Bassai-dai was purposely chosen as the fourth kata of GKR, appropriately following Saifa. Saifa introduces students to the Goju element of karate. It endorses correct breathing and rhythm. As a self-defence aspect it trains them in three new stances; shiko datchi sumo stance , sanchin datchi Pigeon toe stance and neko ashi datchi cat stance , and includes some basic grappling techniques. Bassai-dai in comparison is nearly twice as long 38 counts in all so this alone challenges a student. Bassai-dai also develops excellent overall karate and self-defence principles: It trains a student to move with explosive speed and to move without telegraphing.
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Bassai dai is one of the variations of the Passai Kata that is practiced in Shotokan Karate, normally starting at 3rd Kyu. Shotokan houses two Bassai Kata, Dai and Sho. Dai means greater while Sho means lesser or minor. Bassai Sho is taught at the advanced level after mastery of Bassai dai. Bassai Dai is characterized by repeated changes in blocking to simulate the feeling of shifting from a situation of disadvantage to a position of advantage.
Bassai Dai is often mistranslated, The first part of the name batsu means to extract or remove, not to penetrate. Bassai Dai is one of the more popular Shotokan Katas and also seen as being very important for students to learn. Many organizations require this Kata to be done for Shodan examinations. Along with Empi, Jion and Kanku Dai, Bassai Dai was thought to have been used to create the Heian series, which is used to introduce Karate to new students.
To this day Bassai Dai remains one of the big four Katas of Shotokan and also a milestone for most students. Learning this Kata means that the student has passed from learning the basic Katas and has moved on to learning the intermediate Katas of the style.
Perhaps Bassai Dai represents the first bump in the road for most students as they progress into truly understanding Karate and its many difficult but wonderful techniques.
Karate Kata Bassai Dai
The Matsumura version has a distinct Chinese flavour, whereas the Oyadomari version is more "Okinawanized". It was further modified by Itosu, and is thought to have created a "sho" Passai sho form of it. The Tomari style which incorporated Oyadomari no Passai was passed down the Oyadomari family for three generations, originally taught by a Chinese living in Tomari possibly named Anan , who "used very light techniques". This can be literally translated to mean "extract from a fortress" or "remove an obstruction".
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