Article by Emanuel Giordano

In my previous article “NAIHANCHI NIDAN AND SANDAN: PINAN PROTOTYPES?” I underlined several aspects common to these two series of kata: the 3 Naihanchi and the 5 Pinan. Now I would like to examine the Pinan sandan kata, and compare it with the Naihanchi kata. I will therefore leave out the techniques and applications taken from other kata, such as Kusanku dai, and I will focus only on those clearly typical of the 3 Naihanchi kata.
The initial sequence, performed first on the left, then on the right, is nothing other than the double uke-waza movement (chudan and gedan) that characterizes all three Naihanchi. In the Naihanchi shodan, in fact, after performing the kagi-tsuki, a soto-uke, a double uke-waza (chudan and gedan) and finally a ura-uchi are performed. We find the same sequence in the Niahanchi nidan kata and, although in the Naihanchi sandan kata there is a choku-tsuki instead of the kagi-tsuki, things do not change in this kata either. The same combination of techniques is found at the beginning of the Pinan sandan kata, in which we once again have a soto-uke followed by the double uke-waza, here however performed twice, where the second replaces the ura-uchi. The movement is the exact same, exactly like the position of the arms. The only thing that changes, besides the direction, is the position of the feet: naihanchi-dachi in the Naihanchi kata, ukiashi-dachi and heisoku-dachi in the Pinan sandan kata. The applications/bunkai of this part of the Pinan sandan are the same as the Naihanchi kata, and although the ura-uchi is not present in the simplified movements of the Pinan sandan kata, it is added during the application.
The sequence performed three times while advancing in shiko-dachi, which involves an elbow strike followed by an ura-uchi, is the same as the one present in the Naihanchi nidan kata, and I am referring to the two techniques following the hiza-geri, namely the elbow strike followed by the chudan shuto. Here too, the execution of the technique, as well as the use of the body, are almost identical (in Pinan both hands are on the hips, in Naihanchi nidan one hand is placed on the hip, while the other grasps the wrist), although in Pinan has been simplified, and performed with a closed hand. The movement leading to striking with the hand pressed against the side, which is used in the Naihanchi nidan to perform chudan-shuto, and in the Pinan sandan to perform ura-uchi, is the same. Regarding the applications, in this case we find some in common, while others are different.
In conclusion, the two punches thrown backwards, present at the end of the Pinan sandan, are nothing more than two kagi-tsuki (another technique present in all three Naihanchi) performed jodan, although even here the application is different.
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