5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Tez's picture
A kata designed specifically for women?

I've been reading that there is a kata that was specifically designed for women's self defence, called Aoyagi it comes from Shito Ryu. Does anyone have any info or details about this kata at all?

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I find this very interesting, but know very little about it. Hopefully one of our Shito-Ryu members can give more details and correct any misunderstandings?

I believe that the kata Aoyagi also goes by the name of Seiryu. In Tommy Morris’s 1982 book “Shukokai Karate Kata” (Shukokai having its roots in Shito-Ryu) when introducing Seiryu kata he states the following:

"Seiryu is an unusual kata, in that it has a slightly different variation for lady practitioners. The first three shiko-dachi stances and arm movements are omitted, and instead she steps forward into zenkutsu-dachi and performs an elbow strike with the palms of the hands facing each other. When the kata is performed by a man, there are a number of techniques performed with dynamic tension and deep breathing …."

In a discussion on this in the old forum (found HERE) this webpage was put forward as giving some background to the kata:


As to how actuate any of this is, I have no idea. The kata is demonstrated on the above page though and is also embedded below.

 The kata under the name Aoyagi is also demonstrated below

As to what the bunkai is that the female version different, I have no idea. I’d be fascinated if people who know more about this kata could provide further information though?

All the best,


Gavin J Poffley
Gavin J Poffley's picture

Can't say I know much about the kata in question but I can confirm that the names "aoyagi" and "seiryu" are in fact different ways of reading the same Chinese characters "??", which regardless of the reading have the meaning of "blue willow". I would also expect it to be able to be read as "aoyanagi" as well.

It did strike me as having a passing resemblance to a modernised version of the gojuryu kata "seiyunchin" though, sepecially the first line.

Gavin J Poffley
Gavin J Poffley's picture

Seems the new website does not like Japanese text encoding... not sure how to fix that!

Chris Palfrey
Chris Palfrey's picture
I actually learned aoyagi for the first time 2 weeks ago, and was told by my instructor that seiryu was subtly different - the initial 3 moves are in shiko dachi as opposed to zenkutsu dachi, and the teisho-ukes are in nekoashi dachi as opposed to moto dachi. I have however found no evidence of this anywhere else.