Matsubayashi-ryu Rohai Kata

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ROHAI means vision of the white crane (or heron). The signature move in the Matsubayashi-ryu Rohai Kata resembles a crane or heron standing on a rock so it is often called bird on a rock. This signature move can be used to defend against a kick or tackle by quickly stepping out of the way, raising the front leg and smashing down with the dropping open hand low block. In the case of a tackle that low block can be to the back of the head, driving the attacker into the ground.

These videos are part of an advanced study project I took on as a Yondan and Renshi. The purpose was to video document the full set of 18 Matsubayashi Ryu kata as well as a few additional kata to use as a baseline for further refinement and study.


Father & Son Performance of Matsubayashi-ryu Rohai Kata in 2012

The above video is MJ and I performing the Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu Kata Rohai (Bird on a Rock) at MJ’s Joshu Yonban (4th degree junior black belt) promotion. MJ then performed a self defense bunkai (analysis) application from the kata Wankan on me. MJ always enjoyed “beating up” his dad when he could! LOL!

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-Renshi Mike Scaramozzino


This kata is based on the version described in Shoshin Nagamine’s book:Shoshin Nagamine's book The Essence of Okinawan Karate-do Matsubayashi Ryu

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