Gojushiho - Shorei or Shorin?


Green Belt
May 14, 2021
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Some source list Gojushiho/Useishi as a Shorei-ryu kata, the basis of Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu. Other sources list it as a Shorin-ryu kata.

On one hand, it does stand out as a very Shorei-looking kata, with plenty of open-hand strikes to pressure points and slow techniques, as well as not much kicking to speak of. It also contains a washide, a technique seen often in Goju-ryu but barely ever in, for example, Shotokan. There is a video of a Goju-ryu practitioner performing what is called the "white crane" version of Gojushiho, which looks a lot like Shotokan's Gojushiho-sho:

On the superficial level, it also ends with a slow movement which appears to be a common sight in Shorei-ryu kata (Seisan, Shisochin, Suparinpei, etc).

On the other hand, it is quite a quick and snappy kata which is more characteristic of Shorin-ryu. Some versions contain a rather high leg lift, something that seems out-of-place for Shorei-ryu:

So what does Gojushiho belong to? Shorei-ryu or Shorin-ryu?


Senior Master
Mar 20, 2004
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If I had to make a guess. They meant to say "Shuri" and not "Shorei". Two very different things.

"Shuri" is what became Shorin-Ryu and those styles.

"Shorei" was what Kanryo Higaonna taught that became Goju-Ryu and To'on-Ryu. Neither of these styles have this kata. Uechi-Ryu would not be a part of this group, although if you say the "Naha" based systems it would be. "Shorei" is specific to Higaonna and his lineage and not Kanbun Uechi's style (which by the way also does not contain this kata).

So to answer the question, it belongs to Shorin-Ryu styles and lineage.

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