Kata - Empi

English - Flight of a swallow

Empi is also anglicized as Enpi, and is known in other styles of karate by its old name of Wanshu, which is the name of a Chinese envoy who is believed to have created this kata. Within Okinawa, it seems to have been an important kata in the Tomari-te school. As the name suggests, this kata contains light and quick movements with rapid changes of direction, and unlike other Shotokan kata it is characterised by changes of height.

Among the many tricky techniques in this kata, it is important to get the hip movements right in the double teisho blocking movements at the end. Also, pull your knees up when jumping, and try to jump vertically up and down, without lateral movement.

Video links

Videos from YouTube

Sensei Kanazawa

Fast and then slow.

Didier Lupo

A French karateka, with lots of good bunkai after the kata itself.