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BSnyder
BSnyder's picture
Matsumura Seito Passai Sho & Dai

Hi all,

I have been looking at various different versions of Passai / Bassai kata and the versions we practice in Matsumura seito are a bit different. When I originally learned these my instructor did not teach any bunkai. Since then I have been studying them and there are several parts that I don't have great answers for.

Passai sho

a. The second section in the kata where you step back into passai dachi and bring both arms up like a type of cover and then shuto down and nukite     under it. you then turn and repeat.

b. Later in the kata and this shows in both sho and dai versions is the three stepping gedan barai and then step back into a "crane style" posture and mae geri.

c. The three double punches each time stepping back into an attention stance.

I'll stop there and add Passai Dai questions later. Any thoughts on these would be great.

https://goo.gl/VSjyx8

Thanks,

Bruce

OhioMike
OhioMike's picture

We are currenlty doing Bassai-dai in my class and so I am doing basically the same thing for the Itosu versison of the Kata. So here is my two cents.

Passai sho

a. The second section in the kata where you step back into passai dachi and bring both arms up like a type of cover and then shuto down and nukite     under it. you then turn and repeat.

I think that this is in fact a cover, very simular to the cover at the beginning of Kushanku/Kanku-dai and the shuto/nukite is a version of the sideways knife hands that follow the cover in Kanku-dai. It is a trap for the arm that is located by the cover and a strike. It also reminds me of the strike and then cover that is seen in Chinte. Which actually suggests to me that the cover in Chinte is exactly the same thing.

In the case of Passai I think this is because the kata assumes that the opponent is armed. My understanding of the history of Passai is that Matsumora learned it from a Chinese bodyguard and that it is primarily intended for a bodyguard. The opening for example looks a lot like someone trying to intercept a hand reaching for a hilt, or reaching to grab someone standing next to you, the sweeping motion of the left hand to locate the opponents arm, the relatively low hand positioning, then the right hand moving to grip the wrist once the left has located and pinned it.  The next move of stepping thru to stop the opponents forward momentum, and the knee moving up thru his knee/thigh/groin, with the potential to do the wrist throw. Then a fishhook and turning throw to force my opponent away from the individual I am protecting. Of course if he is armed and anything goes wrong in that exchange, one of the next best moves I could do would be to jam a cover into his face (and maybe get an eye) and then locate and immobolize his attacking arm while I jam a nukite/chop/uppercut into his thoat/neck.   

b. Later in the kata and this shows in both sho and dai versions is the three stepping gedan barai and then step back into a "crane style" posture and mae geri.

These look like hammer fist versions of the knife hands that most other version use, and likley they serve the same purpose. Push the opponent's hand to the side and then drive thru with the hammer fist. The fact that your version does them so low is confusing to me, although I have seem other versions do the knife hands at that same level, I suspect the kata is just saying clear the hand and hit the head with a hammer fist, the actually height of the strike would depend on the heads location. (if you are an app user there is a lot in the Passai section discussion the different heights of the strikes) This also supports my thinging about an armed opponent since the hammer fist is a more approprate strike for long range striking than the knife hand, which a knife fight against someone unarmed would likely be at a range uncomfortably long for the unarmed fighter. The back step and mae geri would seem to be a jam to prevent an opponent trying a rush in order to restablish an attack line. 

c. The three double punches each time stepping back into an attention stance.

These bothered me for quite a while myself when I tried to figure them out. But they became fairly clear when I switched around the application flow. In my mind the double puch comes first, I have made contact with an opponents limb and use one hand to pull the hand out of position and create an opening into which the second punch of the "double" punch slips into. The step back to the attention position is me pulling the captured limb back into an armbar position. At lot of versions will then drive a cresent kick into the back of the knee before doing a throw. It looks like the Matsumura version continues the rotation (possible elbow dislocation?) and then drives a shuto down the arm and into the throat.  

In general the Matusmura version seems to keep the enemy at a longer distance than the Itosu version, perfectly understandable given the possibility of an armed opponent and given Matusmura's comments about "treat your enemies hands and feet like swords and spears"

Hope that helps,

Mike

John D Linstead
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Regarding b) the version i was taught by Iain has them as knife hands but I have since moved away from the area and the club I practice at now has them as an open handed gedan bari. My thinking would be that the principle is the same for all 3 variations but that the height the strike is performed at depends on different levels of the enemy's head following the "outer block" preceding the movements.

BSnyder
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Thanks Mike and John. That gave me some good ideas to work with.

On to Passai Dai.

1. The beginning starts like most Passai versions but this version uses a jodan juji uke and then steps back and pulls to the hip still in juji uke. This move other than the moving forward is very similar to an entanged arm lock (Onikudaki) its the mving forward that doesn't fit.

2. After the above you again use jodan juji uke and then pull back and execute two shuto and then pivot 180 and repeat My first thought for this is that this may be a what if the arm lock didn't work.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated it.

On a somewhat different subject. Why are the kata from Hohan Soken so different? If any of you have seen Kusanku its got interesting moves that aren't in other versions of Kusanku

Thanks,

Bruce

OhioMike
OhioMike's picture

I am guessing that the Dai and Sho versions are two different takes on the same general positioning. In the Sho version I see the grabbing of an arm and the striking and then transition into a fishhook throw before using a cover to set up a trap. 

The Dai version looks like the more common and straightforward reaction of shoving a cover into an opponents face to buy a moments time when you are losing a fight. The move forward is because the target is not the am but rather the head. It reminds me of the cover in Nihanchi in that it appears to try to grab the head immediatly, although in Nihanchi the next move is to push the head down and away, in this kata it looks more like you are going for the "Emperor holds a giant egg" neck crank from the Bubishi. Then do it on the other side and if you cannot get a hold of the head the next move is to open your arms in a "Man warms himself by the fire" style of cover also from the Bubishi. There seems to be lot of Bubishi inspired moves in this form so you might what to have a look there for more ideas.

It looks a little like the transition after the first section of Seisan. 

 

The high pulling hand making room for the shuto to slide into the neck is classic from most version of Kusanku and Peian Yondan, and it is normally used to set up a kick to the knee/thigh in those katas and it looks to me to be the case here. The punch/underhook compination (also classic from the second part of the opening of most versions of Kusanku) looks to be a response if the shuto does not create the opening, but to me they are both trying to set up the kick to the knee. Most versions of Kusanku then go into a knife hand sequence, this kata goes into a hammer fist sequence so it seems to work. 

Looking at the Soken verison of Kusanku kata I see a lot more chinese influence, the range is much closer than a lot of versions of that kata especially in the opening. Palm heel strikes instead of punchs and a lot of trapping, I have to get to work but I will have to give it a closer look later.

Hope that helps,

Mike 

Iain Abernethy
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BSnyder wrote:
On a somewhat different subject. Why are the kata from Hohan Soken so different? If any of you have seen Kusanku its got interesting moves that aren't in other versions of Kusanku

The version of Kushanku in the video looks very similar to the version I practise. I’m not seeing any motions that are not in version I do, but the order of the sequences is a little different. For example, after the “lock, kick / pull, elbow” sequences (around 20 seconds), the version in the video “misses” the angled knife-hand sequence and goes straight to sequence after them … however, those angled knife-hands are “reinserted” at around 38 seconds.

What I see is the same lessons presented in a different order. There are obviously stylistic differences – as there always are – but all the sequences are present. When we think of the kata as a collection of discrete two-person drills done solo, then we can see how the order can be rearranged a little and the syllabus remain unaffected. Obviously, we should teach the lessons so they progress logically – and I believe the kata is structured that way – but there is room for the differing themes to expanded upon is a subtly different order. At first glance, that’s what I see when I compare this version and the one I practise.

All the best,

Iain

John M Avilla
John M Avilla's picture

BSnyder wrote:
c. The three double punches each time stepping back into an attention stance.

What you refer to as a "double punch", is this the technique usually referred to as a u punch (despite clearly being a C)? If so, here is my take on this; it is an attempt to enter into wrestling range to perform a throw. I believe that the first two attempts are near misses that flow into standing arm bars, first on one side and then the other. On the third engagement you are successful. The top hand grabs the shoulder or the Gi/jacket and the bottom hand hooks the knee. You then use circular footwork and pull down on the shoulder while punching up and then doing the odd circular arm movement that follows to execute the throw. This at any rate is the bunkai I have put to it.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

John M Avilla wrote:
...This at any rate is the bunkai I have put to it.

Sounds solid to me! Thanks for sharing and welcome to the forum!

All the best,

Iain

John M Avilla
John M Avilla's picture

Thank you. Means a lot to see you write this.

BSnyder
BSnyder's picture

The punch is actually like two straight punches rather than a U- punch that is in the dai versions.   

Here is a clearer version of Passai sho and dai, it starts at 9:45. The rest of the video shows most of the Matsumura seito kata including weapons. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=v4HBfJJgZm0

About Kusanku, I found a clearer video that shows some of the differences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=BsoMzz1-Wak

Bruce