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Black Tiger
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Motobu Choki Sensei and the White Bear Kata

I've been looking for the White Bear Kata, created by Motobu Choki Sensei. I've found 2 kata of the same name but definitely not the Motobu version. Unlike other Masters he only had a few Kata. Anyone be able to help

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Motobu’s son is on record as stating his father created his own kata by the name of Shirokuma (“white bear”). However, it does not look like Motobu passed this kata onto anyone or recorded it anywhere. There are no photos or description of it, and no reports of him teaching it to anyone. The evidence would suggest it was a kata for personal practise and hence it has not been passed on. It is therefore gone for good.

When I created my Motobu inspired kata, one of the names I considered was “Shirokuma” in homage to Motobu … but I decided against if out of fear it could misinterpreted as being a kata of Motobu’s, as opposed to my modern creation inspired by his twelve two-person drills. It’s for the same reason I left Motobu’s name out of the kata and opted for a simple “Seinipo” (12 steps).

I would be very sceptical of anyone claiming to have knowledge of the original Shirokuma.

All the best,