Article by Emanuel Giordano
The Passai sho kata, whose full name is Itosu no Passai sho, is one of the two Passai kata handed down by Itosu sensei. Compared to the kata Passai dai it is a shorter form, but it is still very important in some aspects:
- the kata Passai dai, in the first part, is altered for didactic purposes. In fact, the typical defense and attack techniques are missing, replaced by uke-waza performed with both arms and with closed hands. The Passai sho, on the other hand, has open-handed defense and counterattack techniques. Although these techniques are often explained as defenses to be implemented against a bo (long stick) attack, this is only one of the applications. These techniques, in fact, are very useful in combat with bare hands, and contain attacks on chibu nigakiree (kyusho).
- Compared to the Passai dai kata, the morote-tsuki (double punches) are not vertical, but horizontal. This technique, in fact, in some versions of the kata Passai requires the vertical execution of the two tsuki, while in others they are performed horizontally.
SHOTOKAN, SHOTOKAI AND SHUDOKAN
Toudi Kenpo (1933)
- Mizuho Mutsu. The kata, as already mentioned, appears in the two texts of Mutsu. Mutsu learned this kata in Okinawa together with Jisaburo Miki. Although he does not mention the source, he records in Kenpo Gaisetsu the names of the masters he met, namely: Chojo Oshiro, Chotoku Kyan, Moden Yabiku, Chojun Miyagi and Kentsu Yabu. Of these, three belonged to the Itosu lineage, and were also teachers at Shihan Gakko: Oshiro, Yabiku and Yabu (sources: "Okinawa Karate Timeline and 100 Masters", T. Hokama; "Okinawa Kobudo", M. Nakamoto). Gichin Funakoshi was president of the Tokyo University Karate club until 1930, then resigned following the introduction of bogu kumite by Mutsu and other senior students. Nevertheless, Otskua and others attended the club for a few more years, and Yoshitaka Funakoshi may have done the same thing as he was working as a radiologist at the same university.
- Chojo Oshiro. Yoshitaka often went to Okinawa between 1929 and 1935, where he attended several karateka, including Chojo Oshiro sensei. The bo kata present in Shotokai were in fact imported by Yoshitaka from the Yamanni-ryu style. Having therefore already seen that Mutsu may have learned the kata from Oshiro sensei (as well as from Yabiku and Yabu), it is plausible to think that Yoshitaka may also have learned the kata from this master.
- It is also possible, although less likely, that he learned it from another teacher during one of his trips to Okinawa.
- Toyama. As mentioned above, although there is no written evidence that Toyama sensei brought this kata with him from Okinawa, it has emerged from the aforementioned research that the master taught this kata to several students, including Yoon Byung-In sensei and Tsuchiya sensei. In addition, two other Toyama sensei students also passed down this kata, Takazawa sensei and Ichikawa sensei. Through some research I conducted, I was able to trace several videos relating to the schools founded by the aforementioned masters. The characteristic ogami-te is featured in each video, and the rest of the kata is almost identical to that of Mutsu sensei. Both the Korean version and the one deriving from Takazawa sensei end with the characteristic shuto-uke performed in both directions, while the versions of Tsuchiya sensei and that of Ichikawa sensei end as the Itosu no Passai dai, i.e. with two kake-uke / saguri-te. This particular then brings them closer to the Shotokan version. Obviously, a reciprocal influence between the various Karate schools present in Japan cannot be excluded, as has emerged over and over again from the research carried out.
But what does Yoshitaka have to do with Toyama and the Shudokan? As emerged from the research conducted on the Gojushiho kata, there were several contacts between the students of the Shotokan dojo and Toyama sensei. The relationships are also confirmed by H. Kanazawa in the book The complete kata, as well as by an interview given by T. Kase sensei to Graham Noble, in which a meeting between Yoshitaka and Toyama is mentioned.
A set of the first 4 hypotheses.