KANKU SHO - Looking to the Sky
The second of the two katas in the Kanku series Kanku Sho should not be attempted until a student has thoroughly familiarized themselves with all aspects of Kanku Dai. This kata introduces several new techniques, such as a snapping combination chudan-oi-zuki-maeude-hineri (middle level snapping lunge punch), jodan-tate-mawashi-shuto-uchi (upper level vertical roundhouse strike), and naname-shita-ni-oshinobasu (double downward oblique push). One of the primary differences between Kanku Sho and Kanku Dai is that in Kanku Dai the counter attacks are at jodan level (upper level) where as in Kanku Sho the counter attacks tend to be mainly at chudan level (middle level). The term "Sho" means "lesser" and refers to the length and strength of this kata.
This kata contains 47 movements and should take the student approximately 60 seconds to complete. The correct performance of this kata is required in order to advance in rank from Sho Dan (1st Dan) to Ni Dan (2nd Dan). In addition to performing the kata, the student must also demonstrate appropriate bunkai for this kata as a requirement for advancement.
There are two kiai points in Kanku Sho. The first one occurs on the naname-shita-ni-oshinobasu (double downward oblique push). The second one occurs on the very last movement of the kata a chudan-oi-zuki (middle level lunge punch).
To return to a ready position after the last movement of the kata leave your right foot in place and withdraw your left foot so as to stand up once again facing forward in hachiji-dachi (natural stance). You must now formally end the kata. You do this by bringing your left foot half way in towards your right foot and your right foot half way in towards your left foot so that you are now standing with your feet together. At the same time as you bring your feet together also bring your hands to your sides so you are again standing in heisoku-dachi (attention stance). Now rei (bow). After bowing, step out with your left foot and then your right foot and once again stand in hachiji-dachi (natural stance) while at the same time bringing your hands from your sides and hold them in a ready position in front of you with your fists closed.