Back around 1980 I was looking for a better way to present Isshinryu to new youth students. This was long before the internet and magazines were the primary way to learn about other martial systems.
I was on my own, there were not others in Isshinryu nearby around my area
Somewhere I saw somebody doing Fyugata Sho, a form created by Nagamie Shoshon in the 1930s. I liked the choices of turns used in the kata. It struck me an interesting way to introduce new students to Isshinryu.
It was not difficult to learn and I did so. I then started altering the form to use Isshinyu technique. Slowly I introduced it to my students at the Scranton Boys Club as an alternate study, learning how it fit Isshinryu students. It lived up to my expectations.
I changed the low blocks and the method of striking to Isshinryu technique.
At that time I was beginning students with Seisan kata, as I had been taught. It occurred to me using a form like Fyugata Sho might be an easier way to help the new student understand what kata was, making it easier to teach Seisan kata later.
I was not changing Isshinryu but was willing to look at new ways to prepare students to understand the system. I was also in no rush to have them learn the system. Preferring to have them spend more time doing so, for I had noticed that the more time they spent studying the stronger their Isshinryu was.
Beginning in 1985, starting my program in Derry, NH at the Boys and Girls Club I changed my program and began with Fyugata Sho renamed Kata Sho because youth are known to play with names.
Among many attributes of this form it is useful for developing students stances strength.
It also, when done as a class exercise, a great way to get the beginners training with advanced students.
Then it is tool for developing other attributes of training.
Among the potentials:
1. It can be done with minimal technique, the smallest motions possible to use, Helping the student to think about what they are doing and not just performing it automatically.
2. It can be done with different timings allowing the student experience what timing does to their technique.
3. It is possible to replace the strikes in the form with multiple striking movements to develop those skills.
Sho with 3 count multiple striking
4. Another use is that of partner drills. I am showing the most basic level of execution. The purpose is of course what they can do with this in say 10 years.