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Karate Joint-Lock Takedown: Kushanku / Kanku-Dai / Kosokun Bunkai

This video looks at bunkai for a sequence from Kushanku / Kanku-Dai / Kosokun. The kata is a record of the combative techniques and concepts formulated by a Chinese martial artist who went by the name of Kushanku. Kushanku can also be pronounced “Kosokun”, and the kata was renamed as “Kanku-Dai” in Shotokan karate.

Some karate historians believe that “Kushanku” was a military title rather than a personal name – a breakdown of the individual characters used to write Kushanku would seem to support that – nevertheless the kata is named after a specific martial artist from China. Kushanku is said to have come from China to Okinawa in the 1750s with other military personal at the request of Okinawa’s king. While in Okinawa, Kushanku taught Tode Sakugawa, who in turn created the kata to record Kushanku’s methodology.

This sequence looks at the Kubi-Wa throw (neck ring throw) found towards the end of the kata. The kata encourages us to strike the enemy should the throw fail, and it also shows a joint-lock takedown which will take the enemy in the opposite direction to the initial throw.

It is vital to understand that the kata is showing various options. We don’t need to use all the strikes, nor do we need to do them in the same order as presented. Additionally, because the two takedowns move in opposite directions, it is possible to attempt the armbar takedown first and then switch to the neck-right throw if the enemy resits.

Viewers also need to understand that this short clip cannot show the wider methodology. It is not enough to practise the kata solo, nor is it enough to do the bunkai “as is” with a complaint partner. Drilling the variations, in accordance with the underlying principles, and including the methods in live practise is vital. As are the related impact drill to ensure the blows have stopping power. 

While inevitably incomplete, I nevertheless hope this clip is of some interest.

All the best,


PS The YouTube link can be found HERE

Karate Joint-Lock Takedown: Kushanku / Kanku-Dai / Kosokun Bunkai