Bassai Dai

To Penetrate or Storm a Fortress, major version. A Shotokan kata.


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The kata has 42 movements.


Of the Okinawan versions of Passai, the Sokon Matsumura version has a distinct Chinese flavour, whereas the Oyadomari version is more "Okinawanized". It was further modified by Yasutsune Itosu, and is thought to have created a "sho" (Passai sho) form of it. Funakoshi Gichin took it to Japan and taught them as Bassai Dai and Bassai Sho.

The Okinawan versions include powerful blocking and angular defense against attacks from multiple directions. This form is at least 400 years old (based on a carbon tested, silk drawing of the form), and is a family form (Passai is the name of a family in Okinawa). The creator of the form was left-handed.

The Okinawans did not have a clear definition for the name Passai for Funakoshi to translate into Japanese, so he substituted it with a similar sounding kanji, Bassai. This can be literally translated to mean "extract from a fortress" or "remove an obstruction". This is thought to be in reference to the power with which the kata should be executed, emphasizing energy generation from the hips and waist. However, the designation of Bassai by the Japanese does not appear to have a direct relation to movements in the kata or its origins.


• The Chinese salute at the start and end of the kata may be in front of the face Go Kan Ryu.
•The first move may exclude the lifting of the right leg, removed by students of Funakoshi Shotokan.
•The Gedan Uke/Chudan Uchi Uke x2 may start as a Gedan Soto Uke, turning into a Gedan Uchi Uke Shotokan

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