Ufugusuku nu Kun is a kata said to have been devised by Ōshiro Chōjo (1887-1935) in order to teach budō at the Okinawa Prefectural Teachers‘ College (Okinawa-ken Shihan Gakkō) and the Industrial School (Kōgyō-gakkō). In the prewar years, Chōjo together with Yabiku Mōden was considered the leading figure in Okinawa Kobudō. It is said that it was through his close relationship with Yabiku Mōden that Chōjo was introduced to Chinen Masanra of Yamane-ryū Bōjutsu, of which Chōjo became a distinguished master himself.
It is said that Ufugusuku nu Kun in Okinawa was handed down within two main branches:
- Ōshiro Chōjo → Maeshiro Chōtoku → Nakamoto Masahiro.
- Ōshiro Chōjo → Chinen Masami → Higa Seitoku.
Maybe Kishaba Chōgi also learned it from Chinen Masami, but so far I have never heard about or seen it performed in the Kishaba lineage.
Some differences in the kata and the way of handling the bō can be observed.
The kata is configured around basic techniques with the main characteristic being the repetition of an identical technical combination in four directions:
- Ushiro-zuki [except first lane] – Uke-kamae [except first lane] – Shōmen-uchi – Chūdan-zuki – Harai-uke – Shōmen-uchi – Gedan-uke – Shōmen-uchi.
Naturally, the designation of the techniques might differ here and there.
Technically, following every turn with Ushiro-zuki, techniques are issued quickly. In those schools that teach this kata it is often taught as the first bō kata and can be considered an introductory kata. However, with advancing skill level it is also an interesting performance kata.
Today Ufugusuku nu Kun is taught and practiced in a large variety of schools, including Bunbukan, Shubukan, the Ryukyu Kobudo Shinkokai and various other schools as well as in Kyokushin. It is sometimes pronounced in its modern Japanese reading as Ōshiro no Kon.
For learning purposes, there are a variety of videos on the internet:
A detailed written description accompanied by step-by-step photographs can be found in our book on Okinawa Kobudō:
When you’re no yet able to create your own techniques and ideas from kata, you may follow this easy kumi-bō drill:
Once you’ve learned each step, technique, and some applications, you can finally start to perform: like in this version of Ufugusuku no Kon from the Kubagawa Shubukan of Kinjō Masakazu.
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