大浪 Onami Tonfa Kata – Great Wave Tonfa/Tuifa Form

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The above video shows an outdoor practice session of a kobudo kata named Onami. Onami means Great Wave. This was the first Tonfa (Tuifa) kata that I learned and is a simpler form than the Tonfa no Ichi kata, which I had previously posted, since I performed that kata in a recent promotion.

Onami primarily incorporates basic tonfa blocks and blunt strikes using the short butt end of the Tonfa, with a few kicks and flipping strikes using the long end. Tonfa no Ichi in contrast, focuses more on flipping strikes at various angles and is more difficult to learn/perform. Onami is a good basic tonfa (tuifa) kata to start with. Onami is the tonfa form in the kobudo program I run at The Academy of Traditional Karate.

Periodically video taping practice sessions like this is a great way to review and analyze your own performance. On video you can see what you are doing well and where you can continue to improve. Practicing Karate/Kobudo is always a constant process of learning, evaluating and improving.

Below is a freeze-frame step-by-step breakdown and PDF reference sheet as well as other versions of Onami.

Enjoy!

Onami Freeze-Frame Step-by-Step Breakdown

Onami is a kobudo Tonfa kata which focuses on repeating sets of basic blocks and strikes with the Tonfa along with a few kicks. This repetition helps drill the proper handling and manipulation of the Tonfa which takes more practice than the Bo.

[Note: These images are freeze-frame stills from the practice video, so they are not as perfect as specifically posed photos would be.]

Opening Sequence

1A) Kiotsuke (attention) Musubi-dachi (North). Both tonfa in L hand.
1B) Rei (bow).
2) Yoi: Raise tonfa chest level. Grab both handles with R-hand, then take one in each hand. Bring hands down to the sides and step out L-hachiji-dachi (like Pinan kata). Announce: Onami.

Side to Side Sequences (West to East)

3A) R step forward, turning L (West) into L-kumite-dachi. L-chudan-uke.
3B) R-gyaku-zuki.
3C) L-oi-zuki.
4A) L step across (North) turning R 180° into R-kumite-dachi. (East) R-chudan-uke.
4B) L-gyaku-zuki.
4C) R-oi-zuki.

Forward Jodan-uke Sequence (North)

5A) Turn L into L-kumite-dachi (N). L-jodan-uke.
5B) R-gyaku-zuki.
6A) R step forward (N). R-jodan-uke.
6B) L-gyaku-zuki.
7A) L step forward (N). L-jodan-uke.
7B) R step forward. R-oi-zuki. KIAI.

Backward Yoko-geri Sequences (South)

8A) R step across (W), turning L 180° (S). L-chudan-uke.
8B) R-gyaku-zuki.
9A) Chamber R knee, Open R tonfa inside over L shoulder.
9B) R-backfist flip to collar bone + R-downward yoko-geri.
9C) Land R-foot forward. Close R inside. L-gyaku-zuki. (S)
10A) Chamber L knee, Open L tonfa inside over R shoulder.
10B) L-backfist flip to collar bone + L-downward yoko-geri.
10C) Land L-foot forward. Close L inside. R-gyaku-zuki. (S)
11A) Chamber R-knee, Open R tonfa inside over L shoulder.
11B) R-backfist flip to collar bone + R-downward yoko-geri.
11C) Land R-foot forward. Close R inside. L-gyaku-zuki. (S)

Side/Side & Back/Front Mae-geri Sequences (East/West, South/North)

12A) Turn L (East) L-chudan-uke.
12B) R-gyaku-zuki
12C) L-oi-zuki.
12D) R-mae-geri, land back.
12E) R-jodan-gyaku-zuki
13A) L step (South) turn R 180° (West). R-chudan-uke.
13B) L-gyaku-zuki.
13C) R-oi-zuki.
13D) L-mae-geri, land back.
13E) L-jodan-gyaku-zuki.
14A) L step (S) L-jodan-uke.
14B) R-gyaku-zuki.
14C) R-mae-geri.
14D) Land back into angled shiko-dachi. Both tonfa smashing down. (S)
15A) L step (W) turning R 180° (N) R-jodan-uki.
15B) L-gyaku-zuki.
15C) L-mae-geri.
15D) Land back into angled shiko-dachi. Both tonfa smashing down. (N)

Diagonal Open Strike Sequences (NW – NE)

16A) L step (NW) flipping inside L-open-judan-zuki (NW).
16B) R-gyaku-zuki while closing L to the outside.
16C) R-mae-geri landing forward with a forward shuffle.
16D) L-gyak-zuki.
16E) R-oi-zuki.
16F) L-gyaku-zuki (NW).
17A) R step (NE) flipping inside R-open-judan-zuki (NE).
17B) L-gyaku-zuki while closing R to the outside.
17C) L-mae-geri landing forward with a forward shuffle.
17D) R-gyaku-zuki.
17E) L-oi-zuki.
17F) R-gyaku-izuki (NW).

Double Diagonal Striking Sequences (N)

18A) L step (N). L-chudan-uke.
18B) R-gyaku-zuki.
18C) L-oi-zuki (N).
19A) Flip inside R diagonal downward open backhand to collar bone and follow through down to side.
19B) Flip outside L from hip up over and down at shoulder level. All while taking a big step R forward.
19C) Flip L-upward and close it to the outside.
19D) Flip R upward and close to the inside (N).

Side to Side Sequences (East – West)

20A) L step (E) turn 270° into zenkutsu-dachi (E) L-gedan-barai.
20B) R step (E) R-oi-zuki (E).
21A) R step (W) turning 180° into zenkutsu-dachi (W) R-gedan-barai.
21B) L step (W) L-oi-zuki (W).

Second Set of Backward Yoko-geri Sequences (South)

22A) Step L (S) turn L (S) L-gedan-barai.
22B) R-gyaku-zuki (S).
23A) Chamber R knee, Open R tonfa inside over L shoulder.
23B) R-backfist flip to collar bone + R-downward yoko-geri.
23C) Land R-foot forward. Close R inside. L-gyaku-zuki. (S)
24A) Chamber L knee, Open L tonfa inside over R shoulder.
24B) L-backfist flip to collar bone + L-downward yoko-geri.
24C) Land L-foot forward. Close L inside. R-gyaku-zuki. (S)
25A) Chamber R-knee, Open R tonfa inside over L shoulder.
25B) R-backfist flip to collar bone + R-downward yoko-geri.
25C) Land R-foot forward. Close R inside. L-gyaku-zuki. (S)

Side to Side Mae-geri Sequences (W-E)

26) L step (W) Turn L 270° into L-zenkutsu-dachi (W). L-gedan-barai.
27A) R step R-oi-zuki.
27B) L-mae-geri landing back.
27C) L-gyaku-zuki.
28) R step (E) Turn R 180° into R-zenkutsu-dachi (E) R-gedan-barai.
29A) L step L-oi-zuki (E).
29B) R-mae-geri landing back.
29C) R-gyaku-zuki.

Closing Sequence (N)

30A) Yoi: L step back to hachiji-dachi (N) tonfa at sides.
30B) Kiotsuke: Bring tonfa up, grab both handles in R hand. Take both long ends in L hand down to L side, handles back. L step to R to musubi-dachi.
30C) Rei (bow).

Onami PDF Reference Sheet

The following PDF reference sheet is a distillation of all the moves in the kata to use as reference while learning and practicing the Tonfa/Tuifa 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. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.

Download Onami Tonfa Kata PDF Reference Sheet

Onami-03-15-22


Additional Version of Onami Tonfa (Tuifa) Form

The above video shows a similar Onami kata from another Matsubayashi-ryu dojo, AuroraKarate in OH. The basic embusen (pattern) is the same, as are many of the moves. There are some significant differences however. When learning any kata, I often try to find additional videos with similar versions as close to ours as possible. Analyzing the similarities and differences in such videos can sometimes help give further insights into a kata.


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