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Baseball Magazines Shorinji Kempo Go ho Book

companion notes in English



In 2000 and 2001, the Japanese publisher Baseball Magazine produced three volumes of explanations
of Shorinji Kempo hokei [training patterns] using high-speed photograph sequences. The photographs
themselves are so helpful that many non-readers of Japanese have bought the books, despite being unable
to understand the explanatory notes given for each technique.
It became clear that providing even a partial translation of those notes into English might be a useful
thing to do. This document therefore covers the notes in the first volume, which is dedicated to g o ho and
illustrates twenty-three hokei in six technique families, selected from the syllabus up to 3rd dan. The book
also contains a chapter on Shorinji Kempos history, which I have not attempted to translate.
I have also made no attempt to restructure the explanations to suit a more natural flow of English,
opting instead to provide an almost word-for-word translation that replicates the note-like chunking of the
Japanese text. One hope is that this close correspondence of the texts will encourage some bilingual readers
to check the translation and let me know about important errors and omissions. I have already received
much help of this kind from Tameo Mizuno sensei and other Japanese kenshi in London, but please note
that even if the original books carry the authority of hombu and its instructors, the translations
offered here are approximate, and are necessarily limited by the translators own experience of the
Japanese language and of Shorinji Kempo.
In line with the international teaching of Shorinji Kempo, the names of all basic technique elements as
well as of the hokei themselves are not translated. Any reader unsure of the meaning of some expression
should in the first instance ask his or her sempai or branch master.
Finally, for the most part in these notes I have avoided expressions such as his or her (or their, for
that matter), usually opting for the male pronoun. This is of course not intended to imply maleness of all
kenshi, but does happen to fit the fact that these books show only men demonstrating the techniques.
Enjoy your training!


Aran Lunzer (shodan, jun kenshi)
London, August 2002


Numbers in these titles are the page numbers in the original book.

Nio ken 3
8: ryusui geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
16: uchi uke zuki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Byakuren ken 4
24: tsubame gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
32: chidori gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
40: suigetsu gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
48: hangetsu gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Tenno ken 9
56: tsuki ten ichi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
64: gyaku ten ichi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
72: tsuki ten ni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
80: tsuki ten san . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
88: keri ten san . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Kakuritsu ken 13
96: kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
104: mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Sango ken 15
112: juji uke geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
120: shita uke jun geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
128: gyaku tenshin geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
136: han tenshin geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
144: yoko tenshin geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
152: harai uke geri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Chio ken 21
160: jun geri chi ichi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
168: gyaku geri chi ichi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
176: gyaku geri chi san . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
188: harai uke chi ni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Nio ken
This group of hokei is based on jodan attack/defence combinations, and constitutes an essential training syl-
labus for helping beginners master the basic techniques. When higher-level kenshi perform the techniques,
rather than single counter-attacks they should practice three- or four-strike sequences.

8: ryusui geri
the difference between goho and juh
In juho practice, no-one would try to perform kata muna otoshi in response to a wrist being grabbed, or
gyaku gote as a response to a grab to the upper arm. Its not even the case that every kind of grab to
the lapels can be handled using kata muna otoshi: having grabbed, the attacker might push, pull or twist,
and for each different kind of attack there is a different kind of counter-attack. When you think about it,
typically in juho you dont have a range of different ways to deal with a single type of attack.
But what about goho?
Taking nioken as an example, there can be many different techniques for dealing with the same attack.
You can defend and counter-attack a jo dan choku zuki using any one of ryu sui geri, uchi age zuki, uchi age
geri, uchi uke zuki. . . So what criteria are there to limit the responses one can use in g o ho?
Jumping ahead to the answer: the point is that the techniques you can use when confronting an attacker
are constrained by your distance, relative arrangement [tai/hiraki], foot placement, stance and so on.

thinking about stance from the defenders point of view

Looking at photo sequence A, we can see that completing the kick in response to the incoming attack takes
about five frames. So the time it takes to carry out ryu sui geri is comparable to the time it takes to blink.
With such a small amount of time available, whatever body movement you do cannot be complex.
The kyohans listing of basic techniques includes sixteen categories of naming and explanation that
relate to stance: eight are based on the position of the feet, and eight on the way of standing [e.g., weight
Ryusui geris four variants (hidari or migi, omote or ura) fall under the following of these categories:
for foot position, they are all gyaku cho ji dachi [e.g., as used in chudan gamae]; for way of standing, either
zen kutsu dachi or ko kutsu dachi. Our photo sequence here shows the hidari mae, omote variant.
According to the kyohan, zen kutsu dachi is principally a defensive stance from which one moves
backwards, while ko kutsu dachi is principally a stance for moving forwards to make an attack.
In picture A1, the defender has consciously taken up a somewhat zen kutsu stance. He then moves his
weight to his back leg, performs ryu sui uke, and kicks with his front leg. Essentially, the stance was chosen
so that moving his body in the intended direction would be easy.
Trying to perform ryusui uke forwards from zen kutsu dachi would put you in an inconvenient stooping
position; trying to do ryusui geri backwards from ko kutsu dachi would involve leaning too far back. In
neither case could you make an effective counter-attack.
But we often see kenshi who only think of ko kutsu dachi and zen kutsu dachi in attack terms, as being
the stances for jun geri and gyaku geri respectively.
Therefore, not just for ryusui geri but for goho training in general, one must be conscious of stance and
kamae from the defenders perspective too understanding in which direction one can smoothly shift ones
weight, and practising the combined defence and counter-attack in response to an attack.
To communicate this point to beginners, getting them to practice a simple technique is effective in
helping them focus their attention. Thats precisely why ryu sui geri is the first goho technique to be

caption p8 Picture 1 shows hidari chudan gamae; picture 2 shows hidari ichiji gamae. these are the two
most commonly used basic stances for the ho kei [patterns] in the goho branch of Shorinji Kempo. The feet
are in gyaku choji dachi.

caption p9 Ryusui geri does not depend on ashi sabaki [foot movement], but on changing ones stance
from zen kutsu dachi to ko kutsu dachi, or vice versa. In this way one can move the body clear of the
incoming attack, then add a counter-attack. In performing ry u sui uke one must not only dodge the punch,
but also prepare both hands to cope with any sequence of further attacks possibly to j o dan or to chudan.

caption p10 Ryusui geri is a hokei that involves the body movement called ryu sui [lit: flowing water] in
order to dodge an attack, and a keri counter-attack.
Trying to perform the counter-attack at the same time as the dodge will spoil ones posture and make
the kick impossible.
From the stance used to invite the attack, you must move your weight to what will become the standing
leg for your kick, and make the counter-attack from a position of stability.

16: uchi uke zuki

a technique is not just a single pattern, but has a range depending on circumstances
Hokei practice is an extremely important kind of training for mastering the basics of Shorinji Kempo.
For uchi uke zuki, the most commonly practiced form is probably the case shown in our photo sequence
in which the partners take up a tai gamae stance, and in response to a gyaku zuki the defender performs
the ura form of the technique.
All techniques have at least two forms, dealing with left and right sides. And its not unusual for each
of these to have omote and ura forms, making four in all.
This isnt variation at the level of different people having their own individual styles; the point is that
any given hokei has at least two distinct patterns, rather than just one.
The practice of hokei, put simply, enables one to form habits for responding to some attack with a
defence/counter-attack combination. To form the right habits one must be conscious of the elements that
are to be learned, and repeatedly practise them. People who practise at the bare-minimum issoku ikken
spacing may find that performing uchi uke zuki with greater spacing is easier; they certainly wont find that
it becomes more difficult.
However, people who only ever practise using far space are likely to find that, if attacked instead from
close space, the attack will seem faster and the defence habits they have formed will be insufficient to cope.
Through practice, attacker and defender must find their bare-minimum neutral training distance, and
train to shorten the distance from which they can deal with attacks.

caption p16 Uchi uke is performed with fingers and thumb outstretched, and uses want o . By blocking
near the attackers fist it becomes easier to use the block to destabilise his posture.

captions p17 The omote form of uchi uke zuki: in go ho, an ura form is when the defender blocks then
moves towards the attackers rear; moving towards the attackers chest is omote.
In omote uchi uke zuki the defender ends up directly in front of the attackers fist so go no sen timing
(block, then counter) would be too slow. One must use tai no sen, in which the block and counter-attack
are carried out almost simultaneously with the attack.

caption p18 Uchi uke zuki is a hokei in which a choku zuki attack is handled using uchi uke followed by
a chudan counter-attack.
To neutralise the attack, rather than depend only on uchi uke the defender can move his front foot
diagonally forwards, taking his body away off the line of attack and increasing the blocks effectiveness.

Byakuren ken
This group is made up of goho hokei involving basic dan ko bo, i.e., two-stage techniques in which a
blocking hand is immediately used for a counter-attack. The principle in byakuren ken is that a single hand

performs the block and counter-attack so rapidly that it is almost a single motion. In performing these
hokei, importance must be placed on both speed and control.

24: tsubame gaeshi

tsubame gaeshi is the basic form of dan han ko
In the kyohan, Kaiso describes tsubame gaeshi as follows: byakuren ken dai ichi is a beautiful form
involving a quick hand movement, originally named after the flight of the swallow, that combines a one-
handed block and counter-attack as almost a single gesture, followed by a three-hit ren han k o with an
artful tai sabaki. . . . Tsubame gaeshi is the basic form of dan han k o [multi-stage counter-attack], used
when an attacker steps in with sashi komi ashi from hiraki gamae and performs j o dan gyaku zuki.
From this we can gather that the most important aspect of practising tsubame gaeshi is perfecting the
connection of the uchi uke to the shuto giri, as a dan han ko.

points to watch in tsubame gaeshi

The number one point is understanding and practising the single-handed combination of block and imme-
diate counter-attack.
It is also important not to dodge aside too far at the time of the block. If your body movement is too
big, you wont be able to perform either an effective shuto giri or a smooth ren han ko. One of the causes
of this problem is moving the feet incorrectly, stepping far out to the side.
The foot movement in tsubame gaeshi is mae chidori ashi. Consciously step the front foot forwards at
a slight diagonal, so that your feet lead the movement of your centre of gravity and stabilise your bodys
centre line, enabling you to launch the counter-attack.
Understand that the purpose of the defenders mae chidori ashi is not to close distance for the sake of
the counter-attack, but to dodge the incoming punch.
The attacker launches an attack aimed at where the defender is standing. What the defender has to
do is perform mae chidori ashi and uchi uke as defence, then from a stable posture launch an immediate
counter-attack on the opponent who is now within hitting distance. Executing shut o giri paves the way for
an effective ren han ko.

captions p25 Taiki gamae is a stance that invites a jo dan attack. The stance incorporates neko ashi dachi,
which lets you make a rapid kin teki geri at any time. Whenever you take up a stance, you must be clearly
conscious of which areas it establishes as jitsu and which as kyo. In taiki gamae, to invite a j o dan attack
you make that part kyo, while making chu dan and below jitsu to prevent attacks from coming there.
The key movement in tsubame gaeshi is from the uchi uke (picture 1) to the shut o giri (picture 2). Be
certain to perform the shuto giri properly, and not just put your focus on the chu dan zuki (picture 3).

caption p26 In response to the incoming attack, the defender steps his front foot slightly diagonally
forwards to move his upper body out of the way, blocks with uchi uke, then performs shut o giri with the
same wan to. The attackers step in to perform the attack also sets up the distance for the defender to
counter-attack so theres no need for the defender to make a big step forwards.

32: chidori gaeshi

what is the correct form of a hokei?
Lets confirm [from the kyohan] the attackers and defenders movements in chidori gaeshi:
Attacker: from hidari ichiji gamae, sashi komi ashi with the left foot, then right-hand j o dan gyaku
Defender: from hidari taiki gamae, (1) mae chidori ashi leading with the left foot, then a dan k o
bo in which a left-hand uchi uke turns into an immediate ura te (ura ken) uchi; (2) continuing, perform

chudan gyaku zuki with the right hand, and slightly close [yose ashi] the right foot. (ren han k o description
But isnt it common to see kenshi start in tai gamae and practice chidori gaeshi against a sashikae ashi,
jun zuki attack?
This isnt a case of one being right, the other wrong. The truth is that chidori gaeshi can be an effective
counter to either gyaku zuki or jun zuki.
Given an attacker who intends a jodan punch, its perfectly possible that from an especially close-
quarters hiraki gamae he might try gyaku zuki, or that from a rather far-apart tai gamae he might close
distance with sashikae ashi and launch jun zuki.
It seems that there are some people who, encountering a form thats different from the one they have
always practiced, denounce it as a mistake.
But every goho hokei has at least a pair of left and right forms, and many have four for left/right,
omote/ura plus maybe a ren han ko . The ren han ko itself can vary endlessly depending on the circum-
stances of attacker and defender, so couldnt you say that a h o kei doesnt really have a form at all?
One of the easy traps to fall into is focussing too much on a single attack/defence combination, thereby
tending to narrow ones understanding and ones acquisition of techniques. The standard for judging
whether a hokei is being performed correctly should be whether or not the defender, in response to the
attack, performs a sound defence and counter-attack informed by the special characteristics of some family
of techniques.

dan ko bo cuts time off the counter-attack

In the kyohan, Kaiso says In byakuren ken embu, importance must be placed on speed and control.
But if you fixate on the words speed and control and take up stance intent on moving quickly, the
tension in your body will tend to spoil your response.
Putting together the mae chidori ashi, uchi uke, meuchi smoothly but positively, always working at your
own pace, is what will lead you to the desired result of a fast counter-attack.

tsubame gaeshi and chidori gaeshi are omote and ura

Both tsubame gaeshi and chidori gaeshi are techniques that invite a j o dan attack and respond with dan ko
In hiraki gamae, tsubame gaeshi is effective against gyaku zuki and chidori gaeshi against jun zuki. For
tai gamae the opposite is true.
First get this relationship clear in your mind, then start with the defender fixed in either migi mae or
hidari mae as you vary the relative arrangement [tai/hiraki], and after practicing jun zuki train with gyaku
zuki, and so on, to broaden the range of attacks you can deal with.

caption p32 Chidori gaeshi and tsubame gaeshi have an omote/ura relationship. The effectiveness of the
meuchi is increased by not putting in all your strength but keeping the arm soft.

caption p34 The counter-attack in chidori gaeshi is meuchi. Meuchi is an ura te [back of the hand] strike,
for which the fingers must be relaxed.
Having parried the incoming punch, the defender softens his arm from the elbow down to make a
whip-like counter-attack aimed at the attackers eyes.

40: suigetsu gaeshi

a hokei that truly embodies all five elements of atemi
When you hear byakuren ken, the feature that comes to mind is probably dan k o bo using the same hand
to block then immediately counter-attack.
But in suigetsu gaeshi its not that you use one hand both to block and counter, but that the counter-
attack involves a dan zuki combination of yoko furi zuki and sh o ken uchi.

Lets review the attackers and defenders movements in suigetsu gaeshi: Attacker: from migi ch u dan
gamae, sashi komi ashi and jodan choku zuki. Defender: from hidari taiki gamae, (1) mae chidori ashi,
hidari uchi uke, and at the same time yoko furi zuki to suigetsu with migi hira ken, immediately drawing
the hand away again backwards. Then bring migi sho ken back to finish the counter-attack with a swing
down onto keikotsu [the bones of the neck]. (2) with both hands push attacker over; sagari; zanshin.
In any goho hokei, you have to fulfil the five elements of atemi namely, (1) the position of the target
kyusho, (2) striking distance, (3) angle, (4) speed and (5) kyo/jitsu.
The first counter-strike in suigetsu gaeshi is a yoko furi zuki to the attackers suigetsu.
As is clear in each of the photo sequences, the attackers position after making jun zuki opens up a kyo
in his posture with his weight on the front leg, the front arm outstretched, and ch u dan exposed.
Suigetsu must be struck with an upwards blow from directly in front. Because in this case the attackers
body is half turned away, a choku zuki would arrive at the wrong angle and would be ineffective. By using
yoko furi zuki it is possible to deliver a strike at the correct angle for this kyo opportunity.
In addition, yoko furi zuki is an especially effective strike in cases like this in which it is used against
the trunk from close distance. This is because, by adjustments such as changing the angle of the elbow,
you can compensate for being somewhat close or far away as a result of the mae chidori ashi dodge.
After the yoko furi zuki, immediately pull the hand away backwards then put in sh o ken uchi to keikotsu.
In this case, too, the five elements of atemi are satisfied insofar as the attack to suigetsu has made the
attacker stoop forwards. Together, this makes an effective dan zuki.
Of course it is not just in suigetsu gaeshi that it is important to hit the kyu sho in the correct way which
means drawing the attacker into a position of kyo, then, taking into account the separation between attacker
and defender, immediately applying a decisive strike by hitting the chosen ky u sho at an angle that will be

the kind of atemi practice that hokei let you do

If you examine the tsuki counter attacks used in nio ken, the overwhelming majority are choku zuki. By
contrast, in byakuren ken you find a whole range of counter-attack techniques: shut o giri in tsubame gaeshi,
meuchi in chidori gaeshi, kumade uchi in hangetsu gaeshi and furi zuki in suigetsu gaeshi.
Furthermore, these atemi are aimed at kyu sho on the neck or face; all maximally effective strikes, that
will work even from close distance.
It could be said that the byakuren ken patterns are for coping in close quarters. As part of this they
require rapid counter-attack techniques, which put dan ko bo and dan zuki to especially good use.
For practicing atemi such as this, that are used for han geki [counter-attacks] rather than initial attacks,
sotai practice is vital. When you practice ho kei with a partner, you have to get the hang of correct position-
ing (which affects physical kyo and jitsu), the location of the target ky u sho, distance, angle, and timing
all needed to make the counter-attack atemi effective.
So while there are some elements of training that cannot be achieved by h o kei, they do have this other
aspect of enabling the practice of effective atemi.

caption p40 The main point of suigetsu gaeshi is the dan zuki, which involves striking suigetsu (photo 1),
drawing back the hand (photo 2), then hitting the attackers seikotsu with sh o ken uchi (photo 3).

caption p42 Suigetsu gaeshi involves meeting the incoming attack with uchi uke, simultaneously using
ones position alongside the attacker to put in a decisive furi zuki to suigetsu. Then, drawing back the fist
from suigetsu as if extracting the elbow upwards, strike the back of the neck with the same hand. After
these atemi, finish by pushing the attacker over.

48: hangetsu gaeshi

defence that relies just on the hands isnt enough
In hangetsu gaeshi a defender standing in midare gamae responds to an incoming ren zuki using hangetsu
uke and a shita uke oshi dome, then counter-attacks with kumade zuki.

Looking carefully at the times where hangetsu gaeshi goes wrong, it seems that the problem lies in the
part involving the body dodge.
To be specific, the problem arises when a defender tries to perform oshi dome against gyaku zuki while
his or her chudan region is still in the attackers path. The result is a posture with the backside sticking out,
from which neither the defence nor counter-attack can be performed well.

change from ko kutsu dachi to zen kutsu dachi

So what kind of dodge should be performed in hangetsu gaeshi? Lets have a look at photo sequence B.
Frame 1 shows the defender inviting the attack in midare gamae with a slightly k o kutsu dachi stance.
One thing to notice at this point is that his body is somewhat straight-on.
In frames 2 to 6, the attacker launches a full-power ren ko against the position where the defender
was inviting. During this time the defender responds to the ren k o by making a side-step to the right, and
changing from ko kutsu dachi to zen kutsu dachi. During this time his body can be seen to be more side-on
than when he was inviting the attack.
Changing body position in this kind of way allows the defender to dodge the incoming attack as if he
just slips past it.
Looking in even finer detail, you can see that in frame 3 the hangetsu uke is in contact with the jun zuki,
but as a result of the yoko ashi the defender has already dodged clear of the attack.
In frames 4 to 6 the gyaku zuki is stopped with oshi dome, but it can be seen that this block doesnt
happen from in front of the attacker but by stepping around to the attackers back and stopping the punch
from the side.
And looking at photo sequence C, in frame 1 the attackers and defenders bodies are in line, but in
frame 9, the point where the defender has finished his defence, his body is completely clear of the line of
That said, its not just a matter of getting out of the way of the attacks; the hangetsu uke and oshi dome
combination acts both as a solid defence and a way to disrupt the attackers posture, in preparation for the

draw in the attack and deal with it

There is a tendency for the defence and counter-attack in response to a ren k o to feel somewhat rushed.
However, as long as you arent fixated on the hand movements but focus your attention on the footwork
and tai sabaki that form the core of the defence, hangetsu gaeshi isnt so different from shita uke geri, also
a tai gamae technique.
The point is that if an attacker takes aim and launches his attack, a single step is enough to move the
defender away from the aimed-at location.
Therefore whether its a single attack or some combination, the lower-body movements needed to get
out of the way are the same.
To put together a defence/counter combination you have to take up stance without being tense, calm
your mind, clearly picture the defence and counter-attack, then invite the attack in and deal with it.

caption p48 Midare gamae: the front hand guards against jun geri, while the back hand protects the
torso. Like taiki gamae, this stance is used when inviting a jo dan attack.

caption p49 The attackers ren ko isnt avoided by hand movement alone. By changing from k o kutsu
dachi to zen kutsu dachi and moving the centre of the body, you get the body clear of the line of attack.
Not just in hangetsu gaeshi but in go ho in general, defence requires a harmonised combination of body and
hand movements.

caption p50 Dealing with the attackers ren ko using hand movement alone is virtually impossible.
In response to the jodan, chudan attack sequence it is vital to accompany the hangetsu uke, shita uke
defence sequence with a shift of the bodys centre-line and a kai shin [change of body angle]. The blocks

should be done not with the intention of intercepting the attacks, but of protecting the face, then protecting

Tenno ken
A group of hokei involving ren ko bo. The attacks either involve a sequence of punches, or punching
followed by kicking, and all start with a jo dan attack. A special feature is punch combinations in which, in
a single effort, the attacker launches right- and left-hand attacks so rapidly that they appear to arrive almost
simultaneously and with the power emphasis on the second strike rather than the first.

56: tsuki ten ichi

the movement of the lower body isnt complex

Tsuki ten ichi is a defence and counter-attack technique against j o dan jun zuki, chudan gyaku zuki.
Compared with hokei such as those in nio ken, tsuki ten ichi could be said to involve movements of
high complexity. But thats only true for the upper body.
Studying the defenders lower-body movement in photo sequences A and B, we can see that it involves
an ushiro chidori ashi form of ten shin, followed immediately by keri kaeshi. This is just as simple as the
movement in a technique such as ten shin geri.
We can also observe that the ushiro chidori ashi lets the defender move out of reach of the jun zuki, and
evade the gyaku zuki. That increases the effectiveness of the uwa uke, shita uke combination, allowing the
jo chu ni ren ko attack to be handled without difficulty.
If part of the attack hits home, the problem is less likely to be slowness in the ren uke than an insufficient
ushiro chidori ashi.
Ushiro chidori ashi is a retreat in a diagonally backwards direction; one form of hiki ashi. But we quite
often see people doing tsuki ten ichi without attention to the backwards-diagonal aspect simply moving
one step backwards.
In most of these cases the defender doesnt evade the attackers gyaku zuki at all, but stops it with the
keri kaeshi.
The problem with doing tsuki ten ichi like this is that if the attacker turns out to be someone with long
reach, or if the attack is especially deep, moving back far enough to deal with the attack will mean that
even if the blocks are successful, the chances are that youll end up unable to deliver the counter-attack.
You must engrave in your mind the fact that ushiro chidori ashi is something completely different from
a simple step backwards.
Also, to cut down the time you need to perform the technique so you dont fall victim to a rapid attack
you have to think carefully about your posture before the technique begins.
The preparatory positioning for tsuki ten ichi is hiraki gamae, at neutral issoku ikken distance, in ichiji
gamae so as to be ready for a possible keri attack. To help do ushiro chidori ashi from this position, the
defenders weight should be slightly forwards (zen kutsu dachi).
If youre about to run a 100-metre race, you take up position so that as soon as the pistol fires you can
start running. Incorrect preparation for a waza is like waiting to hear the pistol before you even get ready.
In Shorinji Kempo techniques, where every moment counts, a sloppy stance loses you a lot of time.

caption p57 The attacker waits in a somewhat zen kutsu stance (picture 1), then performs uwa uke with
sorimi (picture 2), then ren uke with hikimi (picture 3). By moving with ushiro chidori ashi, the defender
moves his body off the line of attack (picture 4).

caption p58 The attack is a ren zuki: jun zuki then gyaku zuki. By using ushiro chidori ashi and setting
his upper body over the back leg, the defender can move the jun zuki and gyaku zuki targets out of danger.
As soon as his weight is on the back leg, he can perform a counter-kick with the front foot.

64: gyaku ten ichi
one point to watch is the hiki ashi

For gyaku ten ichi, the attackers and defenders movements are as follows:
Attacker: (1) fumi komi ashi with left foot, then a ni ren ko of jodan choku zuki with the right hand
followed by chudan gyaku zuki with the left.
Defender: (1) ushiro chidori ashi to the left, a ren uke of uchi uke with the left hand followed by uchi
harai uke with the right, (2) keri komi with right leg, (3) kumo ashi to retreat; zanshin.
Since the attacker combines his jodan gyaku zuki and chudan jun zuki as a ni ren ko, naturally the
defenders uchi uke and uchi harai uke form a ren uke.
To make effective use of a ren uke, the ashi sabaki becomes especially important.
One thing to watch for in particular is the hiki ashi. If you make a big step away youll spoil your
distance for the counter-kick, so the ideal is to make a small ushiro chidori ashi and swing the upper body
away, evading the first attack with tai sabaki.
If you retreat straight backwards, you wont satisfactorily get your body off the attack line. So, just
as for tsuki ten ichi, a half-hearted ushiro chidori ashi means you wont be able to evade completely the
incoming attack.

preparing for subsequent movements is important

So lets check the movements for gyaku ten ichi, using photo sequence B.
In frame 1 the defender is standing in ichiji gamae with zen kutsu dachi, inviting a tsuki attack.
From frame 2 to frame 7, the attacker throws gyaku zuki. In response to this, the defender moves his
body away with ushiro chidori ashi, performing uchi uke while dodging the incoming punch. Because the
attacker launches his ren ko focussing on where the defender was initially standing, effectively this ushiro
chidori ashi also serves to dodge the second, jun zuki attack.
To join defence and counter-attack smoothly, you have to include in each movement the preparation for
the next.
For an ushiro chidori ashi moving through to uchi uke, you start in zen kutsu dachi. Then if you want
to follow uchi uke immediately with uchi harai uke and keri kaeshi, you have to prepare by pulling back
the right hand.

its inviting the attack that makes a technique work

Above we mentioned that the attacker launches the attack based on where the defender was standing, but
it seems that many people worry about what to do if the attack comes instead to where they have moved.
There are also lots of people who, even though they move aside with ushiro chidori ashi, in fact still get
What both these cases have in common is that the defender has failed to take on his proper role in
inviting the attacks. Where the attacker anticipates the position to which the defender will move, and
strikes, the defender gets hit because he moves there. And even if the defenders tai sabaki is correct, if
he panics and moves too soon, he gives the attacker the opportunity to adjust the path of the attack again
increasing the chances of being hit.
As long as the attacker is using techniques correctly, his movements are very compact. What this means
is that even against a fast defender its possible that he can adjust. As defender one must be fully aware
of this, and rather than take up stance with the thought I dont want to get hit, should make calm mental
preparation with an attitude more like Go on, try hitting me here.

caption p64 The moment after performing the ushiro chidori ashi to move the body, and blocking with
uchi uke, the uchi harai uke must be ready. And almost at the same time as the uchi harai uke is the jun

caption p66 The defender invites from a somewhat zen kutsu dachi stance. In response to the attackers
gyaku zuki, jun zuki combination (ren ko ), he moves his rear foot diagonally backwards to get his body out
of the way of the attack. While moving the feet you must start uchi uke, while performing uchi uke start
uchi harai uke, while performing uchi harai uke start the counter-kick.

72: tsuki ten ni

bending and straightening the arm is the key
The movements in tsuki ten ni are as follows:
Attacker: fumikomi ashi with the left foot, then a ren ko of jodan choku zuki with the left hand, jo dan
choku zuki with the right hand.
Defender: (1) ushiro chidori ashi leading with the left foot, then a right-hand dan uke of uchi age
uke followed by uchi otoshi in an inwards direction; (2) keri age with the right leg; (3) taishin [retreat],
A special characteristic of tenno ken attacks is their combination of left and right punches thrown with
no pause, in a single breath.
Since the attack is coming as a ren ko without any pause, it would be difficult for a defender to deal
with the attacks speed if the uchi age and uchi otoshi are broken up as two counts.
To perform a smooth dan uke its no use trying to keep the arm bent and move it in a path that is almost
If you actually try to do this, youll soon see that it puts severe strain on the shoulder.
Trying to use this kind of unnatural blocking movement not only makes it hard to deal with a rapid
attack, but could even lead to shoulder injury.
Although byakuren kens tsubame gaeshi is the archetypal dan k o bo [rather than a dan uke], the path
followed in that case between the uchi uke and shuto giri is highly relevant here.
In tsubame gaeshi, the arm used for the dan ko bo against jodan choku zuki is first bent to perform uchi
uke, then straightened alongside the attackers arm to perform the shut o giri.
Bending and straightening is a very natural movement for the human arm, so it doesnt put strain on the
shoulder or elsewhere. Because of this lack of strain, a fast defence/counter-attack combination is possible.
Likewise, if for the dan uke in tsuki ten ni you dont fix the elbow and try to move it horizontally, but
instead make good use of the arms flexion and extension, you can perform a rapid dan uke suited to the
incoming attack.

perform defence and counter-attack using the whole body

Lets confirm the movements involved in tsuki ten ni by looking at the photo sequences.
The defender invites a jodan attack by calmly waiting in an ichiji gamae, slightly zen kutsu dachi stance.
The attacker correspondingly launches a ren zuki to jo dan.
Looking at frames 1 to 5 of sequence B you can see that the defender dodges the attackers left-hand
jodan choku zuki with hidari ushiro chidori ashi, then while making a fist with his right hand bends the
arm and performs uchi age uke.
Then frames 6 to 8 see him open up his hand again and rapidly straighten the arm to change through to
uchi otoshi uke.
The reason for making a fist during uchi age uke is that this helps the action of the arms flexor muscles,
while opening the hand for uchi otoshi uke helps the extensor muscles.
What I also want you to notice here is the fact that the uchi age uke is accompanied by the ushiro
chidori ashi.
Similarly, the uchi otoshi uke block isnt just a matter of straightening the arm, but also involves a turn
of the hips and a thrusting forward of the shoulder.
When dealing with an attack, its vital not to rely purely on arm movements, but to combine them
appropriately with ashi sabaki and tai sabaki.
In this way all the bodys movements work together, letting you defend and counter-attack without

caption p73 So as not to fall prey to the rapid ren geki, the uchi age uke and uchi otoshi uke cannot be
performed as movements one, two but must be a single stroke. To make this possible its important for
the arm not to be tense, and for the shoulder and elbow joints to move smoothly.

caption p74 To maximise the performance of the arms flexor and extensor muscles while performing a
dan uke of uchi age uke and uchi otoshi uke, clench the fist for the former and open it out for the latter.
Its vital that the uchi age uke and uchi otoshi uke are performed not as two separate actions, but as a
single connected movement.

80: tsuki ten san

when handling attacks, bear in mind what might come next
Tsuki ten san and keri ten san both start with the same ni ren attack of j o dan choku tsuki, chudan choku
tsuki. If you think about what kind of attack could follow this jo , chu combination, youll realise that it has
to be either jun zuki or gyaku geri.
Taken the other way round, what this means is that after performing a ren uke in response to a j o , chu
ni ren ko, you had better be in a posture from which youre ready to deal with either a punch or a kick,
whichever comes.
Among the elements that go to make up a ho kei there are those that are visible in the form, and those
such as chosoku, happomoku and zanshin that have no obvious appearance. Having performed ren uke you
must be in a zanshin from which both uwa uke and ju ji uke are possible, and in order to sense whether the
next attack is jodan or chudan you must be using happo moku.
Additionally, in order to deal calmly with attacks, your mental state and your breathing must be as
controlled as they were during your initial stance.

your bodys centre-line must not be tilted

If you look closely at the defenders movements in the photo sequences, youll see that after performing
the ren uke his bodys axis is upright and stable. Both hands, having done their blocking, are in front of the
body ready for further use.
In general we can say that kenshi who at this point cannot freely respond to either a punch or a kick are
typically bent over, and their hands are fully committed either to dealing with a further expected punch or
with an expected kick.
Having your body stable and upright is exactly what you need so that in response to a punch you can
easily perform sorimi uke and an effective counter-attack. But from this position you can also perform
hikimi uke or hiza uke, and thus deal with a kick too.

caption p81 By accurately blocking the jun zuki, gyaku zuki ni ren k o using ushiro chidori ashi and ren
uke, defending against a third attack becomes easy.

caption p82 The way of avoiding the ni ren ko of jodan jun zuki, chudan gyaku zuki is the same as for
tsuki ten ichi, using a ren uke of uwa uke, do ji uke.
Having ascertained that a third punch is coming, perform uwa uke and dodge with a movement that
shifts your weight to the rear leg, finishing with jun geri.

88: keri ten san

a defence and counter-attack for san ren ko
As was mentioned at the start of this section, the tenno ken family of techniques all have a ren geki that
begins with a punch. Keri ten san involves blocking punches followed by a kick, then performing a kick

Obviously, a technique that requires you to block and counter the kick that arrives as the third attack
will only come together if you successfully parry the previous jun zuki and gyaku zuki.
Therefore keri ten san is not a technique you can put to use unless you have the basic capacity to block
punches and follow up with a kick counter-attack.
Its also important to think beyond the definition of this particular h o kei, and remember that the attacks
final kick might be something like kinteki geri or mawashi geri rather than keri age.
Therefore as your level improves you must figure out and become practiced at the various combinations
of defence/counter-attack that you could perform after the ren uke using shita j u ji uke, yoko juji uke, hiza
uke or maybe even san bo uke depending on the angle of the incoming kick.
Since in real life the choice of attack is entirely up to the attacker, all kenshi must seek to step up the
level of their training, in line with their abilities, until even forceful attacks can be dealt with.

skillful, coordinated use of both hands

In the kyohan, Kaiso wrote The special feature of ten san no kata lies in the coordinated use of ren uke
and dan uke by both hands.
So lets look at photo sequence A to see how the defender in keri ten san makes use of his hands.
His right hand performs uwa uke in response to the initial jo dan choku zuki attack, then uchi uke to deal
with the third attack (the kick).
The left hand performs shita uke to deal with the second-place ch u dan choku zuki, then uchi barai uke
for the kick.
So in essence there is a ren uke of uwa uke with the right hand and shita uke with the left, and two dan
uke combinations: uwa uke, uchi uke for the right hand and shita uke, uchi barai uke for the left. You have
to remember that its the skillful combination of these hand actions, along with ashi sabaki and tai sabaki,
that together make the technique as a whole work.
Proficiency in any Shorinji Kempo technique requires being conscious of and becoming practiced in a
large number of individual elements. But its no good greedily trying to get to grips with all these elements
as quickly as possible. In one training session you should focus on a single element, building up your
stock of techniques slowly but surely. Though it may seem like a long way round, its the fastest route to
One of the interesting things about Shorinji Kempo is that no matter how strong you are, if you dont
carefully mesh together the elements that make up a given technique you wont be able to do it. In fact I
think theres a lot of fun involved in the process of learning how to perform the technique to compensate if
you happen not to be so strong.

caption p89 To allow confirmation of the defence movements involved in keri ten san weve snapped
them here as four separate pictures. However, since the attack comes as a rapid ren k o , the defender cannot
perform them as four separate movements. Note that if there turns out to be a pause in the attack after the
jun zuki, the defender can perform uwa uke geri; if theres a pause after the ren zuki, the defender can do
tsuki ten ichi.

caption p90 In keri ten san a correct balance of tai sabaki and te sabaki [use of the hands] is absolutely
vital. After the ren uke, both hands change through to ju ji uke to deal with the kick, but for this te sabaki it
is important not to put power into the arms except for the focussed instant when the block makes contact.

Kakuritsu ken
These are forms involving attack and defence using the legs. They all include standing on one leg to
perform hiza uke followed by keri kaeshi an unusual counter-attack technique that is referred to as har o
kyaku geki [wave-like leg attack].

96: kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi
a technique with a definite go no sen response
As indicated by the nami gaeshi part of the name of kakuritsu ken techniques, their combination of defence
and counter-attack involves a continuous motion that is likened to the ebb and flow of waves.
Kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi is a defence and counter-attack in response to kinteki geri.
As youll appreciate from the photo sequences, the sequence of hiki ashi, hiza uke, kinteki geri is
performed in one motion without a pause.
However, its quite common to see kenshi who pause at the hiza uke stage, or who have a tough time
because they meet the attackers kick with a direct blow on the shin.
The result is a vicious circle in which kakuritsu ken techniques dont get practiced enough, so people
never get good at them.
Even if you happen to be unconcerned by a crashing style of block, it will break up the techniques
flow. If that happens the attacker will have time to pull back his leg, so even if you launch the kinteki geri
counter-attack it probably wont land.
Conversely there are those who specifically avoid the direct shin blow, by simply launching machi geri
to kinteki. In self-defence terms this is a dangerous gamble. Never mind what might happen against an
arc-like attack such as mawashi geri; if you try to handle a fast, shortest-distance attack like kinteki geri
just by waiting for it, and with no attempt at defence, even if you manage to hit the target theres a high
chance that youll be hit at the same time.
You also have to bear in mind that this machi geri approach wont help you to learn the specific lesson
of this family of techniques, i.e., the go no sen response to kinteki geri using a wave-like leg movement.

caption p97 Having aimed his kick at kinteki, the attacker isnt going to stand around in that position
for ever. For kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi to work, the defender must land the deciding counter-kick
before the attacker has time to pull back his leg. To make a fast transition from hiza uke to kinteki geri, the
defender must keep his knee loose. Making an effort to move as quickly as possible in fact makes the legs
stiff, and reduces speed. Relaxedly lift the knee, and counter as soon as the kick has been blocked.

caption p98 Its important that having blocked kinteki geri with hiza uke you dont stop, but in a move-
ment like the turning of a wave immediately launch the kinteki geri counter-attack. Simply lifting the knee
has the desired effect of creating an obstacle in the path of the incoming attack, and simply straightening
the same leg delivers the counter.

104: mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi

dont get fixated on taka mawashi geri
In practising hokei, the roles of attacker and defender are handed out and, in clear contrast to the situation
during randori, the practice is done using a pre-arranged form of attack. For mawashi geri san b o uke nami
gaeshi, the attack stipulated by the kyo han is taka mawashi geri.
Being able to perform the technique as described in the kyo han is of course important. However, its
not good to become fixated on surface-level features as if they were cast-iron rules.
Before discussing this, first lets look to the kyo han for explanation of the kinds of situation in which
san bo uke might be used:
San ren bo (san bo uke) is a special kind of block based on a stance originally known as san b o jin.
When a kick comes toward the face, as seen in the picture, its hard to judge whether its a simple taka geri
or is in fact a dan geri combination that attacks gedan and jo dan simultaneously. Therefore a special form
of block that combines yoko juji uke and hiza uke becomes necessary.
As is clear from this explanation, the reason for using san bo uke as a defence is that the incoming
attack is not necessarily coming to jo dan.
What you mustnt do is interpret the kyo hans specification of taka mawashi geri narrowly as meaning
that no other attack is allowed, but must see it as one of a range of possible attacks.

If it were absolutely certain that the attack could only be taka mawashi geri, there would be no point in
protecting kinteki. Any attempt to do so would be wasted effort.
Therefore, even within the practice of mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi, it is important that from
time to time the attacker mix in other attacks such as kinteki geri, ch u dan geri, and maybe dan geri too.

first understand kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi and juji
uke geri
Mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi is, like kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi, a member of the kakuritsu
ken technique family. This familys special characteristic is the har o kyaku geki [wave-like leg attack]. As
indicated by the use of the word haro [waves], the transition from defence to counter-attack should be a
continuous motion like the ebb and flow of a wave.
Many people who have trouble with mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi do so because they are
breaking up the defence and the counter-attack.
As stated in the kyohan explanation, san bo uke is like a combination of yoko ju ji uke and hiza uke.
Using this fact in another way, what you have to do is use practice of j u ji uke geri and kinteki geri hiza
uke nami gaeshi to grasp the timing of ju ji uke, hiza uke and the keri kaeshi.
Then when you have become able to perform these two techniques, try doing kinteki geri hiza uke nami
gaeshi with juji uke added on, and conversely try moving with the sense that you are blending hiza uke into
juji uke geri. Youll find that mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi becomes surprisingly easy.
Another point is that just because the attacker comes in with a high-level kick, thats no reason for the
counter-attack to be similarly high.
The standard counter-attack in mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi is chudan geri. On the other
hand, the easiest and most effective counter-attack is probably kinteki geri and the higher the attackers
incoming kick, the easier it is to kick his kinteki. So as an exercise in practical self-defence application,
how about mixing some kinteki geri counter-attacks into your practice?
As an example of practical application, photo sequence C shows a kinteki counter-attack.

caption p104 A defender standing in ichiji gamae gives the appearance of being prepared for a kick from
straight ahead. However, what you must do is prepare mentally and physically to deal with any attack,
whether it comes to kinteki, chudan or jodan.

caption p106 Mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi is a hokei performed against a taka mawashi geri
attack, but this doesnt mean that whenever a high attack comes in you should use san b o uke. Rather, its
a blocking method that is effective when the defender cannot easily judge whether the attack is coming to
kinteki, or is a dan geri, etc.

Sango ken
This group is made up of hokei involving chudan attacks and defences. The attacks are either kicks or
punches, and the responses involve blocking with a hand and countering with a kick. To save space in the
photo sequences these techniques are shown with single attack/counter-attack combinations, but advanced
students should perform ren han ko .

uke geri
112: juji
the time needed for juji
uke geri
Goho techniques are made up of extremely fast movements.
Have a look at photo sequence A. Between frames 1 and 10 the attacker closes distance and kicks, and
the defender blocks and counter-kicks.
This sequence was shot at a rate of 14 frames per second, so between each frame is approximately
0.07 seconds and the entire duration of this defence and counter-attack is a measly 0.63 seconds. In this
time the defender does a hiki ashi to protect kinteki, performs ju ji uke, and makes his counter-kick.

The kyohan has the following explanation of the defenders movements: From migi ichiji gamae [our
sequence shows hidari ichiji gamae] slightly pull back the right foot to protect kinteki, and while doing so
simultaneously perform uchi harai uke with the left hand and uchi oshi uke with the right to make j u ji uke,
then immediately use the right leg for the deciding counter-kick.
From this explanation it is clear that one is not meant to finish hiki ashi before doing the block, or to
finish the block before doing the kick.
As seen in the photo sequence, the ju ji uke happens during the hiki ashi, and at the moment of blocking,
the counter-kick must already be on its way. Essentially all the movements are connected together. This
kind of connected set of movements is referred to as ikki do sa.
However, this ikki dosa expression is often misunderstood. Some people think it means you just do the
counter-attack. Others think the movements happen all at once, with no discrimination between them. If
you can grasp the proper meaning, of connecting a number of movements together without a break, youll
soon see that ikki dosa occurs not just in goho but in juho too. In fact, Shorinji Kempos techniques all
depend on such continuous sequences of movement.
So in practicing hokei you must set up exactly the stipulated conditions of distance, relative arrangement
[tai/hiraki], way of standing and kamae, then train so that under these conditions you become used to
making a correct, accurate response in one continuous action.

captions p113 The defenders mental preparation when in kamae is essentially the same as that for
mawashi geri sambo uke nami gaeshi.
Juji uke is a strong block made up of simultaneous uchi harai uke and uchi uke.

caption p114 Juji uke isnt just a matter of making a cross with the arms and putting them in the way of
a kick. One hand performs uchi harai uke, the other uchi uke. At the moment of blocking, the front leg
must be pulled in so that your posture is ready for a counter-kick otherwise the counter will be late.

120: shita uke jun geri

pay attention to the attackers stance too
The arrangement for this technique is tai gamae, with the attacker in ichiji gamae and the defender in hass o
For someone to practice the defence for shita uke jun geri, it may seem that the attacker could just as
well start from chudan gamae as from ichiji gamae. But given that the appropriate g o ho technique to use
depends on the relative arrangement [tai/hiraki] and the respective stances of attacker and defender, it does
matter how the attacker begins.
The reason for attacking from ichiji gamae is that if you unthinkingly stay in ch u dan gamae while
closing distance to make a punch, the defender might not have to go to the trouble of performing shita uke
jun geri but could do something simpler, such as machi geri.
So ichiji gamae is the stance you use to be prepared against jun geri.
Furthermore, the reason why the attacker will launch chu dan jun zuki is precisely because he and the
defender are in tai gamae, and the defender, by adopting hass o gamae, is protecting his jodan targets but
inviting a chudan attack. If the defender were in chu dan gamae, with his elbows close to his body, any
kind of chudan punch would be difficult; chu dan jun zuki would seem a pretty long shot. The defender also
biasses the invitation towards jun zuki by turning himself slightly more side-on than the hass o gamae used
for shita uke geri, thus ensuring that his suigetsu is at an awkward angle for a gyaku zuki attack.

mental preparedness is crucial

Taking up a proper stance involves not just adopting the right posture, but also truly understanding why
this posture has been adopted. Lets look at what the kyo han has to say about stance:
There are many people who think stance is just about body position. But however good the posture, if
it is not accompanied by mental preparedness then its like the pose of a doll worthless. Even if it appears

that your body position leaves no gaps or chinks, an unfocussed mind will ruin it; its no exaggeration to
say that the most important element of stance is the preparedness of the mind.
Then again, its also a mistake to take great pains over the mental preparedness but think lightly of the
posture. If your posture isnt right, you wont be able to respond to circumstances moment by moment.
This is how Kaiso spoke of the importance of both posture and mind. And the mental preparedness
were talking about here is not just a matter of determination or strong spirit. One way to think of it is
that you should know the kyo and jitsu aspects of your physical posture, and use this to prepare in your
head the various counter-attack strategies for a number of predicted attacks. On the other hand, you could
think of the physical posture as the particular body position that will make it possible to put your mental
preparations into effect. So without preparedness, any posture has a mass of unguarded openings, while a
posture that is sloppy makes you unable to respond in appropriate ways. The ky o han also has this to say:
Kamae concerns the battle-formation aspect of enabling effective attacks and defences in Shorinji
Kempo. In other words, it must be the physical embodiment of the energy concealed within of unified
mind, spirit and strength.
Not just for shita uke jun geri, but in general, the success or failure of a technique is largely determined
before it even begins, by these subtle tactics of stance and positioning.

caption p120 The defender takes up hasso gamae with zen kutsu dachi.

caption p121 Moving from zen kutsu dachi to ko kutsu dachi, perform shita uke and a counter-kick.

caption p122 Having taken up hidari tai gamae, when the attacker performs jun zuki the defender blocks
with the right hand, thus moving to the attackers ura. When practicing this h o kei dont just think of it as a
punch being blocked by shita uke, but consider carefully the relationship of attacker and defender once the
block has been made.

128: gyaku tenshin geri

shifting your body weight is the key
For gyaku tenshin geri the attacker and defender start from hiraki gamae, and the attacker steps in with
sashikae ashi to launch jun zuki. The defender does gyaku tenshin, keri kaeshi.
Watching gyaku tenshin geri, we often see a failure to coordinate the movements of the upper and lower
body the feet get caught up, or the counter-attack after the tenshin is not delivered smoothly. Unlike shita
uke jun geri, for gyaku tenshin geri the body doesnt move in a straight line: from stance, the front foot is
pulled back while the standing rear leg acts as the axis for a circular body movement; after this turn, what
was the standing leg is used for the keri kaeshi.
This foot movement is gyaku tensoku. If it isnt executed well, the technique wont work.
It seems that the cause of getting the feet tangled, or for being late with the counter-kick, is often a
problem in distributing body weight between the two legs.
In the case of starting from hidari mae hasso gamae, your right leg will be the axis for the turn. When
preparing for the attack you must already be in ko kutsu dachi, your weight on your right leg.
Taking the extreme counter-example, if you try to defend with gyaku tensoku from zen kutsu dachi,
there will be a small pause in shifting to ko kutsu dachi so that your weight is on the gyaku tensoku pivot
foot. This is fine if you have the spare time needed for this movement, but if the attack is fast this kind
of breathing space usually wont be available. Even a small delay increases the pressure on the defender,
making you more likely to stumble, or to fail to coordinate upper- and lower-body movement.
Furthermore, you cannot perform a smooth kick with what was your standing leg unless your weight
has been fully transferred to the leg that you drew back.
Note that although gyaku tenshin turns the body, this doesnt mean that the foot being pulled back has
to follow a circular path.
A good, snappy gyaku ten shin comes about by rapidly pulling back the front foot, promptly shifting
the weight, and thrusting the hip forward for the keri kaeshi.

By stepping in with sashikae ashi, the attacker can get a good angle for hitting the defenders ch u dan.
Shita uke jun geri suits the case in which the defender invites the attack from a somewhat zen kutsu dachi
stance. When inviting from ko kutsu dachi, the effective way to spoil the attackers angle and take up a
good stance for a counter-attack is to use gyaku tenshin.

shifting the weight and dodging are connected

The defensive movements in gyaku tenshin geri are a skillful combination of a tenshin uke based on gyaku
tensoku, and a shita uke.
However, a lot of kenshi perform this technique relying too heavily on the shita uke. But if the gyaku
tenshin is weak and youre relying on the block, theres no way you can have proper room to manoeuvre
for the counter-attack. Shifting the weight onto the leg that was pulled back is also a vital ingredient in
getting the body off the line of attack.
When performing the turn, the upper body is supported by the standing leg. At the end of the turn, the
full weight of the upper body gets transferred to the leg that was pulled back. So to start with the upper
body is over one leg, and at the end its over the other. Thus the gyaku tenshin is what lets the body evade
the attack, and this combined with shita uke is what makes an effective gyaku tenshin geri.

caption p128 The defender takes up hasso gamae in ko kutsu dachi.

caption p129 The defender neednt set out to spin his body around. By pulling the front foot to behind
the rear foot and shifting his weight, the body naturally turns for the gyaku tenshin movement.

caption p130 The main characteristic of the tai sabaki known as gyaku tenshin is evasion by moving the
body completely off the line of attack. Rather than deliberately forcing his body to turn, the defender pulls
his front foot to behind the rear one and quickly transfers his weight to it. This allows a simple, unforced
shifting of the body.

136: han tenshin geri

similarities and differences relative to gyaku tenshin
Han tenshin geri is a technique in which attacker and defender start in hiraki gamae, and in response to a
fumi komi ashi, gyaku geri attack the defender performs han tenshin and a counter-kick.
Both han tenshin and gyaku tenshin are effective forms of ashi sabaki against big step-in-and-kick
The two movements suit different ways of standing. Gyaku tenshin is a circular movement about ones
rear standing foot; han tenshin is a rotation with the front foot as axis. Gyaku tenshin is the easier one to
perform smoothly from ko kutsu dachi.

make the technique flow smoothly

Lets take a close look at han tenshin geri using the photo sequences.
In frame 1 of series A, the defender prepares for the attack in a migi mae stance with slight zen kutsu
In frames 2 to 8, the attacker performs fumi komi ashi then gyaku geri, and the defender meets this by
pulling his left foot back to a position behind the right side of his right foot. This is a tenshin [body turn]
involving han tensoku.
Lets look more closely.
In frames 7 and 8 the feet are in the same places, but in frame 7 the heel of the left foot is in air, while
in frame 8 its the right heel that is off the ground.
So we could say that 7 is the instant when the han tenshin finishes, while 8 is where the keri kaeshi
starts. Effectively the end of one is simultaneous with the start of the other.

Looking at the attacker during this time, in frame 7 he hasnt yet straightened his knee. But even though
he is set on delivering the kick, the defender has already moved away and its too late for the attacker
to change the kicks path. Then in frame 8, even though the attackers kick isnt yet fully extended the
defenders counter-kick has already begun.
Looking at frames 9 to 12 we see that the defenders kick lands in advance of the attacker pulling his
foot back.
So the attackers state when the counter-kick arrives is such that from ch u dan to gedan is all in kyo, and
hes also unstably poised on one leg.
This shows how the precise flow of attack and counter-attack cant be mastered just by copying the
superficial form of a technique.
A technique only starts working given a proper understanding of how the tai sabaki, block, and counter-
attack are all inter-connected, and on a foundation of smooth movements of the feet and of ones weight.

use a composite approach

Han tenshin geri includes uchi otoshi uke as part of the defence against the gyaku geri. But rather than
consider the block the main element of the defence, you should see it only as supplementary protection for
If you half-heartedly do the han tenshin and rely on the uchi otoshi uke to protect you, then unless you
manage to stop the kick firmly with your arm, it will get through. So youre putting your arm in direct
competition with the attackers leg, and the best you can really expect is a painful arm. However, no matter
how swiftly an attacker kicks, the time needed to perform han tenshin should be a lot less.
So dont just rely on the block, but put together the foot movement, body movement, block, and counter-
attack; that way, youll be able to deal with even a powerful attack.

caption p136 At the end of the day, the uchi otoshi uke in han tenshin geri is just supplementary; your
focus should be on dodging the attack with the han tenshin form of tai sabaki.

caption p138 Like gyaku tenshin, han tenshin is a form of tai sabaki for getting your body off the line
of an incoming attack. An important point shared by han tenshin and gyaku tenshin is that at the instant
when the tenshin ends, your shifting of body weight must also stop leaving you ready to perform the kick

144: yoko tenshin geri

gyaku geri has both power and speed
Yoko tenshin geri is a technique for dealing with a gyaku geri attack from tai gamae.
When doing kicking practice with body protectors, the combination sashi komi ashi, gyaku geri is
surely the most common kind of kick.
Indeed, gyaku geri is a classic form of attack, bearing down on the defender with power and speed.
To avoid such an attack, simply backing away is no good.
If you do just back away, you wont be able to reach to deliver a counter-attack, and if the attack is deep
theres a risk that it might get to you anyway.
Looking over the sango ken techniques, there is not a single one in which the defender simply backs
away. For shita uke jun geri you move diagonally backwards with ushiro chidori ashi, while both han ten
shin geri and gyaku ten shin geri make use of turning movements that take the body off the line of attack.

circumstances to the defenders advantage

The defenders tai sabaki and counter-kick have to be more compact than the attackers step in and attack.
Lets analyse yoko tenshin geri in detail. However fast the attack, the fact is that the striking weapon
(the sole of the attackers left foot) starts about two metres away from the target (the defenders suigetsu).

Because the attack is aimed at the defenders seichu sen [centre line], the distance that he must move
sideways to evade it is half his body width maybe around 20cm. This is just one tenth of the distance to
be travelled by the attack, and its a single-step movement that anyone can do.
Moreover, when the attack happens the defender is standing firmly on both feet, so making a dodging
movement is easy.
By contrast, when the defender puts in his keri kaeshi, the attacker is standing on one leg and therefore
cannot dodge.

the importance of attack/defence timing

Even if the defenders dodge is only one-tenth the distance of the attack, starting the defence movements
at the wrong time will scupper the chance of a straightforward defence and counter-attack.
Looking at photo sequence A, we see that in frames 1 to 5, when the attacker is stepping in and up to
the point of launching the gyaku geri, the defender waits calmly in a zen kutsu stance. The start of the yoko
tenshin movement is frame 6, when the attacker has begun his gyaku geri. At this point the attack has been
launched towards a decided target, and it would be difficult to change its path.
By contrast, if the defender started moving as early as frame 3 or 4, the attacker would be able to adjust
the path of the kick. Even with a yoko tenshin, the chance of being caught by the kick would be greatly
The attackers kick has to move ten times as far as the defenders dodge. If the defender doesnt rush, he
can coolly draw in the attack so that after this dodge the attacker is in a position where he cannot perform
tai sabaki against the counter-attack.

caption p144 The techniques of sango ken must be done with clear awareness of kamae and relative
arrangement [tai/hiraki]. Both han tenshin geri and yoko tenshin geri involve the same gyaku geri attack,
but when waiting in zen kutsu dachi in tai gamae, the effective response to gyaku geri is yoko tenshin geri.

caption p146 When facing each other in tai gamae, a gyaku geri attack is handled with yoko tenshin
geri. When the attacker closes distance and kicks, this also brings him into range for a counter-kick.
By not retreating but performing a sideways tenshin movement, the defender can take up distance for an
effective counter-attack.

152: harai uke geri

block with a line, not a point
At study sessions, students often say (1) against an attack like furi geri, surely harai uke geri wont work
and (2) when I do harai uke my arm hurts; how can I avoid this?
With respect to (1), you have to think about whats needed for a successful attack.
Its true that the path of a furi geri differs from that of a sashi komi mawashi geri, so rigidly performing
harai uke geri against it wont work. But that doesnt mean you cant defend yourself from furi geri.
Attack and defence of kinteki is a strongly emphasised element of Shorinji Kempo. Against someone
who is well practiced in kinteki geri as a defence tactic, furi geri is effectively removed as an attack option.
Sashi komi mawashi geri is the kind of thing an attacker has to do in order to close distance without
leaving himself open to a kinteki geri counter-attack.
Question (2) is answered by thinking about how to make a successful defence.
Watching the technique of those people who ask about hurting their arms, most are seen to block at
right angles to the incoming kick. This means that a single point on the kicking leg is hitting a single point
on the blocking arm.
One important element of harai uke is hitting the nerve point san in k o . But concentrating too much
on this is likely to lead to a crashing, head-on block. However much you toughen up your arms, this isnt
something they can cope with.
If you look closely at photo sequence B, youll see that the blocks path follows that of the kicking leg.
The attack in these photographs is quite shallow, so the block doesnt make much contact. But even if the

attack were deep, using a block that follows the line of the leg and cuts deeply into san in k o means that
the arm doesnt just hit with one point.
Turning the contact area from a point into a line reduces the impact shock, and hence the risk of injury.
An additional result is that you hit san in ko .

understand how a technique hangs together

As its name suggests, harai uke geri involves defending against a kick using harai uke or uchi harai uke,
then a keri counter-attack.
There are many hokei whose names simply combine those of their main defence and attack techniques:
harai uke geri, juji uke geri, uchi uke geri, ryusui geri and so on.
Watching the scene of people practicing go ho, we often see that if their harai uke or ju ji uke goes
wrong, they only think of trying to correct the movements of their hands.
A goho technique is made up of elements that include (1) kamae, (2) foot placement, (3) foot move-
ment, (4) tai sabaki [body movement], (5) defence techniques, (6) switching between attack and defence,
(7) awareness of alternatives, cho soku, happomoku, zanshin and so on.
However, elements like these cant be learnt by blitzing them one at a time. They only work when
skillfully woven together.
Among the Shorinji Kempo defence techniques, not a single one involves complicated arm movements.
Ultimately the movements come down to extending, retracting, or swinging the arm.
Therefore when a block isnt working well, rather than getting obsessed with just the arm movement,
you must think of how stance, foot placement and foot movement are all connected, and work on improving
the combination as a whole.

caption p153 Using uchi harai uke while moving with mae kagi ashi, the defender can easily block
against san in ko.

caption p154 Rather than thinking of the harai uke as being used to block the incoming kick, think of it
as protecting your own chudan. By using ashi sabaki and tai sabaki to dodge the attack, you can stop the
kick with little or no damage to your own arm.

Chio ken
Like tenno ken, these hokei are based on ren ko bo. Whereas tenno ken techniques deal with attacks that
begin with a punch, chio ken addresses attacks starting with a kick.

160: jun geri chi ichi

different stances call for different techniques

Apart from chio ken techniques, kinteki geri as an attack is addressed in kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi,
in kakuritsu ken. How is that technique different from this one?
Anyone can see that for kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi the attack is just a single kinteki geri, whereas
for jun geri chi ichi there is the additional hebi zuki. But the more fundamental difference lies in the
defenders stance.
In kinteki geri hiza uke nami gaeshi, the defender is in ko kutsu dachi. In jun geri chi ichi, the defenders
weight is evenly on both feet.
When youre in ko kutsu dachi, its easy to respond to kinteki geri by immediately doing hiki ashi and
hiza uke.
But if your weight is evenly distributed, or if youre in zen kutsu dachi, performing hiki ashi requires a
split-second shift of the weight. To cover your vulnerability during that split second, you use ken uke.

ken uke is possible specifically when the attack is kinteki geri
One of the staff members at hombu tells a story of having broken a finger in randori during student days,
by unthinkingly using ken uke against a kick.
I asked what kind of kick it was, and how the block was done.
The answer was that the pair were in tai gamae, and when the opponent launched a jun geri to ch u dan
the defender immediately aimed a ken uke at the approaching foot.
In all Shorinji Kempos hokei, ken uke is never used against anything other than kinteki geri.
Kinteki geri is a style of kick designed to strike the groin area with the instep; its not intended for
higher targets such as suigetsu. Ken uke is a block that can be used against kinteki geri, and likewise is not
suited to other kicks.
If a kick comes towards your suigetsu, using ken uke just because your relative positioning happens to
be the same as for a kinteki geri attack is a reckless move. Its not surprising if you break your fingers.
In addition, even when applied against kinteki geri, to avoid hurting yourself the ken uke must be
performed with a tightly clenched fist and an active wrist [i.e., not bent].
So ken uke is a block that, if done badly, brings the risk of injury. Nonetheless we use it, because
stopping a kinteki geri using its intended target area is simply not a viable option.
The attacker launches the kinteki geri while performing hebi zuki as a feint to j o dan. The target of the
kick is based on where the defender was originally standing.
This is a crucial point. A defender always gets attacks to come to where he has taken up stance.
By moving his body backwards, the defender shifts his target area away from its position when the
kinteki geri attack was invited.
And then he performs ken uke at the position originally occupied by that target. That way, the block
naturally meets the kick.
Its absolutely not the case that the block is launched to target the kick.
The kick comes flying at you in tenths of a second. Even if you tried, you couldnt hope to hit the
intended nerve point.
Reading the attackers intentions, and using ken uke to cover up the kyo in your posture, is what allows
it to be effective.

caption p160 The defender faces the attacker in zen kutsu ichiji gamae. Protecting himself against the
hebi zuki feint using uwa uke, he protects himself against the kinteki geri using his knee and ken uke. Ken
uke should not be thought of as being aimed at the kicking foot, but as being put out to protect the kinteki

caption p162 Its very difficult to do a good ken uke by trying to aim it. But because the attackers kick is
coming to kinteki, putting ken uke at the targeted location will catch it. Making such a block is like laying
a trap for an animal to run into.

168: gyaku geri chi ichi

feinting to jodan increases the effectiveness of the kick
In chio kens chi ichi no kata are jun geri chi ichi and gyaku geri chi ichi.
Both of these hokei involve a feint using hebi zuki or something similar, along with kinteki geri. The
difference between them lies in whether the kinteki geri is a jun geri or gyaku geri.
When you consider the position of the kyu sho [nerve point] in kinteki, an attack from straight ahead is
clearly the most effective.
Whether this attack can be made most effectively using jun geri or gyaku geri is largely determined by
the relative arrangement [tai/hiraki] and separation of attacker and defender.
From a given distance, because gyaku geri uses as its standing leg the one that is already closer to the
defender, the kick reaches further than would jun geri.
What this means when the opponents are standing at issoku ikken distance is that gyaku geri requires a
smaller closing-distance movement than does jun geri.

On the other hand, because gyaku geri comes from a position further away from the defender, it is a
larger movement thats easier for the defender to read than a jun geri.
In the case of jun geri chi ichi the attacker and defender are in tai gamae, from which jun geri provides
the easier chance of an effective angle of attack against kinteki.
However, because the defender is bound to have set up stance at a safe distance from the attacker, its
necessary to distract him with hebi zuki while closing distance for the jun geri.
Gyaku geri chi ichi is from hiraki gamae. In hiraki gamae its gyaku geri that offers the better chance
of a good attack angle against kinteki.
In order to make effective use of the large gyaku geri movement, it should be launched after using hebi
zuki to take the defenders attention away from the gedan region.
So the hebi zuki used in techniques like jun geri chi ichi or gyaku geri chi ichi isnt just part of some
fixed kata, but serves to increase the effectiveness of the kick attack.

training must include safety measures

It can be said that the fiercer the attack used in practicing some ho kei, the higher the level of training being
However, because the hokei in chio ken involve potentially dangerous attacks to the eyes and to kinteki,
there is a tendency for attackers to hold back.
Therefore depending on the level of the practice it may be necessary for the defender to use a groin cup
or mask as a safety measure.
In terms of the intensity of its effect, and the fact that no-one can withstand being hit there, you could
think of kinteki as the number-one kyu sho against a man.
When Shorinji Kempo is pursued as an approach to self defence, practicing defence and counter-attacks
for this number-one kyusho is clearly of enormous importance. So insofar as practicing chi o kens chi
ichi no kata involves training both partners in the attack and defence of kinteki, you could regard these as
being definitive techniques for Shorinji Kempo.

captions p169 Although chio ken is based around ren ko bo sequences that begin with a kick, jun geri
chi ichi and gyaku geri chi ichi make an exception by actually starting with hebi zuki. In the same way that
tenno ken has the characteristic that its attack combinations are thrown without a pause, the hebi zuki and
kinteki geri in chio ken techniques are not two separate movements. The attacker must have the sense that
the hebi zuki is for drawing the attackers attention to jo dan for a fleeting instant, during which the kinteki
geri is also put in.
Make sure that the wrist is active when performing ken uke.

caption p170 Neither gyaku geri chi ichi nor jun geri chi ichi involves a kinteki geri attack launched out
of the blue; they both use hebi zuki to first distract attention away from the gedan area. If the hebi zuki isnt
performed convincingly, it wont work as a feint; the attacker must make this first attack one that would hit
the defender if not blocked.

176: gyaku geri chi san

a skillful combination of dodge and block
Lets confirm the movements of gyaku geri chi san from the kyo han:
Attacker: (1) sashi komi ashi, right foot kinteki geri; (2) put the foot down, right-hand shut o giri to
keichu; (3) continue with left-hand chudan gyaku zuki.
Defender: (1) pulling back the left foot, perform ken uke with the left hand; (2) soto oshi uke with right
hand; (3) left-hand shita uke, then while moving to ichiji gamae perform keri kaeshi with right foot.
Although this explanation is divided up into steps 1, 2, 3, it goes without saying that in practice the
gyaku geri, shuto giri, chudan zuki form a continuous ren ko .
Photo sequence A shows the defender inviting kinteki geri from a zen kutsu stance, then protecting
kinteki by performing ken uke while shifting to ko kutsu dachi.

According to the instructions given above, at step 1 the defender should perform ken uke while pulling
back his left foot. Part of the purpose of this hiki ashi is to move the kinteki target backwards, away from
the attack. You can see in the photo sequence that the defender doesnt actually pull his left foot back.
However, what the defender is doing here instead of hiki ashi is to dodge kinteki away from the incom-
ing kick by using the movement from zen kutsu dachi to ko kutsu dachi.
Using his momentum, the attacker follows kinteki geri with shuto giri and chudan zuki. This shuto giri
has the same angle as in tsubame gaeshi, and constitutes a tremendously dangerous attack.
Therefore, immediately after the ken uke, the defender uses ushiro chidori ashi as a tai sabaki that
moves him out of the range and the path of the incoming attacks, and while blocking with soto oshi uke and
shita uke performs the keri kaeshi counter-attack. Thus every attack is avoided by an effective combination
of tai sabaki and blocking.

predict attacks based on what would be the obvious movements

Whereas tenno ken addresses ren ko bo starting with a punch, chio ken deals with sequences that start with
a kick.
One resource for judging whether an attack will start with a punch or a kick is the distance between
attacker and defender.
Since arms are shorter than legs, making a punch attack involves moving closer than would be necessary
for a kick. Thus at a given distance ones first concern should be to watch out for kicks rather than punches.
Lets consider the conditions needed for making a jun geri or gyaku geri attack from the issoku ikken,
hiraki gamae preparatory stance used in gyaku geri chi san. We define issoku ikken as the distance from
which a gyaku geri without a keri komi movement would just fail to reach its target.
If the attacker brings forward his back foot [yose ashi], the front foot that would be the standing leg for
gyaku geri is no nearer the defender, so jun geri is the more useful kick to do.
If he instead steps his front foot forwards [fumikomi ashi], the most direct form of kick possible is
gyaku geri whereas jun geri would require him first to move the back leg forward and put all his weight
on it. When you think about it, this is all natural and obvious.
Within chio ken we find jun/gyaku pairs: jun geri chi ichi and gyaku geri chi ichi, and jun geri chi san
and gyaku geri chi san.
Practicing any one of these in isolation becomes just a matter of unthinkingly repeating the same move-
ments. But practicing the paired ho kei such that the attacker might equally launch either the jun or gyaku
version, the defender has no choice but to use his head, using the attackers early movements as the clue
for predicting and dealing with whichever attack is the natural follow-on.

caption p176 Verification of the attackers movements. From hiraki gamae he performs a san ren k o
starting with kinteki geri, then placing the kicking foot down in front and performing shut o giri and chudan
gyaku zuki.

caption p178 The attacker launches a san ren ko made up of kinteki geri, shuto giri, chudan gyaku zuki.
Even having successfully protected his kinteki with ken uke, if the defender then just stands there, the
remaining ren ko attacks will hit him full-on. So he can either follow the ken uke with a keri kaeshi like in
gyaku geri chi ichi, or, as seen here, break distance and prepare for those attacks.

188: harai uke chi ni

dont just go through the motions!
The kyohans explanation of harai uke chi ni is as follows:
(1) Attacker: stepping forward, mawashi geri with left foot. Defender: while opening the left foot out
to the side, uchi harai uke with right arm; left hand in chu dan gamae position.
(2) Attacker: while stepping in with fumikomi ashi, right-hand jo dan gyaku zuki. Defender: while
twisting the body, perform uchi uke with the left hand, then immediately use the right hand for a deciding
atemi to chudan.

Reading these instructions and blithely following them to perform harai uke chi ni, there is a tendency
to fall into practice that simply goes through the motions: when mawashi geri arrives you protect yourself
with uchi harai uke; then block the gyaku zuki with uchi uke; then make an atemi to ch u dan.
Hokei outside chio ken for dealing with mawashi geri include harai uke geri, gedan gaeshi, ch u dan
gaeshi, juji uke geri, mawashi geri san bo uke nami gaeshi, and harai uke dan zuki.
So with all these techniques available against the first attack in harai uke chi ni, why go to the special
effort of preparing for an additional gyaku zuki?
To answer this, we have to look at which of these other ho kei are related to harai uke chi ni.

the relationship between harai uke chi ni, gedan gaeshi and harai uke dan zuki
In goho, the techniques available for use in confronting an opponent are constrained by distance, relative
arrangement [tai/hiraki], foot placement, kamae, and so on.
If you look at the preparatory stance in the photographs, youll see that it is hiraki gamae. At this stage
we can therefore rule out of the choice list the responses ju ji uke geri and mawashi geri san bo uke nami
Then look at the instant when the defender has blocked mawashi geri. Because his rear foot is out to
the side, we have to rule out harai uke geri and chu dan gaeshi.
The only options remaining at this point are gedan gaeshi and harai uke dan zuki.
The attacker, also bearing in mind these various possibilities, launches gyaku zuki. The 1955 edition of
the kyohan makes this clear with the following guidance for the attacker:
Replacing the left foot on the ground, and while maintaining your left hand as a guard against the
defenders right leg, jodan gyaku zuki with the right hand.

attack and defence grounded in knowledge of the possible counter-attacks

We see that the attacker doesnt just go through the motions of throwing gyaku zuki, but takes care to guard
against a counter-kick by the defender. And the defender, if intending to counter-attack with a punch, must
remember to protect his own face while doing so.
Goho hokei are decided on your opponents momentary openings of kyo.
Therefore you have to train to launch counter-attacks that take advantage of the kyo openings appearing
in your opponents posture as a result of the attacks he makes.
In practicing any hokei, it isnt enough simply to remember its overall form.
As your level improves, you shouldnt just be mechanically stringing movements together. You should
understand the relationship to other ho kei, and explore aspects such as strategies for attack and defence,
and the fight over who has the initiative (sen), so that your ho kei dont become cast into fixed shapes.

caption p184 The position after blocking the attackers mawashi geri would also allow the gedan gaeshi

caption p185 Harai uke chi ni becomes effective when the attacker launches gyaku zuki in the face of the
defenders possible counter-attack.

caption p186 Thinking of what could come after the sashi komi mawashi geri, the distance is too great
for jun zuki to be effective, and gyaku geri cant happen because the right leg is acting as the supporting
leg. So you can tell that the second attack must be gyaku zuki. During practice of h o kei it is important to
understand and become familiar with the kyo/jitsu aspects of posture.