Nagamine no Kon features a series of powerful reverse-cut horizontal strikes that we call Nagamine strikes in honor of Shoshin Nagamine, the founder of Matsubayashi-ryu, a specific version of Shorin-ryu karate do. These moves often begin with a horizontal high block to block an attacker’s vertical down strike to the head. The horizontal block is then followed by bringing the bo down to execute a powerful reverse-cut horizontal strike to the ribs. The kata contains four Nagamine strikes. The first to the rear and then three more in combination sets to the front, front left and front right. The kata also contains three sets of six strike combination moves repeated to the front, left and right.
As I had mentioned in a previous post, it is useful to periodically video practice sessions like this as a great way to find any little glitches and areas that could use further refinement. Sometimes you may notice differences between how you thought you were performing specific moves verses how you are actually performing those moves. This can be useful when practicing Karate, Kobudo and Qigong. These video exercises help me find all the areas to continue improving. They may also help others who may be working on the same material. As such, these videos are not intended as perfect examples, but rather as works in progress and snapshots in time.
Nagamine no Kon Bo Kata Freeze-Frame Step-by-Step Breakdown[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.]
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 – Nagamine no Kon.
First Upward Strike
The upward strike is done by dropping into an angled shiko-dachi and starting the tip of the Bo on or near the ground directly in front of you, which would be between the feet of an attacker. Then forcefully pull the front of the Bo upward curling the front hand up while pushing the back hand down to pivot the Bo like a lever. This would drive the Bo upward to strike the attacker’s groin. Note in the photos that the move ends with the tip of the Bo above where the groin would be. That’s because you want to strike as if the Bo could go right through the target rather than stopping the strike on the surface of the target. This upward strike may also be performed higher in a taller stance to strike the forward hand of an attacker holding a Bo to break their grip on their weapon.
First Nagamine Strike / Upward Strike Combination
The first Nagamine strike in this kata is done while spinning around 180° to the rear in a shiko-dachi. Then while turning back around to the front shifting into an angled shiko-dachi unwind the Bo down and around close to the body before bringing it up into the upward groin strike.
First Signature Nagamine Strike Combination
This is the signature Nagamine strike combination of this kata. This combination is done three times in the kata in three different directions. The first combination is forward to the North (front). The sequence begins by stepping into a shiko-dachi while performing a low side sweep block. Then shift into a zenkutsu-dachi while stabbing to the ground. Next step back into zenkutsu-dachi while performing a high block and flowing right into a Nagamine strike. Finally shift into a shiko-dachi and unwind the Bo into an upward groin strike to complete the combination. This first Nagamine strike combination is done to the North (Front).
This next move is a transitional move to change hands and direction, in preparation for the following repeat of the signature Nagamine combination in a different direction.
Second Signature Nagamine Strike Combination
This is the second instance of the signature Nagamine strike combination in a different direction (NE) using the opposite hands as before.
First Six Strike Combination
In addition to the three repetitions of the signature Nagamine strike combinations in this kata it also has three repetitions of a six strike combination set as seen below. This six strike combination is very similar to the six strike combination seen in kata Fuso, except instead of ending with row/row it ends with side/side. Very similar strikes but at slightly different angles. The row/row strikes of Fuso are done on descending angles that make an X through the target where the side/side strikes of Nagamine no Kon are both done horizontally. This first set is done to the East.
Second Six Strike Combination
Same as the previous six strike set but on the opposite side (W).
Third Signature Nagamine Strike Combination
This is the third and final instance of the signature Nagamine strike combination, in a third direction (NW).
Third Six Strike Combination
This third instance of the six strike combination is done to the North (front).
The final sequence of moves consists of a series of blocks and strikes to the South (back).
The kata ends by unwinding the Bo back to where it started and bowing out.
Nagamine 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. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.Bo-Kata-3-Nagamine-no-Kon-04-08-21
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-Renshi Mike Scaramozzino