Enshin....anyone try it first hand?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by chrissyp, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. chrissyp

    chrissyp Orange Belt

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    So of all the styles of martial arts out there, Enshin Karate is the one I find most interesting, yet is one that is not even closely available to me.

    From those who've tried it, I have a couple unusual questions:

    Other than being trained full contact, how are the technqiues compared to say shotokan? Are their similarities and cross overs to more "traditional" Karate?

    What would you find it most comparible to, that ISN'T a form of Oyama karate

    and lastly, Would you recommend it?
     
  2. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I'm a huge admirer of Enshin. No where near me nor where I've lived either though.

    The videos I've seen appear to be Kyokushin, only more circular in line of attack and defense, and adding throws.

    Oyama studied Shotokan under Funakoshi (or his son), and Goju-Kai under Yamaguchi and a Korean student of Miyagi's named So. So if you were to bypass Oyama in the chain, one could reach and say it's a blend of what they taught plus some Judo basics. But Oyama made some pretty big changes in technique, application, and philosophy IMO.

    Ninomiya eliminated traditional kata from Kyokushin and added his own "fighting kata" as well. Looks to me like prearranged shadow-kickboxing.

    Ninomiya's book Sabaki: Karate in the Inner Circle is a great reference IMO. Should be about $15 or so on Amazon if the curiosity should strike you.
     
  3. chrissyp

    chrissyp Orange Belt

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    I will def check out that book! It's the circular/sabaki method of moving, deflecting, and hitting at the same time that really inspires me to fight like that.
     
  4. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I didn't find anything ground breaking in, but it was a different (good) point of view and presented very well. It definitely made me think and try to apply what was presented. It helped me more than any other book has.

    On a side note, my CI was in Kyokushin under Nakamura during the Fighting Black Kings era (he's still Nakamura's student), and trained with those guys several times (we're about 2.5 hours away from NYC). I've got to ask him if he ever trained with Ninomiya. Ninomiya spent a good amount of time under Nakamura and Shigeru Oyama in NYC during that time. He's got some great stories from those days, but he really only talks about that stuff when asked.
     
  5. chrissyp

    chrissyp Orange Belt

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    That's awesome! I'm jealous that you got to do any time of Oyama karate. I live near cincinnati Ohio and we got NOTHING. The black fighting kinds were no joke! I love hearing martial arts history and stories! Hear as many as you can!
     
  6. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Not sure if you recognize me from a different place :)

    I'm in Seido Juku (Nakamura's current organization). We're not full contact like his early day. Our dojo's guys hit hard at times, but every dojo is different. I did bare knuckle for a while in my 20s, but at 40, been there done that. I'm too old for that. I certainly don't recover like I used to.

    Another side note: Charles Martin is still Nakamura's student. I've met him a few times. A very, very nice guy. Someone else brought up Fighting Black Kings one day, to which he responded "That movie's still around?" He was laughing. I haven't ever sparred with him, but everyone I know who has says he's still on a whole 'nother level. Fighting Black Kings was 42 years ago this year.
     
  7. Metropolitan

    Metropolitan White Belt

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    Actually, with all respect, Ninomija came to the US because he was sent there to start Ashihara Karate. He had trained with Hideyuki Ashihara for many years. Hideyuki Ashihara was a High ranked Black belt under Mas. Oyama, but they parted due to differences in opinion on how to train. Kyokushin is about being strong. Ashihara wanted it to be smart to. He implemented New movement patterns, grips and throwing. Eventually Oyama asked him to leave Kyokushin and he did. He then started NIKO, New Ashihara Karate Organisation, on the early eighties. AND Ninomija followed him.
    Hideyuki Ashihara totally changed the way knock Down karate was done: New movement patterns, more relaxed stances, all new fighting katas, opponent control via Sabaki and throwing.
    In a lot og the old Ashihara videos on youtube you can see Ninomija perform Ashihara Sabaki and Ashihara fighting kata.
    So all in all Enshin is a branch out of the Ashihara way of thinking knock Down karate. He did not invent much but gave it his own unique twist.
    Now a days I dont think there is a lot of Ashihara Karate in the US. There used to be. Enshin is there and to me it looks good.
     
  8. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Somehow I skipped the part of Ninomiya being Ashihara’s top student and following Ashihara when he left Kyokushin. No idea why, as I seemingly always mention that.

    As a side note, Ninomiya spent significant time here in the US during his Kyokushin days. He trained extensively with Shigeru Oyama and Tadashi Nakamura in the NYC area in their dojos (Oyama’s dojo was in White Plains, NY and Nakamura’s was in Manhattan).

    He was here for a period before the 1st World Open Karate Championship Tournament (as evidenced in the movie Fighting Black Kings), and he did return soon after the tournament. I read somewhere (I think his book) that he intended to stay permanently, but his visa expired.

    I don’t know the differences between Ashihara and Enshin, but practitioners of both say they appear subtle on the outside but there are significant differences. From what I (perhaps incorrectly) gather, Enshin goes further in the tai sabaki/circular movement and has more emphasis on grabs and throws.
     
  9. Metropolitan

    Metropolitan White Belt

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    This is from a very old post on this forum, 2003 I think:
    " As Martin h is correct.
    Joko Ninomiya Sensei started Kyokushin under Ashihara Sensei. When Ashihara chose to leave the Kyokushinkai (the Kyokushin organization claims to have expelled him) Ninomiya Sensei left with Ashihara Sensei and helped him establish a new style called 'Ashihara Karate'. In '88 Ninomiya Sensei resigned from NIKO (Ashihara Karate organization) and created his own style/organization under the name "Enshin Karate".

    As explained, Ashihara Sensei eliminated the traditional Kata of Kyokushin and replaced them with 'fighting kata'. He felt that the traditional Kata were unrealistic, and developed his own kata as he felt the kata should be applicable in real fighting situations. There are six kata and takes into account three ranges of fighting. These kata can be performed solo or with a partner as "control technique" training.

    Ashihara Sensei's concept of fighting was based on the concept of 'Sabaki'. This involves getting out of the line of attack using one of four fundamental circular movements. This will allow the attacker to get to the opponents 'back/blind side', which allows the defender to take a strategic advantage and counterattack using various kicking and punching combinations (including takedowns/throws). In it's purest form, Sabaki (as it is meant in Ashihara Karate) is a way to "combine defense and offense into one".

    Kancho Ashihara passed away in 1995 of Lou Gehrig disease (ALS).

    KG
     
  10. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Pretty much what I’ve read from various sources. Enshin’s kata are not the same as Ashihara’s. Similar in the “fighting kata” concept, but they’re not duplicated (for lack of a better word).
     

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