"A tree reaches past your embrace grows from one small seed."


Chojun Miyagi created Tensho. It means, "flowing hands". It is a combination of hard dynamic tension with deep breathing and soft flowing hand movements, concentrating strength in the Tandem, and is very characteristic of the Goju Ryu style.

The second "heishu" kata in Goju-Ryu, Tensho is derived from the Chinese form "Rokkishu".  Unlike Sanchin, which is almost identical to its Chinese counterpart, Tensho is uniquely Okinawan.  From his understanding of the Kata of Goju-Ryu and the "nature of man", Miyagi Sensei developed Tensho to further complete his Goju-Ryu where Sanchin left off.  Tensho has many of the same principles of Sanchin but goes further to include more intricate concepts of the techniques of Goju-Ryu.  These concepts expressly come alive in kakie, which in advanced training, breathes life into the bunkai of the Kata of Goju-Ryu.

The most notable difference between Sanchin and that of Tensho is that the breathing is explicitly different than that of Sanchin.  The breathing of Tensho is not "hard" and external like Sanchin.  The breath is internalized distinctively different and to the uneducated will appear to be the same as Sanchin.

The term "heishu" translates as "closed".  As with every aspect of Okinawan Karate, there is more than one definition.  First, "heishu" can refer to muscle contraction and "ibuki" style breathing unique to Sanchin and Tensho.  Secondly, it can imply the restriction and specific direction of energies within the energy pathways of the body, both superficial and deep.  The other 10 Kata are referred to as "kaishu" or "open", as they are free of constant muscle contraction and breathing is "normal

Miyagi Sensei invented Tensho (Rotating Palm) in his later years, based on his studies of a Chinese exercise call "Rokkishu". For Miyagi, and his older students, Tensho was a way to practice the concepts similar to Sanchin kata, but in a more relaxed state, with less emphasis on body hardening, but equal emphasis on deep breathing.

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