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Matsumora Rohai Takedown (video)

This video looks at the one-legged-stance to downward strike of Matsumora Rohai. The kata is frequently mislabelled as “Matsumura Rohai”. However, it is important to understand the kata comes to us from the Tomari-te line of Kōsaku Matsumora, and not Shuri-te line of Sōkon Matsumura. It would seem that the two martial artists have become confused and this has resulted in the widespread mislabelling of the kata.

This short clip was filmed at a session looking at the “Rohai family” of kata including: Wado’s Rohai, Shotokan’s Meikyo, Matsumora Rohai and Itosu’s Rohai Shodan, Nidan and Sandan. The kata are, on the surface, quite different from one another. However, when we look beyond the surface we see many commonalities in terms of principles and common methodology.

“Rohai” translates as “Heron Sign” or “Vision of a Heron”. I feel the name is likely to come from the fact that the karateka is on one leg while sweeping out the enemy’s legs and delivering knee strikes (both methods are found in Matsumora Rohai), and this “one-legged” posture resembles a heron at rest. The “wing like” arm motions at other points in the kata are also likely to have contributed to the name being chosen.

I hope you enjoy the video and find it of some value.

All the best,


PS The YouTube link can be found HERE

Practical Kata Bunkai: Matsumora ( "Matsumura") Rohai Takedown