or for review to remember them after returning to the kata if it hasn’t been practiced in a while. I had created this reference sheet when I was first learning the kata myself.

Download Suisho no Kon Bo Kata PDF Reference Sheet

Bo-Kata-2-Suisho-no-Kon-02-28-21


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Shoshin Nagamine's book The Essence of Okinawan Karate-do Matsubayashi Ryu

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