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March 07, 2005



For me it is the opposite. I have always meant that Chinte is just ladies kata - in a bad meaning. But now I like it more and more.
One reason is: there is no kick with the right leg: my damaged knee will not disturb me when performing Chinte.

Robert Kedoin

My advice would be to follow your heart. It sounds like your heart is saying to get your "mind and body wrapped around" Chinte.

I had never heard of the Chinte kata before reading your post, so please remember that as you read beyond here. I did manage to find an online video of the kata at:

The arm motions seemed a bit unusual to me so I tried to find some description of the kata in my books. In "Unante" by John Sells, he writes:

"Chinte is a very unusual kata, passed down from Itosu. Featuring many changes in direction and small, close-in techniques, Chinte is written in several different ways in Japanese. The use of two-fingered, spearhand thrusts, and hammer fists techniques, are unique to this kata....Behind all of this is the so-called "art of Chinti". Bushi of old Okinawa would tie or strap lengths of bamboo to their arms. Publicized very little in the west, and only then as flat bamboo pieces, all tradition points to sharpened stakes affixed to the arms of karate warriors used to block and impale opponents...."

After reading the text, I watched the video again trying to imagine bamboo spears strapped perpendicularly to the forearm of the karateka. With this image in mind, many of the arm movements seemed much more meaningful. For example, in the video there is one movement, where the arms are opened to the rear. I couldn't figure out what it was before, but if there are spears on the arms it could certainly be seen as an attack to the rear or a move to prevent someone from behind from closing in.

I hope that this helps some. Perhaps the image of your arms being spears might help. Good luck!


Despite its age, the video shows that Chinte is one of the few kata that is virtually unchanged through the years. It's almost identical to the kata as we do it today.

I had never heard the spear story before, and I will definitely keep it in the top of my mind next time I do Chinte. Anything new to think about will be a step in the right direction! And who knows, maybe this one will be one of the keys that breaks the mental block.

In re-reading that post, my frustration comes through so clearly to me, but it sounds a bit petty, and as though I'm overly obsessed with testing as opposed to growing in karate. I'd like to make clear that if I had my way, I wouldn't test again for a good long time (if at all!). Although I consider testing a necessary step at times, right now I don't feel at all prepared to take another step -- nor, for the record, did I feel that way last summer when I actually tested. I did not feel ready or worthy to move up in rank, and I was proved right about that.


wow it's interesting to find people who are willing to make comments about Chinte that haven't even done it. Bunkai-Bunkai-Bunkai it's the name of the game...The reason this individual is having a mental block is because he doesn't understand the Bunkai or worst yet doesn't see the attacker Oush! You need to see the attackers and then the panel that you are performing it for will also see the attackers...This ofcourse takes time...My son who is 11 performs Chinte and does very very well with it...Ladies kata? What! no such thing...You have to breathe and live the kata for it to become what you want it to become...Give it life my brother...Good luck..You will do find!

Garcia G. A., Hanshi

Dear writer,

I came across by accident to thie web-site and noticed your question regarding Chinti kata. Also noticed that you are a Shotokan yudansha practitioner. I wish to first of all express my congratulations for studying Karate with a serious analitical mind.

Regarding Chinti (Chintei, Chinte) kata; one of the problems you are facing is that you are a Japanese stylist karate-ka trying to understand an Okinawan kata in it's Okinawa-te version.

Contrary to common believe, Chinti is not a women kata. Chinti is a kata that requires deep training in close combat and knowledge in trapping/reversing and pressure points fighting. Chinti was influenced by Okinawan folclore dance, but it doesn't mean that it is a female kata.

The execution problem you are facing has much to do with angles of performance and body alignment required by ancient Okinawan katas such as Chinti.

My recomendation to you is to find a teacher who is knowledgeable of ancient Okinawan performance methodology and train in the inside-fighting aspect of Karate. You will find that close-combat requires of short explosive movements which are opposite to the long-range body alignments to which you are used to execute. Once you find this type of performance to be absorbed by your body, you will find the key of Chinti performance requirement.

Feel free to contact us and present any question you might need some advise in regards to karate and/or kobudo.

Hope you will find the key of Chinti, but it is not an easy task or an accomplishment which you will be able to get in a matter of days.

Good-luck and keep going your training.


Garcia G. A., Hanshi

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