When I was studying my underbelt katas I could always refer to Master Jhoon Rhee's books covering the kata. Those books are no substitute for learning how to perform the kata with my sensei, but provide a decent reference if I loose my place or get confused over the order of techniques.

Now, I'm learning my first black belt level kata: Bassai. The art I'm learning uses TKD katas for 10-1st kyu katas, but switches to pulling from another discipline for the dan katas. I've gone through the kata several times with Sensei, but still finding myself getting confused over the order of techniques from time to time. When I'm in class, I can always get corrected but outside of class I'm relying on faulty memory. I just want to make sure I'm reinforcing the proper form rather than incorrect form.

  • What style/art are you practising? Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 14:04
  • It really doesn't have a formal name. All I can say is that it grew up in Korea about the same time as TKD, but it incorporates jujitsu, and Okinawan go ju ryu as well. It came to the US from my sensei's sensei during the Korean war. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 14:27
  • IN that case you may not get anything... I would suggest making written notes and/or take a video of you and your sensei doing the kata. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 14:40
  • I believe the dan katas are taken from Tang Soo Do: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyeong#Tang_Soo_Do_hyeong Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 14:51
  • I'm thinking video will help. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


I am going to take a bit of a stab in the dark on this based on passai (披塞) being an older form with multiple interpretations and variations, and I don't know which one specifically your group is using. Hopefully you will find it helpful.

The book The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do contains illustrations of multiple kata, including one that it refers to as passai. They do not provide the pages containing it as part of the amazon preview, so it may be a little difficult to confirm that it is the same thing, but it may be close to what you are asking for.

There is also what looks like an independently published book, Perfect Learning Karate Kata For Athletes: Bassai dai, which states:

This book illustrates a kata named “Bassai Dai” by three methods. Front Section: Sequential pictures demonstrate the views in front of the kata performer: You can see stance, the name of stance, and the direction of movement. 4 Angle Section: Sequential pictures taken from four different angles around the kata performer: You can see the detail of each movement of the kata. Count Section: List of count (static) pictures. You can use this section when you do review for the kata.

Hopefully one of those two is close to what you are looking for.

  • I'll have to find a copy of these books to make sure it's the same kata--but it looks promising. Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 14:52
  • The second book looks as though it goes over the kata I learned. The execution of some of the techniques looks different, but that is likely the difference between shotakon and tang soo do approaches to the kata. The main reason for having a book is in case I have another layoff, I need to jog my memory. Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 16:50

The best thing to do?


Practice the form normally. Practice it backwards. Explain it to someone. Write it down. Start from the middle. Do the mirror image (instead of left foot, move with the right foot, etc).

When you've done ALL of these, the form should be pretty set in your head.

Oh... Right after class, TAKE NOTES.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.