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warrencalvert's picture
chinte bunkai

Hi All, I'm currently studying chinte and would like to know if anyone knows any realistic application for the inside to outside block with the two-fingers palm facing upwards. This seems a very odd move to me. Thanks, Warren.

Michael Stolberg
Michael Stolberg's picture

Hi Warren,

First of all the name does transalte as "incredible hands"  so I'm guessing it is no sursprise to find such seemingly strange hand gestures in the kata. I am sure that more experienced and senior people on this forum will be able to explain the meanings of them.

On the other hand I found an Okinawan version of the kata online.

It is quite similar to the Shotokan version. However maybe through cross-analysis you will be able to better understand the kata.

On first glance though, I would say that the inside to outside two finger block is performed as a thrusting motion in the above video and does not look like a defensive motion.

Hope others can contribute to the brain strom,


rafanapa's picture

Apart from being so rude as to shock your opponent into submission? :)

I was originally taught it as a preparation for an attack to the throat, jabbing upwards either side of the Adam's apple. This is certainly uncomfortable, but not sure of the odds of it working in practice. Possibly it's a prepartion for a throat grab, but my guess is this is all reverse engineering. I'd guess it's a thrust that has been stylised into a block.

Speaking of reverse engineering, it's quite easy to turn the final punch-to-open-hand into a wrist-lock, where you then punch the hyper-extended elbow. Jumping backwards three times while yanking each time on a now-broken elbow becomes a lot nastier :)

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Michael Stolberg wrote:
It is quite similar to the Shotokan version. However maybe through cross-analysis you will be able to better understand the kata.

Thanks for posting the video Michael. I think comparing differing versions of the kata can be incredibly useful. I’ll embed the Shotokan one below so those not familiar the Shotokan version with can see it.

One immediate thing to note is that it is only the Shotokan version that has the “bunny hops” at the end. That’s one of the more unusual motions that people often wonder what the application of it is. However, a cross analysis of kata would suggest it is simply an addition to fulfil the Shotokan requirement that all kata begin and end on the same spot.

If the hops were combatively important, we would expect to see them in all versions; not just the Shotokan one. I’ve actually seen some very creative applications for the hops, but I would suggest this is one of those rare instances where we can say the motion is not combative – perhaps even not part of the kata? – and it is simply a method to return to the starting spot when the kata is completed.

warrencalvert wrote:
I'm currently studying chinte and would like to know if anyone knows any realistic application for the inside to outside block with the two-fingers palm facing upwards.

It’s not a kata I practise or have ever studied the applications of, so these are just some initial thoughts on viewing both clips. The motion were there hands are on top of one another (3:07 in the Kanazawa clip) looks to me like grabbing the hair following a punch to the face. The hand top then goes to the hip as the fingers in the v-shape come up. It’s done as a “block” in the Kanazawa kata, but in the version Michael posted it rises vertically. This suggests to me that the motion is inserting the fingers into the nostrils and pushing upward as the skull is pulled down by the hair. The following palm down one suggests attacking the eyes while the head is again controlled and pulled down. So it could be “grab the hair then attack either the nose or the eyes”.

WARNING!: Skip the following paragraph if you are easily grossed out or are about to eat. I’m serious!

As regards the nostril attack, a good friend of mine did something very similar when chased down some stairs in his youth. He thought he may be able to escape the gang chasing him, but unfortunately the room the stairs lead to had no exit (a friend of his had taken a different route and escaped OK). He turned with the view of fighting them one-on-one as they came down the stairs. He grabbed the first one’s head, pulled them forward, put his fingers in his assailant’s nose and pulled … and in his own words, “I was amazed at how easily it came off”. He then looked up, saw one of the old style glass pint glasses hurtling towards his head, and then remembers nothing until he awoke in hospital. He’s the only person I know who has used such a method in reality, but he says the technique worked “easily”. Pretty brutal and it was ultimately luck that kept him alive, but in such extreme circumstances is did take the fight out of one of his attackers.

Back to regular programming … The point is that the pulling-hand could be seen as pulling the hair on the back of the head while the eyes or nose is attacked (so the kata is showing options). An alternative take could be it is showing gouges to the eyes (and a seized head) depending upon whether the head is face down (in which case the “rising v” would be appropriate) or face up (in which cased the “palm down v” would be appropriate). Either way, you see two fingers, you have to explore the link with two eyes and two nostrils.

As I say, just a couple of initial thoughts, but I hope it is useful and I’m sure others will have more to add.

All the best,


warrencalvert's picture

Thanks for the videos and comments.  The Okinawan version is quite interesting to see the differences.

Since you mention the hops at the end, two applications I've seen for these are jumping back if someone is thrusting a stick at your feet (not sure if this would happen in reality but would work if it did happen), the more realistic one is you're behind someone with the hand clasp being a choke/strangle then you jump back to further control the opponent and take them off balance.

cheers, Warren.

BRyder's picture


I use the first one as a kote gaeshi (thumb on back of hand, index and middle finger pulling on the tissue of the thumb), then pull that to my hip and drive buth fingers into the suprasternal notch/jugular notch...the turning one is nice as tuite waza (the face is so saturated with nerves that simply digging in to the face with the fingers or the orifices of the face) followed again by the suprasternal notch attack.

tubbydrawers's picture

Hello all,

I am in the process mysefl in studying the bunkai for this kata as I need to show it for my 2nd dan grading soon. In the video Iain posted,(my style is shotokan), at 3.09 mins the 2 finger inner block say. I have that down to a wrist grab.

I think BRyder says it correct.!! I didnt know the name of it actually, but when you strip the hand off and twist it you can bring the enemy's head down and forward so that the 2 finger strike is in the eyes throat.

I do have a question about another part of this kata at the time of 2mins43 secs. he does a front kick, block stands up and does a throw and moves in horse stance etc.

For those couple of moves, would you say that they are against one person split the application into 2 parts.? I have got it down to a knee strike to bring head down and then a choke or if i cant get to the head to choke it out, I punch into side of faceand then as I move into horse stance I throw/twist the neck.

hope that makes sense.!!


BRyder's picture

In my opinion the kick follows the two knife hands in quite simple combination of blocking a right hook, then chopping into the neck, following up with a kick, no higher than knee height to unbalance the opponent before raining strikes down on the head and neck.

The block (which im struggling to remember the 'correct' name for) - one hand in a middle level block, the other in a low level block) is quite common in shotokan forms. We see it for the first time in heian sandan, where the arm held upper most is striking in to the ]right side of the]neck and the other arm is trapping or holding the opponent's [right] arm. Assuming it has a similar function here, the use of a front stance which we step back into suggest that this is because we are dealing with a powerful attack from the front - we need to step back to brace the imapct or we loose the integrity of our posture.

If the sequence I have described in the opening paragraph were to be performed the kick would cause the opponent to fall or stumble forward (I remember Iain doing a similar thing in seisan/hangestu in 2002!). To prevent falling over, it is reasonable to expect the opponent to reach out and grab you - perhaps the block is used to clear any grabbing hands and then attack the neck again..

The circular block - I think some form of hammer fist strike might be used to label it - is a simple locking technique that can be used on the arm (to cause the elbow to fold inwards) or th neck, by trapping part of the limb on your body and forcring your arm in a circular manner to apply the lock.

The two circular blocks, with side ways shifting footwork, have applications for continuing a block in a circular manner to get behind the opponent, take them down (double inner block) and either stamp on their head or apply a painful arm lock, whilst hyperflexing the neck (crane on rock posture), or the throw shiho nage, and simple neck twists to the floor.

Who said chinte was for girls lol?