Enshin’s Sabaki method uses a pendulum-type body action to provide defence and offence in one continuous rhythmic motion. The Advantages of using pendulum-type motion are:

1/ takes you to the blind spot

2/ gives you control of your opponent

3/ creates momentum for your counterattack.


The power of a pendulum derives from a weight swinging back and forth from a fixed point. The centrifugal momentum around that point creates rhythm and power. A Pendulum requires a fixed support to which the moving object is connected. The pendulum action of Kancho Ninomiya’s Sabaki method is no different. This means the Enshin practitioner moves outside the attacker’s lead shoulder, they establish a vertical axis with their grabbing hand and pivot foot. As the Enshin practitioner steps to the outside of the attacker, they grab the sleeve and let there front foot pivot as there momentum swings out there back foot in a natural circular motion. Think of the way a child on a swing kicks their legs to gain thrust and hight.

In Enshin’s Sabaki Method, the parry and circular movement to the outside of an attack releases power in the front arm while the rear arm and leg store energy for the counter attack. The Enshin practitioner swings out on the parry, and then swings in on the counterattack. Great power and control can be gained from this simple, yet very effective principle.




The most critical aspect when applying Sabaki method of fighting is position. As a defender your distance and position in relation to your opponent will determine your counterattack. Positioning means not only moving out of the way of an attack, but also being aware of distance and using timing appropriate for each distance – short, middle and long. Distance is not a function of where you start in relation to your opponent when you square off to fight: it is determined by where you find your self at the end or the opponent’s attack when you are ready to counter. You should always decide the distance best suited for your counterattack and then move accordingly.

Positioning is useful not only for aversion but to lead the opponent’s momentum into to the right position for you to gain the advantage.

Against any attack you must insontaniously choose the best possible position to put yourself in an advantageous position to launch an effective counterattack. The most efficient way to achieve this is moving into what is known to Enshin practitioners as the ‘Blind Spot’. The term blind spot refers to the area to the back and side of the opponent, where is visibility is limited and his offensive weapons are few.

When you are in your opponent’s blind spot, you are protected for the opponents follow up attacks, as well as being in a good position to keep your opponent off balance as you counter attack.

If you fail to take the blind spot position you gain no advantage and the confrontation remains equal. To achieve the blind spot Kancho Joko Ninomiya’s Sabaki method is patterned on moving to one of four basic strategic positions. Positions one and two are applied when your opponent’s stance is balanced. Position three and four are applied when the opponent drives forward with full momentum.

Refer to diagram below.



To maintain the blind spot position and keep the opponent off balance the use of grabbing techniques is employed. These consist of moving to the outside and pulling the lead arm forward in a direction that continues the opponent’s momentum in a circular obit around the defender where a powerful counterattack can be delivered. Enshin karate use’s two types of grabbing techniques Hiki kuzushi (one-handed grab), and Hiki Mawashi (two-handed grab). Deciding on what grabbing technique to use depends on the distance between you and your opponent.
At long range Hiki Kuzushi would be used and is very effective to set up a counterattack using roundhouse kicks or sweeping techniques. 

At close distance you can gain further control by immediately following Hiki Kazushi with a hooking action to the back of the opponents neck, using the knife edge of your opposite hand, this is known as Hiki Mawashi. Hiki Mawashi is a very effective method of neutralizing the opponents follow up attack’s and positions the defender to launch effective knee strikes or throwing techniques. 



To add a more affective and complete dimension to the Sabaki stragity Kancho Joko Ninomiya has incorporated many takedown techniques to add to the arsenal of kicks and punches we normally associate with karate. Kancho Joko Ninomiya’s many years of experience in Judo has enabled him to incorporate very efficient throwing techniques to make his Enshin Karate a more complete system. Some of the throwing Techniques used in Enshin Karate are: 

Makikomi Nage is applied when the attacker’s weight and momentum are moving forward, and is redirected by the defender in a spirling action to the ground.


Omote Nage is most effective in combination with sweeps or throws, as a finishing technique to bring your opponent to the floor. After applying a combination that drives your opponents upper body forward, such as an inside thigh kick or knee kick, omoto nage adds to his momentum and easily brings the opponent down.



Ura Nage is a very versatile throw, it is applied when the opponent’s momentum is moving backwards.


Ashi barai is better suited to the one handed grab (Hiki Kuzushi). It is especially effective when your opponent is trying to pull away from your grasp, or as follow-ups to high roundhouse kicks when your opponent is not well grounded.




Inside Thigh kick (Uchi Momo Geri) – The inside thigh kick provides the Enshin practitioner an immediate counterattack or set up technique from a frontal position that draw’s the opponent forward and off balance. Enshin karate’s method of executing an inside thigh kick is quite different to the conventional application where basically a low roundhouse kick is directed into the inside of the opponents thigh.The Enshin practitioner uses Hiki Mawashi (two handed grabbing) in conjunction with an inside thigh kick to enable a pulling action to the opponents head in a forward direction as they drive a shin kick to the inside of the opponents thigh.(You can also target the lead ankle with the top of your foot, driving it backward and to the outside). By forcing the opponents upper and lower body in opposite direction at the same time you can easily up-end your opponent.


Teisoku Kansetsu Geri is executed when a full backside position is created. From there you can take your opponent down quite easily with a joint kick to the back of the knee. When standing directly behind your opponent, grab both of the opponent’s shoulders. Use a pulling action on your opponent’s upper body as you kick out their supporting leg.

Tsurikomi Nage is especially effective when countering your opponents Sabaki. 




Jikuashi Gake is very effective when applied to front kicks or back kick attacks. As the opponent attacks, use a lower parry and grab the leg of the opponent’s pants with the same hand. As you lift the opponents kicking leg hook the front of the opponents supporting knee and take them to the ground.