Nijuhachiho is said to be an Okinawan kata based on White Crane Kung Fu. The version discussed in this video is the one taught by Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th dan. The name Nijuhachiho means “28 steps”. It is different from the kata Nipaipo that is practiced in Shito-Ryu. Nipaipo also translates as “28 steps”. While the forms are different, both are said to have their origins in the White Crane Kung Fu taught by Gokenki (right), a Chinese tea merchant who moved to Okinawa in 1912.
Gokenki is known to have taught both Kenwa Mabuni (founder of Shito-Ryu) and Chojun Miyagi (Founder of Goju-Ryu). Shito-Ryu’s Nipaipo is said to be Mabuni’s reinterpretation of the methods found in a form Gokenki taught called “Nepai”.
Hirokazu Kanazawa states that he learnt Nijuhachiho from a Master Inoue. Kanazawa says that Inoue’s karate was a “very original style” and that Inoue was reluctant to teach. However, following an introduction from a mutual friend, Inoue said he would teach Kanazawa the kata (just three times). Kanazawa incudes the kata in his association’s syllabus because, “Nijuhachiho is a very original kata. lt gives us history and also many different techniques that we do not have in the 26 Shotokan kata.”
The kata is not one that I practise. However, I was asked by a Shotokan practitioner, who does practise the kata, to give my thoughts on the possible bunkai. It strikes me as an effective and logical form; with some particularly nice takedowns. This video shares my thoughts on the first few sequences of the kata.
All the best,
PS The YouTube link can be found HERE