"To restrain and destroy"








The name of this quick and fast kata literally means "to detain for a long time and suddenly rip apart", however a more accurate/contextual translation would be "to restrain and destroy". Kururunfa contains a wide variety of open-hand/hip coordination techniques that, depending on the circumstances, can either be interpreted joint locks, blocks or strikes or any combination of the three. The use of the hips to aid some hand techniques enhances both the power and effect of the joint locking and breaking techniques. Like Seisan kata Kururunfa epitomizes the concepts of the yin-yang and go-ju by combining fast, slow, hard and soft movements.

Kururunfa is required for Yondan 1 and 2.


Shihan Gordon Foulis, one of Laoshi Bob's contemporaries and a fellow student of Denis St John Thomson, performs his textbook Kururunfa at the Natal Open Festival in 1985 (where he was awarded Grand Champion status)



  Kururunfa tuide

Kururunfa tuide is a 2 person "lock flow" drill, containing locks and holds found in Kururunfa.

It can be practised both standing and on the ground.

Kururunfa tuide is required for Yondan 2.


    Kururunfa embu

Kururunfa embu is a 2 person version of Kururunfa that can also be performed as a single person form. 

Kururunfa embu is required for Yondan 2.



Origins of Kururunfa

Orthodox history maintains that Kanryo Higaonna brought Kururunfa kata back from Fuzhou where he learned the form from Ryu Ryu Ko.  However a comparison1, 2 with Goju-ryu's sister school, Tou'on-ryu (the school of Higaonna's most senior student Juhatsu Kyoda) suggests strongly that only 4 kata were brought back by Higaonna, namely Sanchin, Sanseiru, Seisan and Suparinpei.

Accordingly it seems quite likely that Miyagi learned Kururunfa during his own travels in China or perhaps even that he synthesised it from techniques learned both in China and Okinawa.

Researcher Akio Kinjo2 has suggested that Kururunfa kata has its origins in the Dragon systems of Fujian and that the original characters may well have been pronounced "Palongfa" in Mandarin and "Gorunfa" in Hokkien and meaning "lying dragon law".  However given the lack of written history this will most probably remain in the realms of conjecture. 

The traditional kanji used for the kata do appear to be reflective of what is arguably the kata's most distinctive technique, namely a shoulder lock (which can keep the opponent restrained), followed by a sudden squat which tears the shoulder joint.

1See Mario McKenna's article  "Higaonna Kanryo and Nahate" at

2 See Joe Swift's article "The Kempo of Kume Village" in Meibukan Magazine No. 6 at


An analysis of the steeple block in kururunfa