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Jette Kata Meaning

In Jitte (translated: “ten hands”) is understood the idea that its mastery will permit one to face ten adversaries. (1) Its origin is from the Tomari-te school. Some claim that the name, Jitte, is derived from the position of the raised fists, resembling a type of sai known as a jitte, which occurs a number of times in the kata. This rather short kata of only 24 movements contains a number of defenses against the bo. This kata is also known in some styles as Sip Soo.

There is very little in the way of written materials concerning the last two kata on the list, namely Jitte and Jion. The earliest reference we see to Jitte is in the 1914 article penned by Funakoshi (under his nom de plume Shoto. He here demonstrates a move from this kata in his 1935 book) in the January 17-19 editions of the Ryukyu Shinpo newspaper, where it is mentioned twice. In the section on the "kinds" of karate (i.e. the kata), it is stated that Jitte is a kata that clearly distinguishes the upper, middle and lower levels of technique (Shoto, 1914).

As already seen in the Chinto section of this article, Jitte is said to have been taught by a Chinese castaway in the Tomari (the small seaport town nearest Shuri, the capital of Okinawa) region. Chinto is said by many to be related to Jion and Jiin kata (Iwai, 1992, Sakagami, 1978). It is not known where Funakoshi may have learned the kata, but Anko Itosu seems to be the best bet. In fact, Sakagami(the karate historian) states that although Itosu modified many kata to fit his physical education tradition, he seems to have left the Tomari kata of Jitte, Jion and Jiin pretty much alone, thus hinting that Itosu did indeed teach versions of these kata (Sakagami, 1978).

Although many of the applications of Jitte in the modern Shotokan world seem to rely upon empty hand defenses against a stave-wielding attacker, some believe that Jitte may actually be descended from a bojutsu kata (Iwai, 1992). Unfortunately, neither can be proved with any satisfying certainty. It is also interesting to note that in the book "Kenpo Gaisetsu," there is a unique interpretation of this kata called Itokazu no Jitte (Miki et al, 1930).


1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jitte
2) http://www.fightingarts.com/reading/article.php?id=222