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MichielC's picture
Source kata for Pinan

First time starting a topic here, after lurking for many years :-)

My question: if you were to list possible source kata’s for the Pinan series, what kata’s would be on that list? 

I’m aware of Kushanku being a major source, just as Passai and Naihanchi. Those are kata’s I practise at this time, so I can see the link.

Chinto also seems to be a major source. I’m not familiar with that kata yet, but I can see how some of its movements relate to Pinan sandan and godan.

Any other suggestions? 

Wastelander's picture

In looking into the origins of the Pinan kata, you will certainly run into the name, Channan, which was referenced by Motobu Choki when he told a story about visiting Itosu and seeing young students practicing something "like the Channan that [he] learned," and Itosu saying that he calls this version Pinan. I will say, though, that I have seen many supposed Channan kata, and none of them have held up to any scrutiny. Personally, I don't believe Channan is really a source kata for the Pinan, so much as it was the first draft. Almost everything in the Pinan kata can be derived from Passai, Kusanku, and Chinto, and that is how I see the Pinan kata--variations and breakdowns of concepts and methods in those older kata.

Of course, as I always say, everything is Naihanchi ;). You'll find tie-ins with the Pinan kata, of course, but given that Naihanchi is, essentially part of the "holy trinity" of Shorin-Ryu (Naihanchi, Passai, and Kusanku), that isn't surprising.

Frazatto's picture

Some times I miss Shotokan, the Taikyoku series on Goju-Kai is such a pain in the ass.

MichielC's picture

Coming back to this topic after way too long. Thanks Noah and Frazatto for your earlier comments. I have been working on   Kusanku, Passai, Chinto and Naihanchi a lot lately. I can clearly see how they relate to the Pinan series, especially Pinan shodan, sandan, yondan and godan. It seems like Pinan nidan is bit of the odd one out. Is that more of a creation by Itosu and less copy-paste? Or is there another source for Nidan that I am just not aware of?

What are your thoughts on this?

To be clear: “my” pinan-nidan is the one with the three age-uke in the middle. Hope that makes sense.

Frazatto's picture

I'm away from Shotokan since the early 2000's and started finding answers to many of my problems when I stumbled at Goju-ryu and latter at Iain's work. So I'm not a good source of Shuri-te lore...

That said, why are you trying to make those connections? I mean, if X and Y are directly related, what does it change in the way you train those???

Trying to go by Goju kata and apply Iain's premises to see where it takes is putting A LOT in perspective, including how much of a master work the Pinnan series is and the kind of "out of his time" vision Itousu had. Considering having series of kata to teach specific lessons in a didactic fashion was not at all a thing and everybody is still playing catch to this day, Miyagi did a very dissent job using Gekisay as a stepping stone and stitching together what they had traditionally from there. Makes me wander if we would have had a unified Gekisay series in Goju if not for the war......

That is all very nice and entertaining, but it changes nothing in how I reverse engineer the kata applications.

I just started training Sanseru and the similarities to Gekisai dai ichi are obvious. But! that is all just esthetic, when you stop and try to use it, they have clearly different intentions to very similar moves and insisting on making it the same would miss a lot.