Enshin Kaikan is a style of "full contact karate". It use a system of techniques employed with the goal of turning an opponent's power and momentum against him or her and repositioning oneself to the opponent's "blind" spot to counterattack from a more advantageous position.


The techniques or kihon of Enshin include many of the same or similar kicks, punches, strikes, blocks, and parries found in most other karate styles. However, in contrast to many other karate styles, Enshin also includes sweeps, grabs, throws, and takedowns most often found in judo, Jujutsu, and other grappling styles. The core emphasis in applying all of these techniques is through the Sabaki Method.

Perhaps due to Ninomiya’s background in Kyokushin, most, if not all, of the Kyokushin striking techniques are found in Enshin. The kicks include front kick, knee kick, roundhouse kick, axe kick, side kick, back kick, and spinning back hook kick. Groin and front-knee-joint kicks are taught for self-defense purposes, but, for safety reasons, aren’t used in sparring (kumite) or tournament competition. The arm and hand strikes include forefist straight punch, hook punch, forefist underpunch, knifehand strike (the classic “karate chop”), and elbow strikes. These strikes can be delivered in a variety of ways. For example, a roundhouse kick can be directed at the lower, middle, or upper areas of the opponent’s body.

The arms and legs are also used for various blocks and parries. These include the upper block, middle outside parry, lower parry, shin block, and foot stop.

Several throws, sweeps, and grabs are taught and often employed in combination with each other. The grabs are either with one or two hands to the opponent’s head, neck, shoulder, arm, or leg. The throws include forward-rolling throw, front throw, back throw, and over-the-shoulder throw. The sweeps include foot sweep, inside thigh kick, and back-of-knee-joint kick.

Many of the principles of the Sabaki method were developed by Ashihara. The Sabaki method aims to employ all of these strikes, block, parries, grabs, sweeps, throws, and takedowns in a way that puts the opponent on the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible. Once on the ground, the opponent is “finished-off” or knocked-out with a strike to a vulnerable part of the body such as the neck or head (finish-off moves are simulated in Enshin training or tournament competition). Sabaki strategy combines rhythm, timing, position, and distance to parry and counterattack in one continuous motion. The ability to turn defense into offense by using an opponent’s power and momentum against him lies at the heart of the Sabaki method.

The basic technique in the Sabaki method is to parry the opponent’s attack in a way that redirects their attacking energy away from you. You then move to your opponent’s weak side or blind spot that has been opened-up by your parry and execute a strike, throw, sweep, or combination of these to put the opponent on the ground. The combination of movements involve circular or pendulum motions of the body in order to redirect the opponent’s attack without meeting it head-on (meeting force with force) and to counterattack with motions that generate energy and momentum. Many of the parries and sweeps are designed to put the opponent off-balance which makes it much easier to knock them to the ground as their own body and momentum assist in carrying him/her to the ground or floor.

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