Passai Sho Kata

The Passai Sho (Bassai Sho) Kata has a great many different variations practiced by numerous martial arts styles. Some styles, particularly styles such as Shotokan Karate (who study Bassai Sho) practice this form with many open hand techniques. Other styles have completely different sequences of movements involving substantially more closed hand skills. There is nothing wrong with any of these forms, they are simply different ways of addressing circumstances that may arise in a physical conflict. You can learn a great deal by studying each of the various versions of this Kata.

Tensoku Ryu Passai Sho

Our specific version of the Passai Sho Kata employs the use of open hand techniques rather extensively. Again you will want to think about when these movements might be used as strikes, blocks, parries, or some other form of manipulation. You can almost always find several different ways to employ any movement or sequence of movements. Try to look beyond the most obvious interpretation of any given movement sequence.

This version is similar, but somewhat different, than the Passai Sho found in many other systems. It is also quite similar to the Bassai Sho found in Shotokan Karate and other styles though we employ different sequences of movement or hand positions in many places. However, the basic pattern of movement is very close to that found in Bassai Sho. In the end, the specific version of the Kata is not all that relevant. What is relevant is how you think about what you are doing and how you can make the resulting movements most beneficial. Additionally, understanding how a movement sequence can be employed in numerous different scenarios is another extremely beneficial result from studying this Kata.

The Passai Sho presented below is the version that you should practice and perform for ranking examinations. We also encourage (but do not require) you to practice the Alternate Passai Sho Kata and other versions of Passai (Bassai) Sho to afford yourself further learning opportunities.

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 Sho Kata Procedure

StepStance TransitionMovementNotes
IchiEstablish Heiko Dachi F1.Perform the traditional opening salutation.
NiSlide the left foot forward to form an extended Hidari Neko Ashi Dachi F1 and hold this position for a few seconds. Now quickly shift your weight onto your left leg then step R1L7 to form Migi Juji Dachi F1.Migi Morote Jodan Shuto Uchi.This is a reinforced Shuto strike. The left fingertips are placed against the back of the fingers of the right hand. Some styles utilize Migi Hiza Geri or Migi Mae Geri as part of the step R1 during the transition to the Juji Dachi.
SanRotate CCW and step back L6 to form Hidari Sochin Dachi F2.Hidari Jo Grab T2This is often thought of as a defense against a Shomen Jo strike coming from A2.
YonRotate CW and then step R2 to form Heiko Dachi F4.Swing the open right hand down through a Migi Gedan Barai T4. Continue this circular motion up the right hand circles above the head and then returns down to from Migi Tettsui Uchi T4.The right hand blocks downward T4 then rises up and around until it can strike at mid-level T4. This is often thought as a kick defense where you first block the opponent’s front leg, spinning the opponent CCW so the kidney area is exposed, and then striking with a hammer fist to the opponent’s front kidney. But, what if you and the opponent are still holding the Jo from the prior sequence? Some styles do this sequence beginning from a low Kiba Dachi F4.
GoStep forward L7 to form Hidari Sochin Dachi F4.Hidari Jo Grab T4.
RokuRotate CW step back L3 to form Heisoku Dachi F1.Strike with Migi Ura Shuto Uchi T7 during the stance transition. The left hand moves to a set position above the left hip.The right palm will face upward during the strike.
NanaChamber the open right hand above your set left hand with the right palm facing upward. Now strike with concurrent Migi Ura Haito Uchi and Migi Yoko Geri, both directed T7.The left hand will move to a center guard and then back to set during these strikes.
HachiPlant the kicking leg R4 to form Kiba Dachi F1.As you land in your stance deliver Hidari Chudan Shuto Uke T1. Now close the left hand.
KuPull inward briskly with the left hand as you concurrently strike with Migi Chudan Ken Tsuki T1.
JuReturn the right hand to guard position as you strike with Hidari Age Empi Uchi T1.
Ju IchiReturn the left arm to guard position as you strike with Migi Chudan Ken Tsuki T1.How might steps Go through Ju Ni be a sequence against a single opponent.
Ju NiRotate CCW and slide the left foot T8 to establish Hidari Kokutsu Dachi F3.As you rotate deliver Hidari Gedan Barai – Migi Ura Chudan Uke Combination T3.How might this also be part of a longer sequence?
Ju SanRotate CW and slide the right leg T6 to establish Migi Kokutsu Dachi F4.As you rotate deliver Migi Gedan Barai –Hidari Ura Chudan Uke Combination T4.Your left hand ultimately moves up near your left ear.
Ju YonLook T1 then pull the right leg inward to establish Heisoku Dachi F1.Both hands move to an effective guard position.
Ju GoStep R7 to establish Migi Kokutsu Dachi F1.Strike with Migi Shuto Uchi T1 then close the right hand.Do not return the strike. The left hand remains in guard position.
Ju RokuStep L5 to establish Hidari Sochin Dachi F1.Deliver Hidari Reinforced Shuto T1.
Ju NanaStep R7 into Migi Kokutsu Dachi F1.Strike with Migi Shuto Uchi T1 then close the right hand.Do not return the strike. The left hand returns to guard position.
Ju HachiStep back R6 to establish Hidari Zenkutsu Dachi F1.Deliver Hidari Reinforced Shuto T1.
Ju KuAllow the right hand to slide below then forward of the left arm to perform a Migi Chudan Soto Shuto Uchi T1 followed by a rotation of the right wrist and Migi Chudan Dori T1.The right hand can be thought of as blocking then grabbing the arm it is blocking. The right palm ultimately faces downward. The left hand now rests upon and supports the right wrist.
Ni JuShift your stance back into a temporary Hidari Sochin Dachi F1Raise the right knee T1 as you shift your structure forward and pull both hands down and in at waist level. Now strike with Migi Yoko Kekomi Geri T1.The kick could target a leg, knee, hip, abdomen, or other available target area, depending on opponent structure and behavior.
Ni Ju IchiLook T2 then return and subsequently place the kicking leg R5 to form Hidari Kokutsu Dachi F2.Open both hands and deliver Morote Ura Chudan Uke T2.Both open hands block outward T2. Palms face inward.
Ni Ju NiShuffle forward L2R2 to establish Hidari Sochin Dachi F2.Rotate both palms outward then pull in and down using Muchimi Te just before the shuffle. Now strike with Morote Jodan Ura Tsuki T2 as you shuffle.Avoid pulling the sticky hands out and down. Rather pull them in and down.
Ni Ju SanIssue Migi Mikazuki Geri T2.This could be striking an opponent’s arm, leg, or torso. So it might be thought of as a block, strike, or manipulation.
Ni Ju YonPlant the kicking leg R8 to form Migi Zenkutsu Dachi F2.As you rotate into the stance deliver Morote Chudan Ken Tsuki T2. Return both hands to an effective guard position.If the prior movement impacted the opponent’s front leg he or she may be falling toward your right. Other Bunkai is certainly possible as well.
Ni Ju GoLook T1 and rotate CCW as you step L5 to establish Hidari Kokutsu Dachi F1.Strike with Hidari Tettsui Uchi T1 as you rotate into the stance. Return both hands to an effective guard position.Some styles do this as a Hidari Chudan Ken Tsuki.
Ni Ju RokuStep R7 to form Migi Zenkutsu Dachi F1.As you rotate into the stance deliver Migi Oi Tsuki T1.The left hand remains in an effective guard position.
Ni Ju NanaWithout stepping look over your left shoulder T1.Rotate CCW as you deliver Hidari Soto Shuto Uchi T2 followed by Migi Mikazuki Geri T2.The Shuto occurs simply as a result of its placement as a guard, but added emphasis to the movement may be provided for some Bunkai.
Ni Ju HachiPlant the kicking leg R8 to form Migi Sochin Dachi F2.Strike with Morote Chudan Ken Tsuki T2.The strikes occur as the stance is being established. You might think of this as a gravity assisted striking sequence.
Ni Ju KuReturn both hands to an effective guard position and deliver Hidari Mikazuki Geri T2What possible Bunkai might be involved here?
San JuPlant the kicking leg L6 to form Hidari Sochin Dachi F2.Strike with Morote Chudan Ken Tsuki T2.The strikes occur as the stance is being established. You might think of this as a gravity assisted striking sequence.
San Ju IchiReturn both hands to an effective guard position and deliver Migi Mikazuki Geri T2
San Ju NiPlant the kicking leg R8 to form Migi Sochin Dachi F2.Strike with Morote Chudan Ken Tsuki T2 then open both hands and return them to an effective guard position.The strikes occur as the stance is being established. You might think of this as a gravity assisted striking sequence.
San Ju SanLook T5 and then rotate CCW and slide the left leg T5 to establish Hidari Neko Ashi Dachi F5.Hidari Reinforced Shuto T5.The Shuto occurs during the stance rotation.
San Ju YonShift your weight onto your front leg.Turn the front hand palm down and pull inward as the back hand extends, palm down until it is just forward of the front hand.This is commonly viewed as a dual hand arm grab that pulls the opponent inward and down.
San Ju GoDeliver Migi Hiza Geri T5. Chamber both open hands, palms down, above your left hip.The most reasonable Bunkai is the opponents right arm is pulled to your left side and the knee strikes the opponent’s approaching torso or face.
San Ju RokuReturn the kicking leg T4 then step look T7. Now step L7 into a temporary Juji Dachi F7.Return both hands to an effective guard position.
San Ju NanaContinue stepping R7 to establish Migi Neko Ashi Dachi F7.Migi Reinforced Shuto T7.The Shuto occurs during the stance rotation.
San Ju HachiShift your weight onto your front leg.Turn the front hand palm down and pull inward as the back hand extends, palm down until it is just forward of the front hand.This is commonly viewed as a dual hand arm grab that pulls the opponent inward and down.
San Ju KuDeliver Hidari Hiza Geri T7. Chamber both open hands, palms down, above your right hip.The most reasonable Bunkai is the opponents left arm is pulled to your right side and the knee strikes the opponent’s approaching torso or face.
Yon JuReturn the kicking leg L3 to form Heiko Dachi F1.Yoi
Yon Ju IchiPerform the closing salutation and Yame.

See Also

The Octagon
Common Passai Kata Sequences

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