In this karate class, Sensei Amos worked on the Shotokan karate kata Bassai Dai, which translates as ‘to storm a fortress’ or ‘breaking through an enemy’s fortress’, characterized by the very strong first move in the kata.

bassai dai
Master Funakoshi Passai

Bassai Dai is in most Shotokan Dojo, the first shotokan kata to be practiced once a karateka reaches brown belt (3rd Kyu).

There are several versions of Bassai Dai practiced and there is some debate on the history of the kata, but some of the versions have a very heavy Chinese influence. The Okinawan name for Bassai is Passai.

The following extract is from Wikipedia
‘Of the Okinawan versions of Passai, a clear evolutionary link can be seen from Matsumura no Passai (named after the legendary Sokon Matsumura), to Oyadomari no Passai (named after the Tomari-te karate master Kokan Oyadomari), and then onto the Passai of Anko Itosu who popularized karate by introducing it into the curriculum of Okinawan schools.’

Master Gichin Funakoshi changed the name from Passai to Bassai when Okinawan karate first went to Japan.

Bassai Dai Kata Tutorial

Click to play

Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle