bassai dai

bassai dai is one of the most important shotokan kata, and one that is required for all of the brown belts. once one of the list of five kata available for the first dan grading, it is now the only one specified. a long as well as physically demanding kata, it contains multiple turns, changes of pace, and combinations that stretch the skill of the karateka. strong use of the hips in the reverse position, gyaku hanmi, is prominent, and applications commonly extend beyond simple interpretations to locks and throws. attention to detail in bassai dai is imperative, since moves easily appear without power, or are lost altogether.

do not do this kata quickly. hit every move. moreso than previous kata, the control of zanshin as well as dead stops are crucial.

bassai dai is a large step up from previous kata, although the principles of previous kata naturally apply. it is important that the kata is continually studied, rather than just repeated, through the brown belts. mistakes commonly arise through running combinations together without focus, and making assumptions about what moves are. the video below shows more of the detail of the kata, and common mistakes.

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