Kage Musha
(Shadow Warrior)
Author:  Sensei Rockenbach

Kage Musha is an intermediate level kata. Its primary purpose is to present a collection of Roundhouse Kick defenses, as well as some kicking attacks and kicking drills. As a kata, Kage Musha serves as a mnemonic device for remembering the Roundhouse Kick counter combinations.

The name Kage Musha (Shadow Warrior) is taken from the hope that an attacking opponent will seem to be striking but hitting only shadows because of the evasive sweeps contained in this kata.



Kage Musha

  1. Right Fist-to-Left Knifehand Bow from Musubi Tachi. Move left foot to Yoi Tachi.
  2. Using slow tension movements, move left foot into a Shiko Tachi with a Right Knifehand Inner Block to east. This is a guarding position in anticipation of an attack from the east.
  3. Execute a Right Leg Roundhouse Sweep of attacker’s supporting right leg. Follow the sweep with a Right Axe Kick with Keyii to your now prone opponent. This is a counter against a Left Roundhouse Kick from an attacker to the east.
  4. Jump back up into a Shiko Tachi with execute a Left Knifehand Inner Block to west using slow tension movements. This is a guarding position in anticipation of an attack from the west.
  5. Execute a Left Leg Roundhouse Sweep of attacker’s supporting left leg. Follow the sweep with a Left Axe Kick with Keyii to your now prone opponent. This is a counter against a Right Roundhouse Kick from an attacker to the west.
  6. Jump back up into a Shiko Tachi (right leg to north) and using slow tension movements execute a Right Knifehand Inner Block to north. This is a guarding position in anticipation of an attack from the north.
  7. To the north, execute a Left Outer Crescent Kick/Cycle to Side Kick combination attack. The Outer Crescent Kick is primarily a distraction and feint that is used to get your opponent to raise their guard, thereby creating an opening for your side kick. However, it can be used to knock your opponent’s guard out of the way.
  8. To the north, execute a Right Outer Crescent Kick/Cycle to Side Kick combination. Again, the Outer Crescent Kick is primarily a distraction and feint that is used to get your opponent to raise their guard, thereby creating an opening for your side kick. However, it can be used to knock your opponent’s guard out of the way.
  9. To the north, execute a Left Outer Crescent Kick/Drop Foot to Floor and Snap to Side Kick attack combination. The Outer Crescent Kick is meant as a distraction and feint. Hopefully, the opponent will believe that your attack is over after the Outer Crescent Kick and relax, thereby creating an opening for the Side Kick.
  10. To the north, execute a Right Outer Crescent Kick/Drop Foot to Floor and Snap to Side Kick attack combination. Again, the Outer Crescent kick is meant as a distraction and feint. Hopefully, the opponent will believe that your attack is over after the Outer Crescent Kick and relax, thereby creating an opening for the Side Kick.
  11. As you retract your side kick from the previous step, you will move it behind you to the east as you drop and execute a Left Dropping Side Kick with Keyii to an attacker’s supporting knee. This is an evade-and-counter technique for an attacker from the east that is executing a Roundhouse Kick. It doesn’t matter whether the attacker is using their left or right leg. Note that the non-kicking foot (in this case your right foot) is used to hook the back of your opponent’s ankle and pull, adding to the effect of the knee kick.
  12. Jump back up into a right foot west Shiko Tachi and using slow tension movements execute a Right Knifehand Inner Block to west. This is a guarding position in anticipation of an attack from the west.
  13. Execute a Right Dropping Side Kick with Keyii to an attacker’s supporting knee. This is an evade-and-counter technique for an attacker from the west that is executing a Roundhouse Kick. It doesn’t matter whether the attacker is using their left or right leg. Note that the non-kicking foot (in this case your left foot) is used to hook the back of your opponent’s ankle and pull, adding to the effect of the knee kick.
  14. Jump back up into a left foot south Shiko Tachi and using slow tension movements execute a Left Knifehand Inner Block to south. This is a guarding position in anticipation of an attack from the south.
  15. To the south, execute a Right Outer Crescent Kick to Lower Leg/Roundhouse Neck Kick attack combination, ending in a Shiko Tachi with a Right Knifehand Inner Block to south. The Shiko Tachi and Knifehand Inner Block is a guarding position.
  16. To the south, execute a Left Outer Crescent Kick to Lower Leg/Roundhouse Neck Kick attack combination, ending in a Shiko Tachi with a Left Knifehand Inner Block to south. The Shiko Tachi and Knifehand Inner Block is a guarding position.
  17. Execute a Left Sliding Roundhouse Kick, ending in a Shiko Tachi with Left Knifehand Inner Block to south. The Shiko Tachi and Knifehand Inner Block is a guarding position.
  18. Execute a Right Leg Jump Spinning Back Kick to south, ending in a right-foot-south Shiko Tachi with a Right Knifehand Inner Block and Keyii.
  19. Execute a Right Sliding Roundhouse Kick, ending in a Shiko Tachi with Right Knifehand Inner Block to south. The Shiko Tachi and Knifehand Inner Block is a guarding position.
  20. Turn counterclockwise to face west in a Right Cat Leg Stance and using slow tension movements execute a Left Knifehand Inner Block. This is a guarding position.
  21. Execute a Left Thigh Block and Leg Grab, ending in a Left Foot Forward 3rd Fighting Stance. This is against an attacker’s Right Roundhouse Kick.
  22. Wrapping your left arm under-and-around your opponent’s right leg in a kind of clockwise corkscrewing fashion, step forward with your right foot and execute a Right Half Clenched Fist Strike to your attacker’s throat while simultaneously executing a Right Leg Sweep of your opponent’s supporting left leg. If you cannot reach your opponent’s throat with the Half Clenched Fist Strike, use a Right Palm Heel Middle Strike or Right Fist Strike to your opponent’s solar plexus.
  23. Continue to hold onto your opponent’s leg with your left hand and arm and then execute a Right Stamping Knife Edge Kick to your opponent’s groin and Keyii.
  24. Move your right leg east into a Left Cat Leg Stance using slow tension movements execute a Right Knifehand Inner Block to east. This is a guarding position.
  25. Execute a Right Thigh Block and Leg Grab, ending in a Right Foot Forward 3rd Fighting Stance. This is against an attacker’s Left Roundhouse Kick.
  26. Wrapping your right arm under-and-around your opponent’s left leg in a kind of counterclockwise corkscrewing fashion, step forward with your left foot and execute a Left Half Clenched Fist Strike to your attacker’s throat while simultaneously executing a Left Leg Sweep of your opponent’s supporting right leg. If you cannot reach your opponent’s throat with the Half Clenched Fist Strike, use a Left Palm Heel Middle Strike or Left Fist Strike to your opponent’s solar plexus.
  27. Continue to hold onto your opponent’s leg with your right hand and arm and then execute a Left Stamping Knife Edge Kick to your opponent’s groin and Keyii.
  28. Step back with your left foot to Yoi Tachi.
  29. Move left foot to Musubi Tachi with a Right Fist to Left Knifehand bow.