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Shotokan Karate Academy

Gankaku (Chinto)

This kata's name is composed of two kanji (岩鶴). The first is “Rock”, and the second is “Crane”. The common interpretation is a “Crane standing upon a rock”.


This kata is supposed to be related to the kata “Chinto” practiced in many systems of Shorei-Ryu on Okinawa. There are two different “Chinto” kata that we can identify in Okinawan karate system. One Chinto kata is the Shotokan “Gankaku” kata, and the other is reminiscent of Gankaku, but not really. The two kata are obviously different versions of one another. Hirokazu Kanazawa has learned and begun teaching the other version of Chinto under the name “Gankaku-Sho”.


The author of this kata and the date of origin of the kata is unknown but it was proven that it was taught by master Mastsumora and practiced by Shotokan and Shito-Ryu. The original name of the kata was "Chinto" which means “Battle East”. Funakoshi successfully changed the name to “Gankaku” not only to present a Japanese language name, but also to remove the connotations of war and battle that the name ”Chinto” carries. He also modified the actual pattern of movement (Embusen), to a more linear layout, similar to the other Shotokan kata.


"Gankaku" is an interesting kata composed of techniques unique to it. In Shotokan Karate, there are not many kata in which you are expected to balance upon one leg, but “Gankaku” requires this action throughout. Another interesting feature is the use of side snap kicks after the one legged posture. The opening technique of “Gankaku” implies blocking with both hands, either grabbing or merely pressing the incoming technique away. The double level kick of “Kanku-Dai” is in “Gankaku”, but in mirror image. The right leg is the first off of the floor rather than the left. Practice of “Gankaku” could perhaps be viewed a balancing action for this technique in “Kanku Dai”, but its importance is much more than that.


Today, Chintō is practiced in Wado-ryū, Shūkōkai, Isshin-ryū, Chitō-ryū, Shōrin-ryū, Shitō-ryū, Shotokan, Gensei-ryū, Matsubayashi-ryū and Yōshūkai.



  • “Chinto” was the old name of “Gankaku”

  • “Chinto” means: “Battle East”.

  • “Gankaku” composed of two kanji (岩鶴)

    • The first is “Rock”

    • The second is “Crane”.

       The common interpretation is a “Crane standing upon a rock”.

  • Creator and date of origin is unknown but it was proven that it was taught by master Mastsumora and practiced by Shotokan and Shito-Ryu

  • Level : Advanced

  • Gankaku root: "Shuri-te" school of kata in Okinawa

Gankaku (岩鶴)

Embusen of Gankaku
Number of movements : 37 
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