Shukumine no Bassai

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Shukumine no Bassai, from the book Genseiryu Karate-do Kyohan 2

Shukumine no Bassai (祝嶺の抜塞, 祝嶺のバッサイ, Shukumine no Bassai) is a kata trained in Genseiryu and must be performed for the 2nd kyu examination (for both adults and children). This kata was developed by Seiken Shukumine, as he devised the kata in his own way. In his book, Shin Karate-do Kyohan, Seiken Shukumine wrote that he learnt this kata from Soko Kishimoto, who learnt it from Bushi Takemura. Takemura developed a version of Bassai (Takemura no Passai), which is still practised today by Bugeikan.

Name change[edit]

Shukumine no Bassai used to be called Bassai (dai). But because of the standardization of the JKF, which includes shitei kata, the name had to change in order to avoid confusion. Therefore, with approval from Seiken Shukumine, the name was changed from Bassai (dai) to Shukumine no Bassai when Kunihiko Tosa released his book Genseiryu Karate-do Kyohan 2. This included the founder's name in order to distinguish it from the Bassai specified by the JKF.

Genseiryu Karate-do Kyohan 2[edit]

  • Translated to English and included here with explicit permission from Kunihiko Tosa.
  • This text and image is protected under copyright.

Shukumine no Bassai is known in the karate world as a representative of the Genseiryu style. There are two katas of Bassai: Bassai Dai and Bassai Sho.

This kata was called Bassai Dai earlier, but we had to change it for the following reason:

The Japan Karate-do Federation decided to specify eight katas and then chose two katas from each of the four main traditional styles (Yondai Ryuha), for common promotion sessions and tournaments. One of these katas has the name Bassai Dai, which is the same name as the kata in our style.

From then on, we had to use Shukumine no Bassai instead of the one that was specified by the Japan Karate-do Federation. We had to change the name in order to avoid confusion.

With this in mind, I consulted with my former teacher. Master Seiken Shukumine and I decided to add the founder's name "Shukumine" to Bassai. That's why we now call our kata: Shukumine no Bassai.

Compared to other katas, Bassai is handed down in many different ways of performance. The various versions are named after the people who handed them down or devised them in their own ways.

Master Shukumine wrote in his book: "Shin Karate-do Kyohan", Nihon Bungeisha, 1973, that Shukumine no Bassai was taught to him by Master Soko Kishimoto.

I trained with Master Shukumine for a long time as his student and as far I know, I believe that Master Shukumine devised the kata in his own way, thus making it more refined. Therefore I came to the conclusion that it would only be right to add the name of the founder of the Genseiryu style to the kata, in order to clarify it's origin to future generations.

For the reader's information, I enumerate other Bassai names, which were featured in an article by Yutaka Kinjo in the March issue of "Gekkan Karate-do" in 1982:

  • Matsumura no Passai
  • Can no Passai
  • Ishimine no Bassai
  • Oyadomari no Passai
  • Motobu no Passai
  • Shotokan no Bassai
  • Matsumura no Passai
  • Matsumura (Tomari) no Bassai
  • Itosu no Passai