According to Grandmaster Nagamine, Wankan’s history is very old. The composer is unknown, but it is one of the few extant kata from the Tomari district of Okinawa. It is important to note that Matsubayashi-ryu is one of the few styles that strives to preserve these Tomari-te traditions. Wankan translated means “the king’s crown,” but the title does no lend insight into the kata’s history or philosophy. The foundations developed in this form are fundamental to learning advanced combinations. Therefore, Wankan is a useful transition from beginning level kata like Pinan and Naihanchi to the advanced level forms like Passai, Chinto and Kusanku. The difference between the combinations sequences in Wankan and the higher level forms is that in Wankan the practitioner is not required to move forward or backward when executing the techniques.

Sensei Ota demonstrating Wankan

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