The next kata for our Saturday classes is Wankan (王冠). Wankan literally means “king’s crown.” The second character in the name can also mean a “great achievement,” suggesting that this kata could be the crowning achievement of someone who has practiced for many years. We don’t see this kata practiced often, so the coming month will be a good chance to explore it.
The kata is not as long as, nor does it feature the abundance of intricate or unusual techniques we have in some other advanced kata. In some respects it’s a return to fundamentals. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less challenging. The kata’s simplicity puts the focus on flawless balance, nimble yet powerful movement, and intense spirit.
You can see good examples of Wankan performed by Tanaka Sensei here and by Enoeda Sensei here.
Wankan is an advanced black belt kata, but we encourage students of all grades to come to the Saturday kata classes. Even if you won’t practice advanced kata regularly yet, it’s great to begin to learn how techniques can be combined, and the practice in applying techniques is indispensable.
See you Saturday!
At SVSK our Saturday morning kata classes focus on one kata at a time. We typically spend four Saturdays on each kata:
Week 1: Overview/review of the kata
Week 2: Fine points of the techniques and the kata
Week 3: Hands-on practice to understand applications (bunkai)
Week 4: Variations in the kata