Kushanku is the longest kata in Wado

kushanku instructional videos

Kushanku is an older Kata than Pinan. 

You can be sure that Pinan was derived from Kushanku, one way or the other. Simply by looking at the similarity of the techniques. Kushanku however, is more difficult. It contains more complicated techniques and advanced versions of the techniques found in the Pinan series. The rhythm of Kushanku is more diverse and thereby more difficult to perform as a whole without breaking the rhythm.


Each Kata has a certain rhythm that shoul be used when performaing it. Having said that, some instructors use this rhythm and others a slightly different rhythm. Whichever way - your Kata needs rhythm.


This allows you to see Kushanku even more clearly.


in depth 18 min analysis

To prepare for my seminar in Germany in 2018, I prepared a series on Kushanku, Niseishi and the 2 principles that Wado comes down to. Here's Kushanku...

Kushanku from his 90s VHS

key points from kushanku

how to drop into tsumasaki dachi

This movement is a real characteristic from Kushanku and probably for that reason there are many variations out there. Basically, this is an advanced version of the first movements from Pinan Shodan.

it is best to NOT focus on how to place your hands on the ground

Given that you practise enough, progress in Karate is often down to what you focus on. This particular movement is known for the specific low position and placement of the hands. That last point though should NOT be your point of focus as many unwanted things follow. Do this instead...

use these 3 key movement specifics to improve your body movement

You know that even for Junzuki the step contains quite sophisticated movement if you look hard enough. The same can be said for any movement though - but this sequence from Kushanku is top of the bill. It shows clearly how you can use the body in different manners to create power and stability.

control the movement of your centre line to execute sukui uke

Instead of thinking of stance or how your feet move, consider your centre line. In the video you discover one truly simple thing to do that makes your movement so much faster and smooth.

Applications of Kushanku soto uke

soto uke applications

In this video, Sakagami Sensei shows you how you can practise Soto Uke with your partner. Applications from beginner to advanced movement.

soto uke basic application

let's face it. It's fun to practise applications whether it is beneficial for your progress or not. Having said that.. do you want to progress? Then practise the applications that will actually help you. Depending on your level, you can start with this application first and THEN move on to the advanced version.

soto uke advanced application

Take this step next after practising the basic application. You'll learn how to apply both Nagasu and Meotode to the basic movement and take advantage of the movement. 

shuto uke

shuto uke

In this video, Sakagami Sensei shows you how you can practise Shuto Uke with your partner. Applications from beginner to advanced movement.

neko damashi from kushanku

Let's explain the meaning of Neko Damashi first:

Neko means cat and Damashi means deceive...

...like when you tease a cat with a toy pulling it away from him every time he reaches to grab it.

In Kata, it's difficult to see how to use it practically.

The main reason is that Neko Damashi and the knee raise in Kushanku are done at the same time.

In a way it's very simple...

If you hear a sound you automatically focus on that — at least for a split second...

...which creates a gap that you can use to your advantage by attacking your opponent. 

Be careful: the more experienced your opponent, the more likely he will NOT be affected by your distraction.

what is the meaning of neko damashi?

Andn here's the technical explanation you've been waiting for...

Pivot on the left foot and open the kamae, left shuto and right fist. This is a transition. Hence, do not intend to turn, but intend to enter towards the opponent behind you and therefore turn. Continuously, move the whole body at once and let the left and right hand meet in front of the body in order to distract the opponent. This is called neko damashi. Lift the knee until it is horizontal to the floor, with the toes pointing forward. Maegeri is implied here. In Sumo, there is also neko damashi to distract the opponent. Neko means cat and damashi means to lie or deceive. For example, you are playing with a cat using some toy, you are actually lying and deceiving the cat as you intend to trick him. This kind of movement has the same meaning. You should try to fool the opponent and misdirect his attention to create suki.

The Digi Dojo - Kushanku - Neko Damashi
The Digi Dojo - Kushanku - Neko Damashi front view

hidden in plain sight

details of kushanku sukui uke

Although you can discuss the amount of movements in Kushanku, it seems easier -and perhaps also more appropriate- to use the numbers as Ohtsuka sensei did. In his book, where the nine Kata of Wado are demonstrated and explained, Sukui uke from Kushanku is the 54th movement.

kushanku sukui uke ohyo

sukui uke kata and application

This video shows you exactly how you can benefit from correct centre line movement to make your movement smooth and effective.


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