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WANSU KATA

"Dumping Kata"

by

Sensei Don Bohan

              This kata was named after Wanshu, a Chinese missionary.  He was sent to Okinawa in 1683 to help with trade negotiations.  Wanshu was also a Martial Arts Master who taught his art in Tomari Village near Shuri, the Okinawan Capitol at that time.  Takahara Peichin learned Wanshu's techniques and taught them to Sakugawa from 1750 to 1756.  Sakugawa had three top students, one of which was Chokun "Birdman" Makabe.  Makabe developed the Wanshu Kata.  This kata is also known as Empi or "Flying Swallow."  Wanshu and Makabe both studied the swallow as well as other birds while they were developing their techniques.  Tomari-te became famous through the efforts of Kosaku Matsumora, a student of the "Birdman."

            At this time the progression of the kata into the Isshin-Ryu system is unclear.  There were three paths that kata could have taken, which all three eventually led to Tatsuo Shimabuku.   Karate Sakugawa taught Sokon "Bushi" Matsumora, who taught Chotoku Kyan, who was Tatsuo Shimabuku's first Master Instructor.   Matsumora also taught Choki Motobu, who was another one of Tatsuo Shimabuku's major instructors. Tatsuo Shimabuku's uncle and his first karate instructor, Irshu Matsumora was related to Kosaku Matsumora.  Irshu Matsumora was taught by Kosaku and Itosu Yasutsune.  It is possible that Tatsuo Shimabuku could have learned the Wanshu Kata from any or all of his instructors, however, it is believed that he learned it from Master Chotoku Kyan.  When Tatsuo developed his own system, he eliminated the wasted movement from the kata, changed the name to Wansu, and incorporated it into the Isshin-Ryu style.  This elimination of wasted movement sets Isshin-Ryu apart from most other styles.

  

OPENING

            Stand in attention stance--heels  together, toes at a 45 degree angle.  The spine is straight (including the neck) with the knees bent slightly.  Hands are open with the palms against the thighs (fingers point toward the ground).  Relax by taking a few deep breaths utilizing the diaphragm  and set the mind toward the purpose of concentrating on the kata.  Perform the Tachi-Rei (standing bow).  Bend from the waist to a 45 degree angle; do not take the eyes off of the opponent and do not show the back of the neck (this is a form of disrespect); straighten back up the to original position.  Bring the hands (left over right) left hand open (palm towards the body) and the right hand (also palm toward the body) in a fist.  Lower the hands from the solar plexus to in front of the groin (The fingers of the left hand now point to the ground).  As the hands are lowered, pivot the feet inward to pigeon toed stance with the knees slightly touching together (this is a cover for the groin against possible attacks at that level).

SERIES NUMBER 1

 1.         Step to the left into a  Kiba-Dachi and raise the hands, as in the opening to in front of the solar plexus.

** Note: The elbows are parallel to the ground with the tips of the elbows pointing 90 degrees to the left and right (respectively).

    (A) This is a ready stance.

    (B) Your opponent is punching at your solar plexus with his left hand.  As you step out with the left foot into a Kiba-Dachi you strike his arm with a double striking action.  Your left hand strikes the opponent above the wrist with a palm strike and at the same instant your right-hand-vertical fist strikes into the fist.  This doubles striking action causes the wrist to buckle and causes your opponent much pain.  The buckling of the wrist sets up the next move.

2.         Look 45 degrees to the left and perform a left-hand low block 45 degrees to the left, followed by a right-hand, cross-body  punch at chest level.

    (A) The opponent has kicked from the left 45 degrees front with a right-front kick; the low block deflects the kick and punch is aimed at his kidney or at the floating ribs, depending on how much the block has turned his upper body.

    (B) You have grabbed the opponents arm in the preceding move and now you pull the arm downward 45 degrees to your left.  This pulls the opponent off balance and because you hold on he can not retreat before the punch is delivered.  The punch will strike the opponent in the head as you have pulled the opponent body over and the head is chest level to you.

3.         Look 45 degrees to the right and step with the left foot into a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi and perform a left-hand-leg block followed by a right-hand-vertical punch.  The step with the left foot serves two purposes: 

    (A) It moves you in position to execute an effective counter-attack after the block.

    (B) The movement of the hip removes the groin as a target from the right front kick that the second opponent has thrown; a kick that is blocked by your left low block. The punch is directed into the body of the second opponent as he falls forward

4          Step forward with the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi and deliver a right-hand-palm-down shuto at throat level followed by a left-hand-palm-up spear hand to the groin.  After the spear hand to the groin, step with the left foot to a right foot forward cross-stance.  (Slide the left foot 90 degrees to the right until the knees are together with the toes of the left foot pointing 90 degrees to the left, the toes of the right foot point down the main kata line.)  As the step is made bring the right hand to the right hip, in a vertical fist position.   Raise the left hand (still palm up) to in front of the chest and perform a right hand vertical punch 45 degrees to the left - as the punch is performed pull the left hand to the left hip.

    (A) The shuto can be interpreted as either a strike or block depending on how much the opponent's attack is developed.  The forearm may block the punch while the hand strikes the opponent's throat.  The spear hand is directed to either the groin or rib cage.  The lifting of the left hand with the cross step is a grab and pull which drags the opponent past you.  The punch is delivered as the opponent is pulled past and out of the way.  The pulling and pushing action (pulling and punching) increases the amount of power that the opponent is hit with.

SERIES NUMBER 2

1.                 Pivot on the balls of the feet 180 degrees to the left into a left foot forward Seisan-Dachi and perform a left hand leg block followed by a right hand vertical punch.  As the turn is made, the opponent, who has grabbed your left shoulder and has tried to punch you with his right hand.  The block disengages the grab and the punch strikes the opponent in the solar plexus.

    (A) The turn disengages the grab and the punch strikes the opponent in the solar plexus.  It moves you in position to execute an effective counter-attack after the block.

    (B) The movement of the hips in the turn removes the groin as a target from the right front kick that the opponent has thrown; a kick that is blocked by your left leg block. The punch is directed into the body of the opponent as he falls forward.

2.         Step forward with the right foot to right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi and deliver a right-hand-palm-down shuto at throat level followed by a left hand palm up spear hand to the groin.  After the spear hand to the groin, step with the left foot to a right foot forward cross-stance.  (Slide the left foot 90 degrees to the right until the knees are together with the toes of the left foot pointing 90 degrees to the left, the toes of the right foot point down the main kata line.)  As the step is made bring the right hand to the right hip, in a vertical fist position.   Raise the left hand (still palm up) to in front of the chest and perform a right hand vertical punch 45 degrees to the left - as the punch is performed pull the left hand to the left hip.

    (A) The shuto can be interpreted as either a strike or block depending on how much the opponent's attack is developed.  The forearm may block the punch while the hand strikes the opponent's throat.  The spear hand is directed to either the groin or rib cage.  The lifting of the left hand with the cross step is a grab and pull which drags the opponent past you.  The punch is delivered as the opponent is pulled past and out of the way.  The pulling and pushing action (pulling and punching) increases the amount of power that the opponent is hit with.

SERIES NUMBER 3

1.         Pivot on the balls of the feet 180 degrees to the left into left foot forward Seisan-Dachi and perform a left hand open sweep block, followed by a right hand re-enforced uppercut punch (the right forearm is grasped by the left palm.)

    (A) The opponent has grabbed your left shoulder from the rear.  The pivot and block disengages the grab and the opponent's arm is grabbed and pulled into the uppercut punch.

    (B) The opponent has grabbed your left shoulder from the rear.  The pivot and block disengages grab and the opponent's arm is grabbed before he can recoil.  The uppercut is a strike into the arm that is being held by the left hand.

2.            Perform a right-foot-front kick only do not retract the kick back to left forward Seisan-Dachi, set the right foot down in front of you and assume a Kiba-Dachi with orientation to the right.  (You are still facing down the main kata line).  From the Kiba-Dachi, perform a right hand hammerfist at groin level and a left hand upper block to in front of your forehead (the strike and block are performed simultaneously).

    (A) Maintain the hold on opponent number 1 and kick to a second opponent you move back and attack with a punch to your head level.  The hammerfist strikes his groin while the punch is  blocked.  By stepping into Kiba-Dachi, you position yourself for the next move.

    (B) You maintain hold of the opponent's arm and deliver a right leg front snap kick to the groin.  Your opponent blocks the front kick by moving his groin back by bending over at the waist and simultaneously parries with his right arm.  You retract the kick and step into your opponent, pulling his left arm over your head and strike him in the  chest with a hammer strike.  The hammer strike drives your opponent upright, but he can not get away because you still have hold of his left arm.   

3.         After striking the opponent in the groin, step back with the right foot to a right Neko-Ashi-Dachi.   The right hand withdraws to the right hip (open and palm up) and the left hand opens with the palm out in front of the forehead.  Step with the right foot to Kiba-Dachi and thrust the right hand to groin level and the left hand to throat level.

    (A) The right hand strikes and grabs your opponent in the groin as the left hand strikes and grabs the opponent in the throat area

    (B) The right hand strikes the groin.  The strike come up under the groin driving your opponent upward. If you strike directly into the groin as most students are taught, you will drive you opponent away from you making the next move impossible. The left hand traces the opponent's left toward his neck and you grab his throat or collar.

4.         Pivot on the ball of the left foot and step 180 degrees left with the right foot to the left into a Kiba-Dachi.  The left hand withdraws to the left hip and the right hand moves from the hip to the right shoulder and continues its motion until it is thrust from the right shoulder to center-line at groin level.  After the kick in number 2, you withdraw your right foot from the front of the opponent's right foot to the front of his leading foot and grab his throat or collar and between his legs.  The step in number 4 is a hip throw.  The throw may be performed in several ways depending on height of the opponent and on the person using the throw: 

    (A) As a hip throw where the two combatants are of similar height

    (B) Like a fireman's carry when the person using the throw is shorter than his opponent

    (C) As a hip drag or leg drag when the opponent's strength is greater than that of the person using the throw Upon completion of the throw the opponent is on the ground in front of you.

SERIES NUMBER 4

1.         Look over the right shoulder and pivot/turn 180 degrees to the left into a left foot forward Seisan-Dachi.  Perform a left hand-outside-shuto block followed by a right knee at groin level.  As the knee is delivered, lower the left elbow to the right hip.  Set the right foot down into left foot forward Seisan-Dachi and execute a left vertical punch at solar plexus level.

    (A) An opponent has grabbed your left shoulder and is attempting to strike you with a right punch; the pivot or turn and block/grab disengages his grab and stops his punch.  The knee is directed to his groin or midsection.  The left hand pulls the opponent into the knee.  Just prior to the punch, the left hand extends to allow proper range for the punch.  You pull your opponent to the left hip and punch him with the right hand vertical fist.

    (B) An opponent has grabbed your left shoulder and attempts to strike you. The pivot and left outside shuto block  tears your opponents hold loose.  The knife hand portion of the shuto block actually grazes the opponent on the side of the head.  This causes the opponent's head to turn or go with the strike.  Because of this he does not get his head turned back in time to see or block the knee strike.  (If you work the kata bunkai in reverse you can see this hidden punch.  Set you partner at the distance he would be for you to perform the knee shout and then step back into the previous move.  If you now perform the move you should block the punch with the forearm during the turn and strike your partner in the side of the head with the shuto.)

2.                 Look over the left shoulder and pivot/turn 180 degrees to the right into a right foot forward Seisan-Dachi.  Perform a right hand-outside-shuto block followed by a left knee at groin level.  As the knee is delivered, lower the right elbow to the left hip.  Set the left foot down into right foot forward Seisan-Dachi and execute a left vertical punch at solar plexus level.

    (A) An opponent has grabbed your right shoulder and is attempting to strike you with a left punch; the pivot or turn and block/grab disengages his grab and stops his punch.  The knee is directed to his groin or midsection.  The right hand pulls the opponent into the knee.  Just prior to the punch, the right hand extends to allow proper range for the punch.  You pull your opponent to the right  hip and punch him with the left hand vertical fist.

    (B)       An opponent has grabbed your right shoulder and attempts to strike you. The pivot and right outside shuto block  tears your opponents hold loose.  The knife hand portion of the shuto block actually grazes the opponent on the side of the head.  This causes the opponent's head to turn or go with the strike.  Because of this he does not get his head turned back in time to see or block the knee strike.  (If you work the kata bunkai in reverse you can see this hidden punch.  Set you partner at the distance he would be for you to perform the knee shout and then step back into the previous move.  If you now perform the move you should block the punch with the forearm during the turn and strike your partner in the side of the head with the shuto.)

SERIES NUMBER 5

1.         From the left vertical punch in series number 4, look 90 degrees to the left and step 90 degrees left into a closed stance.  The step is performed with the right foot closing to the left foot.  The body turned 90 degrees left.  As the feet come together, raise the hands above the head in an outside semi-circular motion.  Step with the right foot to a wide Kiba-Dachi and perform a left then right punch toward center line.

    (A) The raising of the hands over the head is clearing motion for any attack that may be coming from that direction.  The reason for the step into a Kiba-Dachi is that you are side-stepping an opponent's punch and the your punches are directed inward towards the opponent.

2.                 Step with the left foot to closed stance.  The step is performed by sliding the left foot next to the right foot, raise the hands over the head in an outside semi-circular motion, step with the left foot and perform a right then left punch toward center line.

    (A) The raising of the hands over the head is clearing motion for any attack that may be coming from that direction.  The reason for the step into a Kiba-Dachi is that you are side-stepping an opponent's punch and the your punches are directed inward towards the opponent.

3.         After eliminating the last opponent, another attacker attempts to  attack you from the left.  Step back and 90 degrees to the right and immediately execute a left side-snap kick at knee level.

4.         An opponent is attacking from the rear (right).  Step 90 degrees to the left and execute a right side-snap kick at knee level.

SERIES NUMBER 6

1.         After the right side kick, you assume a left foot forward Seisan-Dachi and perform a left leading knife hand guard..

    (A)       After the right side kick, an opponent attempts to punch you with his right hand. The double knife hand guard is an arm break.

2.                 Step forward into a right foot forward Seisan-Dachi and immediately execute a right hand elbow smash with the right elbow.

    (A) The elbow smash is to the same opponent as in move 1.  You place his head in your left hand and pull his head toward the elbow.

3.         Look 180 degrees to the left and step into a left foot forward Neko-Ashi-Dachi 180 degrees to the left.  As the cat-stance is assumed, execute a right elbow to the rear, the left hand is on top of the right.  Lift the left leg and perform a left front kick at groin level.

    (A) You have struck the last opponent with an elbow strike and then you have kicked the next opponent in the groin.

    (B)             The stack of the left hand on top of the right is a neck break, as you have never let go of the opponent from the last move.  When you chamber the front kick hold the chamber a split second before executing your front kick.  When you bring your knee up you are blocking a front kick that your opponent has thrown at your groin.  Your kick will trace the inside of the opponent's leg to the groin.

**NOTE** If you practice this move on an partner in the Dojo go slowly as you will find that your partner  has a great deal of trouble moving his body without hurting his neck.

4.         Turn 180 degrees to the right into right foot forward Neko-Ashi-Dachi and perform a left elbow to the rear, the right hand is on top of the left hand.  Lift the right leg and perform a right front kick at groin level.

5.         After the right foot kick in number 4, set the right foot down into left foot forward Seisan-Dachi and execute double shutos of the left and right ( respectively).

    (A) The shutos are finishing blows to the opponent's in series number 5 numbers 3 and 4.  (The ones that were kicked in the knee by the side kicks. )

    (B) The opponent has bent over because of the kick, thus breaking his balance.  When he bends over you grab his arms and pull him toward you.  The pull gives the appearances of two shutos.

6.         From the double shuto in number 5, bring the hands up to a left hand leading knife hand guard.

    (A) This is not a guard but an arm break.

    (B) This is not a guard, but a left hand leading neck break.  The reason the left foot is set down in front and a left hand break is used is in the event that the break fails, or does not fully develop, you may pivot 90 degrees to the right into a left leading palm strike and follow up with a left elbow smash to the face.  (The pivot and elbow is a hidden move and is not performed in the kata.)  Also a pivot to the right would eliminate the groin as a target.  If a right leading break were used and it failed, a pivot to the left would leave the groin open for the opponent to kick or strike.

CLOSING

        From the right forward Seisan-Dachi, step back with the right foot to attention stance and perform the salute used in the opening. Bring the right hand to in front of the solar plexus (the right hand is in fist); simultaneously.  The left hand (open with the fingers pointing to the left) is brought up to the right fist (the palm of the left hand rests on the knuckles of the right hand). Lower the hands to in front of the groin and pivot the feet inward to pigeon-toed stance.  Step with the right foot to Kiba-Dachi and bring the fists to in front of the thighs.  Return to attention stance and bend slightly from the waist (Tachi-Rei).

** NOTES** 

(1)  KIAI POINTS:

    a.    On the re-enforced punch

    b.    Just prior to the throw

    c.    On the elbow smash

(2.)  SANCHIN POINTS:

    a.    When the hands are raised over the head prior to the angle punches.

    b.    On the knife hand arm breaks

  

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