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Unsu / Kanku-Sho Jump Bunkai (video)

In this video we look at an application for the jumps in Unsu & Kanku-Sho. These two jumps are very similar. The difference is that Unsu turns 360 degrees, whereas Kanku-Sho turns 180 degrees (when using the direction of the preceding look as the reference point). I interpret this motion as a last ditch attempt to free a trapped leg. In Kanku-Sho, the enemy remains static … hence the 180 degree turn (as demonstrated in this clip). In Unsu, the enemy is thought to catch the leg and then circle 180 degrees in an attempt to throw. The karateka will spin out of it – such that they end up facing in the direction they started – and then execute the method shown in this video.

The modern kata shows a very dynamic version of the technique. Additionally, in the solo kata the enemy is not there to hold the leg up. If you practise the technique with a partner you will see that the same motion is being enacted, it is just the lack of a partner and the increase in athleticism / aesthetics that makes it, on a surface level, look a little different. Please also note that this is not a “good” technique, but a last ditch attempt to free a leg when things are going very wrong.

I hope you find this video gives some food for thought. Thanks for watching!

All the best,


Practical Kata Bunkai: Unsu & Kanku-Sho Jumps