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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
Kushanku / Kanku-Dai German Bunkai!

Today I was emailed the picture below by Tomaz Stanovnik. It’s from a 15th century German manuscript. Tomaz noted the similarity with the opening “salutation” of Kushanku / Kanku-Dai. Yet another example that Donn Draeger was write when he paraphrased the bible to say, “There is nothing new under the sun … except the very old”.

It’s also another good example of independent creation of common methods. Unless someone has a dubious pseudo-history that involves Germans visiting China to teach martial arts to Kushanku so he could share this technique with Tode Sakugawa? ;-)

All the best,


PS If you like the bunkai / European martial arts similarities, then the next newsletter has a treat in store! Join the newsletter and keep an eye on your in-box! http://www.iainabernethy.co.uk/join-newsletter-and-get-two-free-e-books

JWT's picture

That's a great little find! :)

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia's picture

Here at 1:05 I see the last movement of Pinan Shodan:

css1971's picture

It's very cool. I've been looking through the wiki[1] for several weeks now and the similarities of 15th century men at arms demonstrating Kusanku among other kata just blows me away. This is the same thing from Fiore dei Libre created sometime around 1400, it's probably the same treatise but with poorer illustrations.


Oh and 2:05 mins in the video, uchi-uke.

p.s. It could have been Marco Polo teaching the Chinese.