Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

"The Pinan Kata"

The Pinan Kata were composed by Anko Itso on Okinawa in 1907 as a way to teach Karate to the general public and school children. The kata are a modified version of the advanced ancient kata which were thought to be too difficult for the beginner student of karate.

The Pinan kata are found in most traditional styles in many countries. The other styles use the Okinawan kata as a way of teaching students their martial art. The Japanese style Shotokan renamed the Pinan kata Heian. The Korean art of Tae Kwon Do also employs the Pinan by another name, as many other styles have done.

The most difficult move in the kata is the chest- block-kick technique followed by the step and turn in middle-block-cat- stance position. The position of the chest block wrist/arm and chambered hand must remain in place during the kick, the arms then chamber (wind-up) for the next move while placing the right foot before turning and blocking open-hand middle block. An instructor may explain further. Timing is crucial to the movements. The other difficult move is the kosa-dachi chest block, kick and reverse punch combination. Timing and focus of the block kick and punch is also most important.

Height changes from one stance to the other are imperative and explained in detail in the Building Warrior Spirit book. Also weight distribution in the various stances are detailed in the book.

The Pinan prepare the beginner/intermediate student for the ancient kata as well as developing coordination, balance, timing and more advanced karate skills. The habits developed in the Pinan always carry over to the other kata and should be learned correctly to avoid having to re-learn the skills. One can start right now to improve, it is never too late to do better. Once the technique are done correctly and proficiently, by rote, the practitioner should practice the moves without thought, with full speed and power.

Arigato, Kyoshi.

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ROBERT SCAGLIONE, Kyoshi, began his karate training 30 years ago in 1967. This is his 25th anniversary as a Blackbelt under Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro-Hanshi of the Shorin-Ryu Karate U.S.A. system. Kyoshi Scaglione is the Chief Administrator of the original style in the United States. He has traveled with Hanshi throughout the U.S.A. and as his representative worldwide.  Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1938, Kyoshi served in the U.S. Navy and in 1961 became a NYC Police Officer. He voluntarily worked exclusively in high crime/ high hazard areas during his entire 20 year tenure with the NYPD. He served in many assignments in all five boroughs of New York City including uniformed street cop, undercover officer and as a Detective in the elite Special Investigating Unit featured in the film "The French Connection." He led the NYPD in felony arrests many times and has numerous awards, citations and letters of commendation from Police Department officials, Federal Agencies, District Attorneys, Grand jurors and the civilian community. He retired from police service in 1981 in order to devote himself full time to the art of karate.

Kyoshi began his karate training in the NYPD. He continued his training under Sensei Terry Maccarrone-Shihan of the Hegashi Karate Dojo on Long Island, New York. He was Senior Instructor at the St. James Dojo for five years. Hanshi Ueshiro, wanting a dojo in Manhattan, asked Kyoshi to open a dojo in New York City. He founded the NYC dojo in 1977, which became the headquarters of Shorin-Ryu Karate USA several years later. After ten years, in 1987, Kyoshi relocated to Merritt Island, Florida and founded the Okinawan Karate Dojo leaving his senior student David Baker, San Dan to continue operation of the NYC dojo.

Over 125 students began their training directly under Kyoshi Scaglione and have attained blackbelt level. He continues to work closely with all his blackbelts, including the ten who have opened dojo on the mainland US, Hawaii, and in Israel. Among his students are many professionals, doctors, lawyers, military officers, police officers, business executives, artists, writers, housewives, students and children.

Kyoshi is the co-author with artist Bill Cummins, Ni Dan of "The Shorin-Ryu Karate Question and Answer Book" and has written another entitled "Building Warrior Spirit." His student David Seeger, Yon Dan, an Emmy Award winner, has produced several karate videos with Kyoshi. Kyoshi is the Editor-at-large of this 30th Anniversary journal. He has written and assisted his students in writing newspaper and magazine articles, film scripts on varied subjects, novels, and stage plays. He has appeared on national T.V. and radio, in stage productions, and at Universities and schools giving karate demonstrations and lectures on self-defense and assault prevention.  Kyoshi's four sons, Sal, Robert Jr., Dion, and Shane are all Ni Dan blackbelts.

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