Murasaki

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Murasaki (“Purple”) is the kata we require earn a purple belt, which is on the high-end of intermediate. This form seems daunting to our students because it is longer and more technically-complex than anything they have encountered up to this point. Regardless of their level of natural talent, students must practice Murasaki for many months before they can begin to perform it well -- and in the process of doing so, they will be forced to look into themselves to find the reasons why they wanted to become a karateka.

Directions

[video of Murasaki, performed fast and slow, viewed from cameras at #1, 3, 7, 5. Be sure that you take up the whole frame. A lot of our old kata videos are from too far away, and it hides some detail. ]

Points of Harmony.png
  1. Jump. As you jump, pull your knees up to your chest, crossing your legs in midair, with your right leg on the inside. Simultaneously execute a rising X-block that it completes at the apex of your leap. Land in a horseback stance facing #1 with double downwardhammerfist strikes to #3 and #7.
  2. Rapidly execute a left rising block, right rising block, left punch and right punch.
  3. Quickly look to #7. Pull your left leg up into a right hook stance facing #1, with a right side guard.
  4. Invert your hook stance, and execute a right side kick.
  5. Upon rechambering, transition into an attention stance before sliding your right foot out to #7, entering a horseback stance with a right downward-fist block to #7.
  6. Repeat Movements 3-5.
  7. Twist into a right cat stance facing #7 with a left pressing block. Immediately step your left foot to #8, entering a left front stance facing #7 with a right four-fingered spearhand strike to the opponent’s throat.
  8. Quickly look over your right shoulder to #3. Right nami ashi, stepping into a horseback stance facing #5. Quickly execute an outside downward-fist block, a cross-body block, and a downward shutō block, all to #3.
  9. Draw your left leg up into a right hook stance facing #1, with a right side guard.
  10. Invert your hook stance, and execute a right side kick.
  11. Upon rechambering, transition into an attention stance before sliding your right foot out to #3, entering a horseback stance with a right downward-fist block.
  12. Quickly look over your right shoulder to #2. Step your right foot to #2, and slide back into a right cat stance facing #6, with a right rear elbow strike.
  13. Step your left foot to #3, twisting into a left front stance facing #2, with a left makkikomi-shutō, and a right tate-shutō to the opponent’s neck.
  14. Quickly look to #7. Twist into a left extended cat stance facing #7, with a right spear-hand guard.
  15. Right nami-ashi, with a left palmheel strike to the chest. Grab the opponent’s right lapel with your left hand.
  16. Step your right foot to #6; entering a right front stance with a right tate-tsuki, pulling your left hand into your right armpit.
  17. Slide your left foot to #8, reaching your left hand behind the opponent’s head. Enter a left front stance facing #7 with a right inside elbow strike. (This will make a satisfying clap.)
  18. Quickly look to #5, and execute a right nami ashi. Step your right foot to #3, entering a horseback stance facing #5 with a right outside shutō block.
  19. Rapidly execute a left outside shutō block, a left thumbknuckle block which you pull to your left hip, a left downward pressing block, and a left kakutō uchi. Finish with a right four-fingered spearhand strike to the opponent’s throat, pulling your left hand into your right armpit.
  20. Quickly look to #4. Step your right foot to #3, shifting into a right front stance facing #4 with a right downward-fist block.
  21. Step your right foot to #5, shifting into a left front stance facing #4, with a left cross-body block. Execute a reverse punch to the opponent’s abdomen.
  22. Reach your hands behind the opponent’s head and execute a right knee kick. (This will make a satisfying clap.)
  23. Slide your right foot out to #3, entering a right back stance facing #6, with a left shutō guard.
  24. Step your right foot to #5, entering a right front stance facing #6, with a right downward-fist block.
  25. Step your left foot to #7, entering a left front stance with a left makkikomi-shutō and a right tate-shutō to the opponent’s neck.
  26. Step your right foot to #7, entering a left hook stance. Twist into a right sanchin dachi facing #2, with a simultaneously left cross-body block and a right downward-fist block. Use ibuki breathing on this move.
  27. Step your left foot to #2, entering a left sanchin dachi facing #2, with a simultaneous right cross-body block and left downward-fist block. Use ibuki breathing on this move.
  28. Execute a two-hand lapel grab to #2. Pull the opponent into a right front kick.
  29. Upon rechambering, set your right foot back to #7, briefly entering a left front stance facing #2. Immediately pull the opponent into a right knee kick.
  30. Upon rechambering, set your right foot back to #7, briefly entering a left front stance facing #2. Then, turn into a horseback stance facing #1 with double downward hammerfist strikes to #3 and #7.
  31. Execute a kakiwake-uke (with shutō hands) to #1.
  32. Execute a two-hand lapel grab, and twist your palms up, to pulling the opponent in.
  33. Reach your left hand behind the opponent’s head. Execute a right inside crescent kick to #1, clapping your hand. Without rechambering, immediately side kick to #1.
  34. Upon rechambering, quickly look to #5. Set your right foot down into a transitional attention stance, then slide your right foot out to #3, entering a horseback stance facing #1 with double downward-fist blocks to #3 and #7.
  35. Jump. As you jump, pull your knees up to your chest, crossing your legs in midair, with your right leg on the inside. Simultaneously execute a rising X-block that it completes at the apex of your leap. Land in a horseback stance facing #1 with double downward-fist blocks to #3 and #7.
  36. Quickly look over your left shoulder to #1. Execute a right jump-spin inside crescent kick. Land in a horseback stance facing #1 with double downward hammerfist strikes to #3 and #7.
  37. Attention stance. Goshin-Jutsu bow.

Notes

When performing side kicks in Movements 3-6; 9-11, you must be sure to transition from a crane stance to an attention stance, and then slide your foot out to a horseback stance. Students tend to cut corners on this step, and step directly from a crane stance to a horseback stance. In doing so, they compromise their balance by transferring their weight onto a leg which does not contact the ground; a well-timed leg sweep will completely knock them off their feet, as shown below: [video of proper and improper technique, and a leg sweep on the bad one , from the side.]

Pay extra attention to Movements 18-19; for some reason, past students have had great difficulty remembering that series.

36 -- final kick help

Bunkai

1 avoid a bo swing at the legs.

Another opponent advances from #7. You throw a side kick to force them to retreat. (Movements 3-4) The opponent counterattacks with a left front kick, which you deflect (Movement 5). The series repeats (Movement 6), but this time the opponent counters with a right pursuit punch, which you deflect with a pressing block, to off-balance the opponent, before finishing them off with a spearhand to the throat.

Another opponent advances from #3, attacking with a left front kick, a front-foot punch, and a reverse punch, all of which you rapidly deflect (Movement 8). You throw a side kick to force them to retreat. (Movements 9-10) The opponent counterattacks with a left front kick, which you deflect (Movement 11). The opponent executes an outside 7-3 to gain a better position, but you counterattack with rear elbow strike (Movement 12), which stuns them long enough for you to spin around and break their neck with shutō strikes (Movement 13).

Another opponent advances from #3, and you assume an extended, spearhand guard, to lure them into attacking with a leg sweep (Movement 14). You immediate counter their leg sweep with a nami ashi, and strike them in the chest with a palmheel strike to stop their advance (Movement 15). Out of convenience, you grab the enemy’s left lapel with your extended left hand (Movement 15), to use reciprocal action to pull the opponent into a punch to their face (Movement 16), before crushing their jaw or temple with an inside elbow strike (Movement 17).

Another opponent advances from #3, with a left punch that you deflect (Movement 18). The opponent immediately counters with a right punch which you deflect and trap, pulling the opponent forward. The opponent tries to capitalize on the momentum with a left punch, which you deflect downward. You strike the opponent under the chin, knocking their head back to expose their throat for a spearhand strike (Movement 19).

Another opponent advances from #4, so you step around the opponent you just throat-stabbed, (so you don’t trip over their corpse) and clear them aside, so they don’t compromise your balance when they fall on top of you (Movement 20). The opponent attacks with a right punch, but you close in, block, and counterpunch to their abdomen (Movement 21). As the opponent doubles over, capitalize on their momentum to add extra power to a knee strike to their face (Movement 22).

Another opponent advances from #6, and you assume a shutō guard in anticipation (Movement 23). The opponent attacks with a front kick, but you block (Movement 24), and counter with neck-breaking shutō strikes (Movement 25).

A frenzied, enraged opponent advances from #2, attacking with a flurry of attacks. You throw multiple blocks use ibuki breathing as an “iron shirt” defense in an attempt to cope with the onslaught (Movements 26-27). By throwing many techniques, the opponent gradually loses control of their balance, and when an opening presents itself, grab the opponent by the lapels, and pull them into a front kick to the groin (Movement 28). When they double over from the kick, capitalize on their momentum by pulling them into a knee to their face (Movement 29).

Another attacker advances from #1, and you clear the previous opponent aside, so they don’t compromise your balance when they fall on top of you (Movement 30). The new opponent attacks with a front choke, which you break out of (Movement 31). Grabbing the opponent by the lapels, you pull them in (Movement 32), and reach behind their head, pulling them into an inside crescent kick to the jaw or temple, then immediately side kick them in the chest to push them away, so they don’t compromise your balance when they fall on top of you (Movement 33). You turn to #5, to see if anyone else is trying to sneak up on you (Movement 34). While there are no new attackers, the one you just kicked is quite tough, and picking the first opponent’s bō off of the ground, thy swing it at your legs. However, you jump evade this attack (Movement 35), and knock the opponent out with a jump-spin inside crescent kick to their jaw or temple (Movement 36). Upon landing, the kata ends (Movement 37).