Mu Chindo or Mu Shindo is a very old style of Karate, originating from the Island of Okinawa, its origins can be dated back 100's of years. Mu Chindo literally means "no mind way”, in other words a way of fighting that allows immediate action without conscious thought. This can be achieved when a fighter feels no anger, fear or ego during combat. There is an absence of discursive thought, and so the fighter is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is felt intuitively.
A Very Brief History
In the late 1300's the people of Okinawa developed a close trade relationship with China, and during this time there were many cultural exchages between the the two countries. During this time period some of the Okinawan visitors to China arived at the Shoalin Temple where they would stay for many years and study the Shoalin fighting system. On returning to Okinawa these Shoalin teachings were incorperated into the indigenouse Okinawan fighting arts and became what we know today as Mu Chindo Karate. Mu Chindo was practiced by a relatively small group of the Okinawan upper class, but following the invasion of the island in the early 1600's the use of weapons was banned. The banning of all weapons meant that many of the Okinawans turned to Karate as a way of defending themselves, this was when Karate really became an integral part of Okinawan culture. Over the years many of the Karate styles have changed and adapted, but Mu Chindo is one of the few styles that has remained relativle unchanged by the passage of time.
More recently Mu Chindo was brought to the west by the sevice men who served on Okinawa during the war. Very few people still teach Mu Chindo as by its nature it is very physically demanding and the vast majority of people taking up martial arts opt for some of the other styles that have been toned down a little over the years. Certialy in the UK Mu Chindo is all but extinct, and there are very few remaining active instructors, but at WYSOK we will always strive to keep this ancient style alive.
Mu Chindo Training
The Mu Chindo syllabus is similar to that of Wado-Ryu in the sense that it consists of similar Techinique, Kata and Kumite but also incorporating Sanbon Kumite, Defences against multiple armed and unarmed attackers, Bo Jutsu techniques and Knife fighting. Whilst the syllabus has simalarities to Wado Ryu and other styles the applications and overall feel of the style are very different.
Mu-Chindo is a a style that demands both speed and power, many of the stances used are short allowing for faster and more efficient movements.
Mu-Chindo uses 3 Tokiyoko kata, 5 Pinan Kata, Kushanku, Naihanchi and Chinto.
Technique is spilt into 2 sections. Some technique is done in a similar stance to Zen Kutsadachi, these are mainly punches like Oi Zuki, Gyaku Zuki ect.
A shorter stance, Kumite Dachi, is used for all other techniques. The stance is difficult to pick up but allows greater speed.
Pre-arranged Sparring is also practised. A Set sequence of movements a student must learn and perform in a grading.
Kata Kumite (slow fighting) is still used as well as Jiyu Kumite (full speed)
Higher grades also fight against 2 opponents.
Defences are split into 2 sections. Armed and unarmed. Both are difficult as they are all against multiple attackers. A line of between 3 and 10 people line up and are sent in to attack the defending student. It is done on a time basis, meaning if one opponent is difficult to take down and you are taking your time you could find yourself with another coming in behind and if a student struggles could find a queue of attackers.
Another difference is that defences are also done while in a kneeling or sitting position.
Mu-Chindo is open to any WYSOK member 6th Kyu or above. Regular courses and gradings are held in Mu Chindo, check the calender for details of the next course.