New Version of Kata Performed by Sensei K. Abe JKA
This Kata was renamed Shoin by Master Funakoshi, but is now generally known by its former appellation, the Chinese characters of which mean 'strange' or 'unusual hand(s)'. This probably derives from the variety of the distinctive and unusual hand techniques that it contains. These include Middle-knuckle fist (Naka-daka-ken), Two-finger spear-hand (Nihon-nukite), Palm-heel strike (Teisho), Upper elbow strike (Age-empi-uchi), Vertical fist (Tate-zuki) and Knife-hand (Shuto). The Chinese origins of the Kata are evident in its use of wide circular movements and the fist punch.
The application of counter-attacks to vital points make this a good Kata to master from a self-defence point of view, even for people of slight stature, as it gives practice in close-range defence which does not rely upon sheer physical strength.
This aspect is frequently overlooked when practising the Kata, and Karate-ka often apply too much power and focus in some of the techniques. Nihon-nukite, for example, is often thrust forward in a straight line and focused like Oi-zuki. More often then not, this will cause the fingers to miss their aim, as too much muscle tension will work against the fine adjustments necessary to ensure accuracy. The correct application is an upward arc to the target. Practice in the shift form Fudo-dachi to Zenkutsu-dachi will enable the defender to counter-punch from a stable immobile position with tremendous force.