Bassai Dai

For once I can show you an exact kata I’ve learned.

At the last Academy of Okinawan Karate graduation, one of the guys I worked out with on a black belt attack team, Tim Mangan, was promoted to Ikkyu, or first-degree brown belt. As a Nikyu (second-degree brown belt), we learn the kata Bassai Dai, also called the Breaking Through the Fortress form.

I’ve seen several interpretations of this kata, but this is Bassai Dai as I’ve learned it. One of these days I’ll try to get in front of the camera myself.

Making Ikkyu myself is my main goal for next year. In our style, Ikkyu is the last step before black belt. I’ll learn two more kata and a handful of new techniques, and I’ll bust my ass until Shihan Walker decides I’m ready to test for black belt.

One step at a time, though. Next up is learning the full interpretation of Bassai Dai.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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