Enpi (Flying Swallow)
Original name: Wanshu or Wansu.

The characteristic up and down and direction-changing movements in this kata are the inspiration for Gichin Funakoshi's renaming of this kata to Enpi (sometimes Empi) - the flight of the swallow. The form includes a strong throw (represented by a grab and spinning jump in the kata) as well as the unusual age zuki (rising punch).

gedan barai
morote teisho


Wanshu is one of the oldest Okinawan karate forms. With ties to the Tomari region, it is said to record the martial techniques taught by the retinue of the Chinese envoy Wang Chi, who stayed at Shuri Castle in 1683. From here it was passed down to Kosaku Matsumora and then Yasutsune Itosu, where it was later inherited into Shotokan. ~ GE


The exact technique of the opening hand after the age-zuki was queried: I consulted lots of sources for this, videos and books, and the majority show either a small clockwise circle with the fingertips or just opening the hand out straight from the fist. The latter tends to appear in the older sources (eg. old JKA and Funakoshi). Kanazawa (who tends to be our club's main guide) does the small clockwise movement in his older 1980s video and also in the newer video, which is also repeated in his new kata book. In his older kata book he seems to do a wider flourish, but that is rarely seen elsewhere - except in competition videos. The most common application is simply a grab to pull your opponent in as you jump in with the downward punch (otoshi-zuki). Out of interest, some videos of Wanshu, from which the Shotokan kata developed, show a shuto movement at this point. After all that, I think the answer is a clockwise circle with the fingertips.