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Chinte Kata Meaning

Chinte (Japanese: "Rare Hand" or "Unusual Hand") is a kata practiced in Shotokan karate. It is a very old kata originating from China. Its mixture of standard movements and rarely-seen techniques, vestiges of ancient forms, give this kata a special appeal. Particularly dynamic, with its alternating strong and slow passages, Chinte is unique also in the presence of a number of circular techniques, despite the preference in Shotokan karate for linear movements. It is a kata of close-distance self-defense techniques. The somewhat peculiar closing movements allude to the absorption of the power of the waves by the sand, which is a symbol of the return to tranquility after the violent storm. (1)

This very old kata originates from China. Its mixture of standard movements and rarely-seen techniques, vestiges of ancient forms, give this kata a special appeal. Particularly dynamic, with its alternating strong and slow passages, Chinte is unique also in the presence of a number of circular techniques. It is a kata of close self defense techniques.

Chinte translates to mysterious or bamboo hand and also calmness or quelling. It’s origin is in question, Chinte was also introduced to Matsumora and Oyadomari. The name is thought by some to be derived from its unique hand techniques. Chinte is a unique Shuri-Te kata that Itosu passed on from Bushi Matsumura. It is thought that the kata was used for training against spear (yari) attacks. (2) It has been suggested that the guards at the Shuri castle strapped bamboo staves to their forearms as a defensive measure. This strategy is embodied in the original form of the kata.

The form begins in tranquility, becomes powerful and ends in calmness. One rare technique in this form is the two-finger spear hand to assailant eyes. This is a very good defense for those lacking strong muscular development.

Some believe the final three movements were added to bring the kata back to the original starting place in order to facilitate competition, because they are not present in the other versions of the kata practiced by other styles of Japanese karate.


1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinte
2) http://www.geocities.com/matsubayashiryu/kata_history.html