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This form is a traditional taekwondo form, meaning it pre-dates contemporary forms (such as those used by the ITF, ATA, and WTF). In other words, this is a form used during the 1950s within the Nine Kwans that eventually came together to form taekwondo.

  • Older forms such as this one were often based on forms from other martial arts.
  • The details and names of these older forms tend to vary more widely from school to school as well.

The version shown here is just one version; the reader should recognize that there will be variations among schools.

Wan Shu (Wanshū ワンシュー, also 腕秀 and 汪輯) is the name of several katas in many systems of karate, including Isshin-Ryu, Shotokan (under the name empi), Wadō-ryū, and others.

The name Wanshū (腕秀) in Mandarin means "Excellent Wrist" and refers to a typical technique of this form. The other way of writing the name of this kata (汪輯) means "Wang's Series (or Form)" and refers to the name of the diplomat Wang (1621 – 1689), A. Wang was the leader of a large ambassadorial mission from China sent by the Qing government in 1683 to the village of Tomari. A poet, calligrapher, diplomat, and martial artist in the Shaolin tradition of Fujian White Crane, he is often credited with teaching chu'an fa to the gentry of Tomari.

The Wanshū kata was either a creation of Wang's, or composed by his students and named in tribute to him. Regardless, many karate traditions include a kata bearing the name of Wanshū or a variant (Ansu, Anshu) which vary in schematics but carry certain distinctive similarities. One translation of the word "Wanshū" is "dumping form," "dragon boy dumping form" (in Shuri-ryū), and "Strong Arm Form" for the dramatic grab-and-throw technique seen in most versions. Also Shimabuku Tatsuo is credited for being the dragon boy (though Tatsuo means "dragon man").

The two main versions are Matsumura-Wanshū and Itosu-Wanshū, Itosu most likely having learned it from his teacher, Gusukuma of Tomari. Wanshū, while still bearing this name in certain karate styles, was renamed Empi by Gichin Funakoshi for use in Shotokan. This kata is also practiced in various Korean styles such as Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do and depending of the organization is called Wangshū, Wang Shu, or Yun Bi in Korean. Due to its difficulty, this kata is often reserved for advanced students.

Video Edit

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Kata EMPI - by Luca Valdesi (2012)01:42

Kata EMPI - by Luca Valdesi (2012)


Diagram Edit

This diagram is copyright John B. Correljé and is used with permission. Terms and conditions are available at http://sites.google.com/site/tangsoodochonkyong

Wang-shu


Written Instructions Edit

See: http://www.trinityshotokan.com/documents/empi.html

See Also Edit

Many of the forms often used in Traditional Taekwondo are included in the following table. In developing his Moo Duk Kwan curriculum, Hwang Kee assigned symbols, listed below, to many of the forms.

Family / Origin Forms
Basic beginner forms developed by Hwang Kee in 1947.

Kicho Hyeong Il Bu
Kicho Hyeong Ee Bu
Kicho Hyeong Sam Bu

Later variants of the beginner forms, developed by the World Tang Soo Do Association; these emphasize earlier training in kicking.

Sae Kye Hyeong Il Bu
Sae Kye Hyeong Ee Bu
Sae Kye Hyeong Sam Bu

Pyung Ahn forms, also called Pinan and Heian forms. From Shotokan Karate, developed approx. 1870 as beginner forms. Symbol: The Tortoise

Pyung Ahn Cho-Dan
Pyung Ahn Ee-Dan
Pyung Ahn Sam-Dan
Pyung Ahn Sa-Dan
Pyung Ahn Oh-Dan

Naihanchi forms, from Shotokan Karate. Also called Chul-Gi, Keema, and Tekki. Symbol: The Horse

Naihanchi Cho-Dan
Naihanchi Ee-Dan
Naihanchi Sam-Dan

Bassai forms, Escaping the Fortress, also called Pal-Sek. Adapted into Shotokan Karate but originally from Kung Fu. Symbol: The Cobra

Bassai Sho
Bassai Dai (or simply Bassai)

Adapted from Shotokan Karate. Symbol: The Crane

Jin Do
Rohai (also called Lohai or Meikyo)

From the karate form Kūsankū. Symbol: The Eagle Kong-Sang-Koon
From the karate form Enpi. Symbol: The Bird Wang Shu (also called Empi)
From the karate form Seisan. Symbol: The Preying Mantis Sei-Shan
Ji-On forms, adapted from Shotokan Karate.

Ji-On, Symbol: The Ram
Jit-te (also called Ship Soo), Symbol: The Bear

From the karate form Gojūshiho. Symbol: The Tiger

O Sip Sa Bo (also called Gojūshiho)
E Sip Sa Bo (also called Nijūshiho)

Adapted by Hwang Kee from Kung Fu and T'ai Chi.

So Rim Jang Kwon
Hwa Sun
Tae Kuk Kwan

Chil Sung, the Seven Stars developed by Hwang Kee in approx. 1952

Chil Sung Il Ro
Chil Sung Ee Ro
Chil Sung Sam Ro
Chil Sung Sa Ro
Chil Sung Oh Ro
Chil Sung Yook Ro
Chil Sung Chil Ro

Yook Ro, the Six-Fold Path developed by Hwang Kee in approx. 1958, inspired by the Muye Dobo Tongji.

Yook Ro Cho Dan - Du Mun
Yook Ro Ee Dan - Joong Jol
Yook Ro Sam Dan - Po Wol
Yook Ro Sam Dan - Yang Pyun
Yook Ro Oh Dan - Sal Chu
Yook Ro Yook Dan - Choong Ro

See Taekwondo Forms for additional information.

References Edit

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