When I was learning Kobudo from Minowa sensei I could get away with asking him questions directly; something that my senpai would never be able to do. In hindsight I cringe at what I did, but when I trained with sensei it was during my first three years in Japan and I was so culturally inept and my Japanese was still developing.

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Taira Shinken (R) demonstrating soto uke and ura nage on Mabuni Kenwa (L) From Nakasone G & Mabuni K (1938) Kobo Kenpo Karatedo Nyumon

I rarely talk about specific applications of techniques from kata in this blog mostly because I feel they need to be practiced in the dojo over and over again under the watchful eyes of a good teacher. That said since I’ve been translating “Kobo Kenpo Karatedo Nyumon” so I don’t think I’m giving anything away by showing this photo of the application of “soto uke, ura nage” or “outside deflection, rear throw” (外受裏投) from the same book.

Kanzaki Shigekazu sensei demonstrating Bechurin
Kanzaki sensei performing ura-uke from Bechurin kata.

Today I would like to talk about a common technique found in both Goju-ryu and Tou’on-ryu known as ura uke. In Goju-ryu it is found in the kata kururunfa after performing three sukui uke, while in Tou’on-ryu it is found in bechurin after performing the tomoe uke, kake uke, shuto-uchi combinations.