Kanku Dai in parts

Today’s class focused on Kanku Dai.  This is one of those katas that I feel I have done forever but it never feels as good as the others.  Even though it is has a lot of basic moves, it is one of the katas that I don’t have that same feeling about as I do for others.

Get warm first

Sensei Noia had us warm up by running around the dojo then do a kata and repeat until we did all the Heian katas and Tekki Shodan.  We have done this warm up many times over the years and it seems that only since the last two years, I have been able to run fast and do all the katas without much trouble.  In the past, I used to have to walk or even skip the run around the dojo when I got to Heian Yondon but it just goes to show that consistent training, no matter what your age will allow you to improve.

Kanku Dai in sections

We spent a good amount of the class working on parts of Kanku Dai.  From the opening moves all the way to the end.  One drill in particular was the first move with the high open hand blocks in the back stance.  Sensei had us stand with the padded walls behind us, then we dropped down into a back stance and executed the high block against the pad.  This drill ensures that there is connection between the upper body and lower body before doing the arm movements.  If you are not settled in the back stance, hitting the wall behind will make your upper body go forward and your arm bounces off.  Hitting an object, when doing certain movements, lets you understand how the movements should be executed when doing them on the air.

We also went through many parts of the kata in sections, paying attention to our form with Sensei watching and correcting us.  One part of the kata, that I often stress when teaching is the reach with the left hand before the punch block and punch block.  Many students put their arm out in front of them without any purpose and the movement looks like someone in the dark searching for light switch.  If the movement is done with purpose, it looks and feels different.  It’s not a fast move or slow move and it’s not tense or loose, it’s somewhere in between all of those.

Kanku Dai is a long kata and it is easy to break it up into sections to work on so give it try and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

About doug
Doug is a Shotokan Karate student that enjoys sharing his Karate training experiences with everyone. He is a Computer Consultant, an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, blogger and a freelance writer..

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