"108 hands"








The kanji traditionally used for Suparinpei mean "108 hands". This is the longest of the Goju-ryu kata and is regarded as the most advanced.  This kata utilizes many techniques and contains a great number of applications. Suparinpei not only contains many of the techniques from earlier kata but also introduces two kicks not found in any other Goju kata, specifically a mae tobi geri (jumping front kick) and mikazuki geri (crescent kick).

In the Academy 2 versions of the kata are practised, namely "Suparinpei sho" and "Suparinpei dai".  Suparinpei sho is the traditional kata which has a right sided bias.  Suparinpei dai, as formulated in the Academy, repeats the kata on the left side (resulting coincidentally in a total of 108 moves).

Suparinpei is required for Yondan 3 and 4.




  Suparinpei tuide

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

It can be practised both standing and on the ground

Suparinpei tuide is required for Yondan 4.




    Suparinpei embu

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

Suparinpei embu is required for Yondan 4.



Origins and analysis

It is generally accepted that Kanryo Higaonna brought the Suparinpei kata back from Fuzhou where he learned the form from Ryu Ryu Ko, and that Higaonna then taught the kata to Chojun Miyagi.1

Suparinpei is presently taught in all Goju schools.  Originally it is said that the kata was called "Pecchurin" () meaning "100 continuous techniques" (pronounced "Baijilian" in Mandarin) .  Tou’on-ryu, the school founded by Juhatsu Kyoda, still calls the kata by this name.  Their version is said to be substantially the same as, but not identical to, the Goju version.  It is thought that Miyagi may have renamed the kata, although it not known why.  Alternatively, the kata may have been known by both names.

It is interesting to note that Kanbun Uechi (founder of Uechi-ryu), who brought back from Fuzhou kata by the names of Sanchin, Sanseiru and Seisan, also knew of a kata named "Suparinpei", however he did not have time to learn this kata during his time in China.2

Today there are no known weaponless forms named "Suparinpei" in Fujian province, although Martin Watts advises that there is a knife form in the Yong Chun school bearing that name.  Researcher Akio Kinjo3 also states that he knows of a Yong Chun form named Pecchurin, pronounced "Baagirin".

The name "Suparinpei" is composed of 4 characters, namely or "su" from the Japanese word "itsu" meaning "one" (the character is a formal way of writing the number in legal or official documents); or "pa" meaning "hundred"; or "rin" meaning literally "zero" or "fragment" but used in this context in the same way as the conjunction "and" would be used in English4; and meaning "8".  Accordingly the name means simply "108".  As with Sanseiru, Seipai and Seisan it is customary in Okinawa to add or "te" meaning "hands" at the end so that the name means "108 hands".



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

2 See Mario McKenna's article "Uechi-ryu Karate – A short History: Parts 1 and 2" at and

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

4 The character "rin" causes some confusion in the West as it is not easy to understand why an "extra zero" would be inserted in the number "108": literally we would read the characters to mean "100-0-8".  This confusion has led some Western writers* to hypothesise about the meaning of this character in its context.  In fact it is standard practise in China to include into any number that is higher than 99 but less than 110 a penultimate character that has the literal meaning "zero" .  It's function is analogous to our "and", hence "one hundred AND eight".
*(See for example where the author writes: "
Usually the name is read to mean 108, but the presence of the character ren complicates this. Interestingly, this character was the "zero" of the Japanese Zero figher plane in WWII, indicating some connection with combat not indicated in standard dictionaries.")


Kancho Nenad demonstrates Suparinpei sho

IOGKF founder and reknowned Goju Master Morio Higaonna demonstrates mae tobi geri from Suparinpei