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Gekisai Dai kata history

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The two forms Geki Sai dai ichi Gekisai dai ichi and geki sai dai ni Gekisai dai ni were introduced by Chujun Miyagi as training kata into the Goju Ryu curriculum in 1940 for school children and adolescents.

The preservation and promotion of Okinawan Karate had been a concern to many senior karate masters for some years and led to a number of initiatives in the 1930's. One such being the 'Okinawan Prefectual Karate Do Promotion Society' founded in 1937, by Chosihin Chibana, Shimpan Gushukuma, Chomo Hanashiro, Chotoku Kyan, Jyuhatsu Kyoda, Choryu Maeshiro, Chojun Miyagi, Genwa Nakasone and Kentsu Yabu, prior to the second world war 1938-1945.

This desire to promote Karate resulted in the development of the Hookiyu Kata meaning 'Unified Forms' at the official request of Gen Hayakawa the governer of Okinawa. With Soshin Nagamine and Chojun Miyagi creating the Fukyu Kata or examination forms. Sochin Nagamine of Matsubyashi Shorin Ryu created the form Fukyu Kata Ichi and Chujun Miyagi created Fukyu Kata Ni. Miyagi adopted Fukyu Kata Ni as Gekisai Dai Ichi and went on to develop Gekisai Dai Ni with its Naha Te influence.

The component kanji geki Geki means to fight, attack or strike whilst sai Sai means to smash or break. geki sai Gekisai translates as 'to Pulverize', though the kata is commonly transliterated as ' to Attack and Smash'. The name reflects the period in history when they were created i.e. WW2 and its inference was 'attack and smash the enemy', i.e. the American soldiers. The original upper punch taught was higher than head height, reflecting the height difference between the Okinawans and the Americans. In post war years many Goju schools have changed the opening punches to standard upper and middle punches.

dia Dai is a prefix to a numerical counter, with ichi Ichi as one and ni Ni as two, this gives us dia ichi 'No.1', and dia ni 'No.2'. In this context it is not the kanji Dai/Tai that can also read as Dai meaning big or great.


Jeffrey's Japanese<->English Dictionary Server, kanji used on this page are reproduced from this first class site. See links for site address.

Sodokan Goju Karate Association
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Mike Clark 1997-2005. Reproduction of material on this site is not permitted