Kanku Dai (To Look at the Sky, major version)
Original name: Kusanku, Kushanku or Kosokun.

If there is one kata that typifies Shotokan karate, it is probably Kanku Dai, the favourite kata of Gichin Funakoshi. The majority of its sequences can be found among the Heian kata, leading to speculation that it is the source for the more basic forms. Kanku Dai is the longest in the Shotokan school, with sixty-five moves, and features a sudden drop to the ground and, later, a tobi nidan geri.

kaishin
ryote fuse

History

Kusanku represents the teachings of a Chinese martial artist of the same name/title (also known as Kung Hsiang Chun), who visited Okinawa in 1756 as part of the retinue of the Chinese envoy, Ch'uan K'uei. Like Passai, it features in many schools and styles with variations.

Gichin Funakoshi changed the name to Kanku Dai in the 1920s, reflecting the opening sequence and suggesting a prominence to the do (way or path) of karate-do. It was the kata he performed at Shuri Castle for the Crown Prince of Japan (later Emporer Hirohito) in Okinawa in 1921. ~ GE