Strikes should be accurate and clean — no wobbling elbows after a powerful swing. The stance of the practitioner  is also of great importance in this kata. It is easy to overbalance when powering into an elbow strike on an imaginary opponent.Combining the powerful elbow strike (empi) with control and accuracy. With each strike, the practitioner  must also focus on the position of his or her opponent (imaginary or otherwise).

The kata involves 10 separate strikes with the elbows to particular points on an opponent’s body. The kata may be performed with or without an uke.

It is almost always demonstrated dynamically,  progressing along the floor using his or her movement to add additional force to the strikes. However all of the strikes can be highly effective from stationery.

The Jitsuka normally starts the empi kata in an informal attentive stance, occasionally from kiba dachi, the stance being called by the Sensei.


The 10 strikes are:

Right elbow to chin
Left elbow to chin
Right elbow to left clavicle
Left elbow to right clavicle
Right elbow to left temple
Left elbow to right temple
Right elbow to right temple
Left elbow to left temple
Right elbow to groin
Left elbow to face
It is common for the empi kata to be repeated a couple of times, going back and forth along the dojo. When asked to repeat the kata, there should be a return to an informal attentive stance.

Atemi (body blows) | Empi kata (elbow strikes) | Kicks