Passai Gwa Kata

This version of the Passai Kata (also commonly called Koryu Passai or Passai Guwa) was originally the Passai Sho version practiced by Itosu Anko. This version was not brought forward by later students (particularly Chibana Chosin) and was therefore not widely studied by later systems and styles. We study this form to preserve it for future practitioners and because it provides additional insights for students.

The word Koryuu means old style, old school or old manners. The word Guwaa means little, small or dear. The extra vowels within and at the ends of these words is not a misspelling. You will not find Koryu and Gwa in a typical Japanese dictionary.

Based upon the definition for these terms it is likely the name Passai Gwa refers to the short nature of this Kata. The term Koryu Passai suggests some felt this was an older style or version in the Passai lineage of Kata.

This Passai Kata is not widely practiced and it is done pretty consistently among those styles that practice it, so there is no meaningful alternate version to explore. There are some quite minor differences in this Kata among different styles that might be fun to explore, but you will not find any major differences among the few styles that still practice this Kata.

As with all the Passai Kata (and many other forms as well) what you see initially may not be all there is to a movement or sequence; especially if you consider that multiple sequences might comprise a single activity against an opponent. Look beyond the easy interpretations to see what else you can discover. The Passai are full of hidden uses and techniques which you can uncover only through imagination and experimentation. Just for fun, take any movement or short sequence of movements and see if you can find five completely different ways or circumstances in which that action can be utilized. You will be amazed at how many different ways a given sequence can be utilized. Mental flexibility is the gateway to higher achievement.

The procedure below relies heavily on octagon angle abbreviations and on definitions for common Passai Kata sequences. You may wish to review the information in the See Also section at the bottom of the page if you are not familiar with these topics.

Passai Gwa Kata Procedure

StepStance TransitionMovementNotes
IchiPerform the traditional opening salutation then move both open hands down to Gedan level at your center.At the conclusion of the salutation the left hand is placed on top of the right and both palms face downward.
NiStep R1L7 to form Migi Juji Dachi F1.Deliver open handed Migi Morote Gedan Barai T1.This is a reinforced Gedan Barai with the left hand placed over the right wrist. The block occurs concurrently with establishment of a stable stance position.
SanStrike with Migi Chudan Morote Shuto Uchi T1 with the left hand moving to guard position.The reinforced hand position is maintained for this sequence.
YonLook T2 then Step L6 and rotate CCW to form Hidari Sochin Dachi F2.As you rotate toward the final stance perform a Migi Shotei Uke T2 over your left shoulder. As you settle into your stance deliver Hidari Chudan Age Shotei Uchi T2. The right hand remains open and moves down to set position with the palm facing down.The strike is a rising open-hand that moves upward and stops at Chudan level. This might be used as finger strikes, a grab (perhaps grabbing a Jo) or a rising strike. The final right hand position might be the result of an earlier grab.
GoRotate CW until the right leg can pull inward to form Heisoku Dachi F4.As soon as possible deliver Migi Gedan Barai T4 followed immediately by Hidari Gedan Barai T4. The left hand is then either set or moved to an effective guard position.
RokuStep R8 to form Hidari Kokutsu Dachi F4.Deliver Hidari Chudan Age Shotei Uchi T4. The open right hand is pressed down T4 then moved to set position with the palm facing downward.This is another rising open-hand palm block, grab or strike. The movement often has the appearance of an Ura Chudan Uke, but may have other users. Notice the movement of the right hand.
NanaPull the left leg inward and twist your hips CCW to form Hidari Juji Dachi F4.Invert the positions of your hands. The right hand performs the upward rising action and the open left hand moves down to the left hip.Another instance of a rising open-hand palm block, grab, or strike.
HachiShift your weight forward onto your front leg.Deliver Migi Mae Geri T4 as you pull both open hands back slightly on your left side.The left palm faces down, the right palm faces up. This might be thought of as stripping a Jo from an opponent.
KuLook T1 as you return the kicking leg T4 to form a deep Kiba Dachi F1.The moment your stance begins to settle deliver Hidari Chudan Ken Tsuki T1. The right hand is set of placed into an effective guard position.The timing on this movement is such that the punch and stance adoption are concurrent.
JuRise significantly in your stance until the knees are only slightly bent.Return the left hand to set or guard position as you briskly deliver Migi Gedan Ken Tsuki T1.The punch occurs as you are rising in your stance.
Ju IchiLook T3 and slide the left foot T8 until you can establish Hidari Kokutsu Dachi F3.Close both hands and Block with Migi Ura Gedan Barai T3 followed by Migi Ura Chudan Uke T3 and Hidari Gedan Barai T3.The right arm forms a scooping block T3 which starts low and finishes up near the right ear. This sequence all blocks results in the typical high-low block posture found in most Passai Kata.
Ju NiRotate CW and slide the right foot T6 until you can establish Migi Kokutsu Dachi F4.Block with Hidari Ura Gedan Barai T4 followed by Hidari Ura Chudan Uke T4 and Migi Gedan Barai T4.This is identical to the previous sequence, just on the opposite side. At the conclusion the left hand should be up near your right ear and the left hand should be above but just inside of your right thigh.
Ju SanStep R7 to form Migi Kokutsu Dachi F1.Open both hands and place the left finger-tips against your right forearm as you deliver Migi Chudan Shuto Uchi T1.The striking hand is oriented vertically.
Ju YonStep L5 to form Hidari Kokutsu Dachi F1.Place the right finger tips against your left forearm as you deliver Hidari Chudan Shuto Uchi T1.The striking hand is oriented vertically.
Ju GoPull the left leg inward and rotate the hips CCW to establish Hidari Juji Dachi F1.Strike with a horizontal Migi Jodan Nihon Nukite Tsuki T1. The open left hand returns to a center guard position with the palm facing down.The right hand Falcon’s Talon is likely targeting the eyes. This is also often thought of as a simple right hand grab. The left hand might be employed as manipulation.
Ju RokuStep L1 then rise the right knee upward (possible Hiza Geri T1) then stomp down with the right leg T1. Transfer weight onto your right leg and then slide the left leg forward and twist to establish Heiko Dachi F3.Place both open hands forward at waist height T1, then close both hands and pull them briskly up and inward until they are chambered against your right chest wall.The hand motions occur in conjunction with the knee and stomp action. The rising knee might be part of an arm break sequence. The stomp might subsequently be directed to an opponent’s foot, calf (part of a manipulation), knee, or hip.
Ju NanaRotate CCW and step L6 to form Hidari Kokutsu Dachi F2.Hidari Shuto Uchi T2 with right fingertips resting against the left forearm.The Shuto is oriented vertically. This could also be a Shotei Uchi.
Ju HachiStep R8 to from establish Migi Kokutsu Uchi F2.Migi Shuto Uchi T2 with left fingertips resting against the right forearm.This is the same as the previous movement but on the opposite side.
Ju KuRotate CCW as you slide the left leg T5 to form Hidari Sochin Dachi F1.Strike with Hidari Chudan Tettsui Uchi T1 as you rotate. Hold the left arm extended T1. The right arm moves to set or guard position.This might also be interpreted as Hidari Ken Tsuki T1.
Ni JuStep R7 to form Migi Sochin Dachi F1.Strike with Migi Chudan Tettsui Uchi T1. Hold the right arm extended. The left arm moves to set or guard position.This could potentially be Migi Ken Tsuki, but the forearm movement is traditionally more like that of a Tettsui Uchi.
Ni Ju IchiBegin to rotate CCW and raise the right knee T5. The knee should rise to at least waist level, commonly slightly higher.Move both open hands so they brush, in an upward direction, against either side of the knee.The right arm brushes against the outside of the knee and the left arm brushes against the inside of the knee. All of these actions are concurrent.
Ni Ju NiContinue your rotation and step R8 to form Migi Han Zenkutsu Dachi F2.Move both hands briefly to a right chamber position during the rotation and then strike with Morote Chudan Ken Tsuki T2 as the stance is established.This is a dual front punch. A slight forward shuffle is often used as part of the stance transition to provide added emphasis to the punches.
Ni Ju SanPull the right leg back and twist to form Hidari Juji Dachi F2 then immediately step forward L6 to form Hidari Han Zenkutsu Dachi F2.Briefly chamber both hands above the right hip during the stance transition then strike with Morote Chudan Ken Tsuki T2 as the stance is established.This is essentially the same as the previous movement but on the opposite side. A slight forward shuffle is often used to provide added emphasis to the punches.
Ni Ju YonPull the left leg back and twist to form Migi Juji Dachi F2 then immediately step forward R8 to form Migi Han Zenkutsu Dachi F2.Briefly chamber both hands above the left hip during the stance transition then strike with Morote Chudan Ken Tsuki as the stance is established.A somewhat more pronounced forward shuffle is often used to provide added emphasis to the punches.
Ni Ju GoRotate CCW and slide the left leg T3 to from Hidari Kokutsu Dachi F5.Strike with Hidari Shuto Uchi T5. The fingertips of the right hand are placed against the inside of the left forearm.The Shuto is oriented vertically.
Ni Ju RokuRotate CW and then step L7R7 to form Migi Kokutsu Dachi F7.Strike with Migi Shuto Uchi T7. The fingertips of the left hand are placed against the inside of the right forearm.The stance transition is essentially a shuffle movement T7. The Shuto is oriented vertically.
Ni Ju NanaStep L1 to establish Kiba Dachi F1. Now rise upward to establish Heiko Dachi F1Yoi.
Ni Ju HachiPerform the closing salutation and Yame.

See Also

The Octagon
Common Passai Kata Sequences

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