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How to Incorporate Shindo into Your Karate

by Sensei Marco Reyes

In the Harmonizer newsletters you are going to see more information on Shindo from various Shindo practitioners.  These are people who have taken Sensei Shintani’s legacy and continued with it.


I know it is a tough venture, but the rewards are worth it.  The first step is to just pick up the Shindo and start.


Here are some of my personal thoughts on Shindo.

There are three basic roadblocks for not working Shindo that I have found.  Each of these can be overcome.

Roadblock One

There is just not enough time to work Shindo AND Karate.


It does not have to be this way. They are one and the same.


In our class we dedicate the first 30 minutes (of a two hour class) to the work on Shindo.  We have actually found that our karate has improved from this model. Shindo as we call it is a lie detector.  If the Shindo technique does not work for some reason we go back to the basic karate for answers and from experience this works.

Let’s take a basic Shindo strike.  If you look at the basic movement of a punch and a strike with the Shindo you will see that they are almost identical.

Many times there is a common theme or topic for a workout and various techniques are used to work towards this goal.


For example: Hip action – a basic punch uses this with hip rotation.  A basic Shindo strike uses this as well with hip rotation.  If you were working hip action with your students this could be accomplished with both karate and Shindo.

Roadblock Two

Nobody in my dojo knows any Shindo.


You know karate – that is a good place to start.


I would challenge anyone to pick up a Shindo and start.  Once you pick up a few techniques you will start to feel how similar it is to basic karate.


​Let’s begin with the illustration above.  The body position, stance, posture are all similar to basic karate.  The right hand is in the ready position, left hand is out with the strike.

When moving with the Shindo remember these basic principles:

  • Hold the Shindo in three equal parts.

  • The fulcrum is in the center – every movement you do the fulcrum must be maintained. Remem-ber this when you move the Shindo.

  • Concentrate your strike on the ends of the Shindo.


Lines of Force:  This is where you would hold the Shindo for the most leverage.  An easy test is to put your Shindo against something solid and push (hard).  If you can hold it without any uncomfortable pressure, or it does not slip out of your hand you have good support.


Roadblock Three

Shindo is not karate.  It is something completely separate.


False.  Shindo had its origins in karate.


Check "History & Development" under Shindo on the Main Menu.  Click here.

"The art of Shindo was devised by Sensei Masaru Shintani, 9th Dan in the early 1970's.  Sensei had made the Shindo methods and principles known to Otsuka Sensei who gave it his full endorsement.

Sensei began teaching Shindo in the early 1980's. The roots of these basics and other techniques taught by Sensei can be traced directly back to his extensive Wado Kai training under Otsuka Sensei. Sensei Shintani used the sabaki motion and explosiveness that he was renowned for to develop the same effects with the Shindo.

Sensei Shintani once held the Shindo up in front of a class at a black belt workout and said "This is my life".




I can remember going to black belt workouts and working basic karate techniques and then working with Shindo afterwards.  There was no break in the instruction.  The movement from karate to Shindo was seamless.

The Shindo was just an extension of what I already knew.  At that time it was also very exciting since this was something completely new.  I felt like a white belt all over again trying to make sense of this new tool in my hands.  But after a short while the Shindo began to feel comfortable.

One tip – if the technique with the Shindo does not feel comfortable put it down. Try the technique as a karate move – look at the movement, the technique, all the basic principles that make it whole. Then pick up the Shindo and apply this analysis and see what you come up with.

Shindo was important to Sensei Shintani. In each of our own ways we continue with this legacy through karate. But we must not minimize the importance that he placed on Shindo.

And always remember you can contact the Shindo Committee for assistance. They will give you the tools that will make your Shindo work accessible from clinic, DVD material, etc. They are always there to help.

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