Tensho (kata)

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Tensho is a kata originating from Goju Ryu karate. Translated, it means "revolving hands", "rotating palms", or "turning palms."[1] This kata emphasizes the soft aspects of Goju Ryu, and encompasses continuous, flowing movements.[2] Tensho, along with its harder counterpart sanchin, was developed by Goju ryu founder Chojun Miyagi from earlier Chinese forms. Tensho may be a variant of the Southern Chinese Kung Fu form Rokkishu.[citation needed]

Tensho was created in 1921 as "softer sanchin" by Chojun Miyagi to balance Go aspect of Heishugata (Sanchin-kata) with Ju variation for Heishugata.[3] It combines hard dynamic tension with deep breathing and soft flowing hand movements.

Some styles call it Rokkishu and it was created from some movements taken from Hakutsuru, although more careful analysis suggests that it might be Miyagi's personal interpretation of Kakuha-kata that was in Higashionna's syllabus but is omitted in Gōjū-ryū now.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Sajnog, C.L. (2004-06-23). Fundamentals of Freestyle Goju-Ryu. Virtualbookworm Publishing. p. 143. ISBN 1-58939-600-6. Tensho means, "revolving hands," or "rotating palms" and is very characteristic of Goju-Ryu.
  2. ^ Cunningham, Glenn. "How A Technique From Tensho Kata Saved My Life On The Street". Retrieved 2008-12-07.
  3. ^ Clark, Mike. "Six winds hands of Tensho". Retrieved 2008-12-07.