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Nipaipo (dropping ippon ken sequence)

In this video we look at bunkai for the motions surrounding the dropping ippon ken (single knuckle fist) in Nipaipo kata. Nipaipo translates as “28 Steps” and the kata was created by Kenwa Mabuni (1889 – 1952). It is said the kata is a summation of the instruction Mabuni received from Chinese martial artist Go Kenki (1886-1940).

Nipaipo is a very popular competition kata and it is aesthetically pleasing. However, it is important to appreciate that the kata was designed to encapsulate combative methods. Its real beauty is therefore in the application of its methods.

This footage was filmed at a four-day residential course. As you will see, it is my view that the kata provides a “flow chart” of sorts by sequentially showing options depending on the enemy’s actions.  Techniques within this section include a grip escape, a takedown, a counter to begin pulled to the floor, a front strangle should the takedown fail, and a neck crank should the front strangle fail.

As always, videos like this one cannot encapsulate all that was covered, and they are no substitute for hands on instruction. I nevertheless hope you find the video interesting.

All the best,


PS The YouTube link is HERE

Practical Kata Bunkai: Nipaipo (dropping ippon ken sequence)