Gankaku (Crane on a Rock)
Original name: Chinto (name of a shipwrecked sailor, or fighter to the east).

Like the Tekki series of kata, Gankaku's embusen is a straight line, though rather than moving sideways this kata travels forwards and backwards. It includes a tobi nidan geri, a pivot on one foot, and the eponymous crane stance.

haito kakiwake uke
gankaku gamae


Tradition dictates that a Chinese sailor was shipwrecked near Tomari on Okinawa, and survived by stealing food from the locals. Bushi Matsumura was sent to deal with him, but found the sailor, called Chinto or Annan, able to get the better of him in combat. The techniques in the kata Chinto represent what Matsumura subsequently learnt from the sailor.

There are three main versions of the Chinto kata in Okinawan karate: the Matsumura/Itosu lineage (front-back embusen); Kosaku Matsumora lineage (side-to-side embusen); and Chotoku Kyan lineage (45 degree angle embusen). Shotokan comes from Matsumura/Itosu. ~ GE


Shuto kakewake uke into haito kakewake uke: all sources checked (old and modern) show that it is the rear foot that moves back into line with the front foot when you turn from zenkutsu dachi (shuto kakewake uke) into kiba dachi (haito kakewake uke), not the front foot.

Gankaku dachi/manji uke, yoko geri/uraken: the first gankaku dachi/manji uke is slow, with the hand brought over in a large arc to the right hip before the fast yoko/uraken and oi zuki (kiai). The next two gankaku dachi/manji uke are delivered with speed. The next slow move is bringing the hands down to the left hip after the fingertip strike to the front, just before the swivel and final yoko geri - oi zuki.

Jodan juji-uke: the fifth move of the kata is a stance shift from kiba-dachi (with gedan barai) to a front zenkutsu-dachi* (with jodan juji-uke). It is not just a step out with the left leg - the left leg draws back at the same time as the right leg shifts forward, while the hips turn to the front. *The stance is actually a slightly shortened zenkutsu-dachi, properly called moto-dachi.