Kata Study - Bassai Dai


In order to study Bassai Dai as it is practiced this article will refer to several Bassai Dai Videos on YouTube. Also points in the kata will be discussed as to how they vary between the various studied videos.

The Videos

The Blue Video

Points of interest - this execution of the kata differs only slightly from how we perform the kata in our club, as follows: -

  1. After the four Shuto Ukes (3 forward and 1 back) the step out is performed with the front foot - whereas we tend to use the back foot
  2. The next few moves are the same and then there is a second difference - we tend to lift the leg in a Hiza Geri before the double punch


Points of interest - this execution of the kata differs in the same way as the Blue Video above, but with the following additional difference: -

  1. After the step to the side for Ude Uke, Gyaku Uchi Ude Uke, the back foot comes up into Natural stance - we tend to move the other foot, and the blue video seemed to move both feet.


This video most closely matches how we perform the kata in the club. Notice that the step accross after the 4 Shutos is with the back foot and 45 o to the side.


This version of the kata is from a different style and it is clearly very similar to our version of Bassai Dai, but there are many obvious differences. This version of the kata seems to have the same root as the version we practice, but the differences seem numerous. It would be interesting to try this version of the kata out and see how it feels - it may give some insight into some Bunkai or Oyo for the kata.


Old Bassai Dai

Points of interest: -

  1. Again it is the back leg that comes up when assuming natural stance after the Ude Ukde, Uchi Ude Uke
  2. The Shuto Uchis show how this move was executed - both arms move in the same direction - you could imagine a throw being an application for this
  3. The step around (after the four Shutos) is again back leg (but much shorter stance than Kanazawa), and the hands do not make contact with each other in this move

Shorin Ryu

This is another version of the kata from another style and is really only included for interest. The moves seem very similar, but extra flourishes and alternative interpretations seem to have appeared. It would be interesting to know the history of this version and where the variations stem from.