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Journyman74
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Joined: 24 Jun 2019
Posts: 15

Styles: KARATE

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:26 pm    Post subject: beginning move of Kanku dai (hand triangle) occult symbol? Reply with quote

I know this question is out of left field, but I'll put it out there anyways..

As an experienced Karate practitioner, who has trained with different teachers, I often wondered what the significance of the hand triangle of the kata symbolizes. I've always found the particular part odd as compared to the rest of the traditional katas. Ive read that it translates to "looking at the sky" - other teachers have told me it also means to push somone back or another example is to harvest energy from the sun. With all the symbolism in todays society, Ive hoped that its not related to any of occult practices that you see egyptian sun worshippers or some other hidden meaning... Anyone have any thoughts on this?


Last edited by Journyman74 on Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:01 am; edited 2 times in total
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Bulltahr
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Joined: 08 Mar 2015
Posts: 726
Location: NEW ZEALAND
Styles: Shotokan, Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say it's all in your intent, any action, if it's goal is to celebrate or connect with occult or any other "power", well then that's it's goal, only if you have that intent, after all people pray to many things and deities, not just the christian god. If the heart is true then there is no issue in my opinion. I don't think there is such a thing as accidentally praying....
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Last edited by Bulltahr on Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6443
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not Karate but we have a similar position in Taekwon-Do which appears in Kwang Gae and several other patterns. We call it hanulson - heaven hand: https://youtu.be/I4t9ibw3ABM?t=5 For us it is just a posture, looking to the heavens. Not occult and I certainly wouldn't have thought so for a traditional Okinawan kata.
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JR 137
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2442
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original name of the kata is Kusanku or Kushanku depending on pronunciation. Named after the originator of the kata, I believe. Funakoshi renamed it to japan-ize it like he did with many kata such as Naihanchi became Tekki.

Drawing conclusions based on the name would be incorrect because it has been renamed. As Bulltahr was saying, prayer is all about intent; there is no accidental worship nor showing respect for a deity IMO. If you feel that the intent of the movement goes against your beliefs, that’s something you should take up with your instructor if you have one. If you don’t have one, you can change/eliminate it without having to answer to anyone. You shouldn’t be forced to do anything that goes against your beliefs.

Any symbolism is what we make of it. People say bowing to shinzen and the like are religious things. Perhaps it comes from there, but I view it simply as a show of respect; no different than any other acknowledgement of someone or something. But that’s my opinion and I don’t believe I’m unintentionally worshiping anyone nor anything. Everyone is entitled to agree and disagree with my belief at their own discretion.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1876

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karate was developed and intended as a martial art. It’s purpose and application absolutely do not or have they every been any sort of religious, esoteric or occult practice.

What has happened is that over the generations of instructors, each one integrated the karate they taught with their own views reflecting their philosophy or whatever beliefs they held. That’s just human nature and the same thing can be seen in other martial arts. It isn’t specific to karate and continues to this day.

As far as kata is concerned, there are no actions that are without applications to self-defense. Nothing is merely symbolic or for meaningless posturing. It’s all supposed to fit together. Each and every move is meant to either create and opening or a counterattack against and a single attacker directly in front.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29324
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good posts here that I agree with. I've never heard of any kind of religious or occult properties being associated with any of the starting positions of forms.
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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is an interesting concept that most of the time, these moves that don’t seem to make any sense can be understood by carefully analyzing and studying what is done before or after. Oftentimes what is seen and demonstrated in the kata is the “ending position” or “beginning position” of a technique. “kanku” is Funakoshi’s rendering and renaming of the original Okinawan kata “Kusanku” or “Kushanku“. The original kata is said to have been named after a Chinese boxing expert whose name was Kwang Shang Fu. Other sources say this was the mans title and that he was an official sent to Ryukyu from Imperial China. The kata was supposedly a synthesis of what this Chinese instructor passed on to Okinawan martial arts experts during his time of business in the RyuKyu kingdom.

There are many possible explanations for the initial move in the kata. One of the most common is that it is breaking a two handed shoulder grab and preparing to catch a kick and take the attacker down for a finishing move. It might be useful to comparatively study shotokan’s “kanku” with the shorin ryu renderings called “kusanku dai”. There are many bunkai videos to compare with on YouTube and also kata bunkai DVDs. The best way to get a good idea, is still whenever possible to directly ask a knowledgeable instructor. There will certainly be surprises and the answer is much more simple than any esoteric, obscure or occult meaning.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I don't entertain ideas as to what this is or what that is within any Kata because the various Bunkai's vary as the direction of the wind might style to style and practitioner to practitioners.

As far as it having a possible cult symbol...that too is up to each individuals interpretation; perception can become a person's reality.



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ChpsahoySE
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Joined: 14 Oct 2020
Posts: 15

Styles: Shorin Ryu TKD Shotokan Jujitsu Muay Thai

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic needs more attention as Ive heard this hand symbol has some pretty odd connections outside of Karate. does Karate have any hidden dark ties in the past?
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Wastelander
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Joined: 18 Oct 2010
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChpsahoySE wrote:
This topic needs more attention as Ive heard this hand symbol has some pretty odd connections outside of Karate. does Karate have any hidden dark ties in the past?


The triangular shape is the result of making a wedge shape with your hands/arms. That's it. Some styles like to attribute poetic meanings to "unusual" movements or postures in kata, and this one is frequently related to "looking to the sky," or "scanning the heavens," but those are relatively new interpretations.

Karate doesn't have any more "hidden dark ties" than any other martial art that was developed for self-defense and law enforcement--that is to say, just the "hidden dark ties" that specific practitioners might have as individuals. A good number of Kyokushin practitioners, for example, were known Yakuza, but it makes sense that a rough-and-tumble fighting style will attract such people to it.
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