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#105083 - 07/04/03 01:08 PM Wanshu meaning?
Ender Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/29/03
Posts: 2253
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Can anyone tell me the english translation of the word "Wanshu"?

#105084 - 07/04/03 01:51 PM Re: Wanshu meaning?
Yoseikan Student Offline

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ender:
Can anyone tell me the english translation of the word "Wanshu"?[/QUOTE]

I've been told wanshu as a kata is the same as enpi, and the kata is associated with the flight of the swallow.

I wouldn't know about a literal translation tho'....


#105085 - 07/04/03 02:17 PM Re: Wanshu meaning?
Alejandro Offline

Registered: 05/02/02
Posts: 940
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
The meanings of Wanshu(Wansu or Wunsu) are Strong Arm, Dragon Boy or Dumping Form.
There is no direct translation to the word, be cause Wanshu is a name. The kata is thought to have been composed by Okinawans as a tribute to a Chinese emmissary named Seppushi Wanshu. Like many other Okinawan katas Wanshu it is shrouded in much mystery. Hope I could help!

#105086 - 07/04/03 07:52 PM Re: Wanshu meaning?
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
Tiger-Crane form, dumping form, dragon boy form, taught by Sapposhi Wang Ji (Wanshu), to various Te masters of Tomari.

Originally, it was known as Kuan Yin Yang Pao. Lit, 1/2 Black Tiger, 1/2 White Crane

#105087 - 07/24/03 09:23 PM Re: Wanshu meaning?
mas Offline

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 2
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ender:
Can anyone tell me the english translation of the word "Wanshu"?[/QUOTE]

Wanshu or Wansu depending on what Okinawan system one does. Wanshu(Wansu), from what I understand was a Chinese envoy. In our system that we do Wanshu(Wansu) and Enpi(Empi) are two different katas. Enpi(Empi) means "elbow".

#105088 - 07/25/03 07:42 AM Re: Wanshu meaning?
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH
Wansu (any spelling is acceptable as there is no 'standaridzed' way to translate the Hogan into English, is the source form that Funakoshi Sensei helped transform into Empi.

There is a rough structural relationship from the Okinawan Wansu to the Japanese Empi.

The name was changed to be more socially acceptable to the Japanese (who were conquering China at that time).

In turn I know of a Penna. Shorin group that have a 'Super-empi', or jazzed up version of Empi. This is interesting as they took a form that came from Shorin background and was modified into the Shotokan versions, and then took it back in the process.

Also their choice of name is a play on Goju's Superimpe kata, too.

The Isshinryu Wansu, a derivative of Shimabuku Tatsuo's training with Kyan Sensei, actually has an additional ending tacked on to it revealing several other sources of material, such as the low side kicks as in Goju.

Often overlooked as a short kata, the Wansu techniques are very powerful in application.


Victor Smith
Bushi No Te Isshinryu

#105089 - 07/25/03 10:03 AM Re: Wanshu meaning?
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia

#105090 - 08/04/03 07:05 PM Re: Wanshu meaning?
joe_swift Offline

Registered: 07/26/00
Posts: 26
Loc: Kanazawa, Japan
Wansu no Kata

This kata is said by many to have been brought to Okinawa by the 1683 Sappushi Wang Ji (Jpn. Oshu, 1621-1689). It is possible that it is based upon or inspired by techniques that may have been taught by Wang Ji.

The problem with this theory is that why would such a high ranked government official teach his martial arts (assuming he even knew any) to the Okinawans? Also, Wang Ji was only in Okinawa for 6 months (Sakagami, 1978).

Wang Ji was originally from Xiuning in Anhui, and was an official for the Han Lin Yuan, an important government post (Kinjo, 1999). In order to become an official for the Han Lin Yuan, one had to be a high level scholar, and pass several national tests (Kinjo, 1999). Just preparing for such a task would all but rule out the practice of martial arts, just time-wise. However, assuming that Wang Ji was familiar with the martial arts, the Quanfa of Anhui is classified as Northern boxing, while the techniques of the Okinawan Wansu kata are clearly Southern in nature (Kinjo, 1999).

So, if Wansu was not Wang Ji, just who was he? This is as yet unknown. However, in the Okinawan martial arts, kata named after their originators are not uncommon. Some examples include Kusanku, Chatan Yara no Sai, and Tokumine no Kon. It is entirely possible that this kata was introduced by a Chinese martial artists named Wang. As the reader probably already knows, in the Chinese martial arts, it is common to refer to a teacher as Shifu (let. Teacher-father). Could not the name Wansu be an Okinawan mispronunciation of Wang Shifu (Kinjo, 1999)?

Other schools of thought are that Wu Xianhui (Jpn. Go Kenki, 1886-1940) or Tang Daiji (Jpn. To Daiki, 1888-1937), two Chinese martial artists who immigrated to Okinawa in the early part of the 20th Century, may be responsible for the introduction of the Wansu kata (Gima, et al, 1986). As a side note, Wu was a Whooping Crane boxer and Tang was known for his Tiger boxing. They were both from Fujian.

Shimabuku is believed to have added on several techniques to this kata, such as the side kicks, evasive body movement into double punches, and elbow smash as these are not found in any other version of Wansu known in Okinawa karate.

1. Gima S. and Fujiwara R. (1986) Taidan: Kindai Karatedo no Rekishi wo Kataru (Talks on the History of Modern Karatedo). Tokyo: Baseball Magazine.

2. Kinjo A. (1999) Karate-den Shinroku (The True Record of Karate's Transmission). Naha: Okinawa Tosho Center.

3. Sakagami R. (1978) Karatedo Kata Taikan (Encyclopedia of Karatedo Kata). Tokyo: Nichibosha.

#105091 - 08/29/03 10:44 AM Re: Wanshu meaning?
PETER Offline

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 239

It originated in the 17th century and was named for a Chinese master named Sappushi Wanshu, an emissary from China to the King of the Ryukyu Islands. Wanshu taught his style of Chinese Boxing, later called Tomari-Te, to the local Okinawans beginning in 1683. He was known colloquially as the "Birdman." The kata was passed from Takahara Peichin to "Tode" Sakugawa, then to Soken Matsumura, and finally to Chotoku Kyan. Chokun Makabe, a student of Sakugawa, is thought to have developed Wansu Kata as it is practiced today. Wansu is actually a White Crane/Black Tiger form stripped of the animal movements by the Okinawans. The original name of the form prior to its inception into Okinawan Karate is Hwang Ying Yang Pao.

Wansu translates as the "Dumping Form" because of the unique "fireman's carry" technique placed in the middle, the bunkai for which is usually interpreted as grabbing an attacker in the eyes and groin, and rotating 180 degrees in order to drive the opponent into the ground. Symbolically, Wansu means "Karate is my secret" because of the opening move in which the fight fist is covered by the open left hand and circled in front of the chest to form a reinforced block.

It is a forceful kata with moderate wave, Wansu poses the question of distance to the karateka. Initiative must be developed and a positive spirit accepted. Wansu teaches the karateka to recognize and seize an opportunity. This point is arrived at by understanding the distancing between opponents. Wansu includes a number of defensive moves through which the karateka will learn not only to block an attack, but also to evade an attack by side-stepping and then quickly counter-attacking. Bridging between stances is done fluidly, another tenet for which this kata is noted.

Thank You,

#105092 - 08/29/03 08:23 PM Re: Wanshu meaning?
joesixpack Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 2282
Loc: Australia
Didn't I sort of say that?!

It is one of my favourite kata. Peter has said it all basically. If you want to know more, go train on Okinawa or in Taiwan....

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