This kata is said by many to have been brought to Okinawa by the 1683 Sappushi Wang Ji (in Japanese, Oshu, 1621-1689). It is possible that it is based upon or inspired by techniques that may have been taught by Wang Ji.
The problem with this theory is that why would such a high ranked government official teach his martial arts (assuming he even knew any) to the lowly Okinawans? Al-so, Wang Ji was only in Okinawa for 6 months, hardly time enough to make expert stu-dents of his “style” (Sakagami, 1978).
Want Ji was originally from Xiuning in Anhui, and was an official for the Han Lin Yuan, an important government post akin to personal Aide (Kinjo, 1999). In order to become an official for the Han Lin Yuan, one had to be a high level scholar, and pass se-veral national tests (Kinjo, 1999). Just preparing for such a task would all but rule out the practice of martial arts to such a degree as to master them. However, assuming that Wang Ji was familiar with the martial arts, the Quanfa (Chuan Fa) of Anhui is classified as Northern ancient boxing, while the techniques of the Okinawan Wansu kata are clearly Southern in nature (Kinjo, 1999).
This kata could be named after someone who was called by his followers, “Wan-su”. So, if Wansu was not Wan Ji, just who was this great Master? This is as yet un-known. However, in the Okinawan martial arts, kata named after their originators are not uncommon. Some examples include Kusanku, Chatan Yara no Sai, and Tokumine no Kun (bo). It is entirely possible that this kata was introduced by a Chinese martial artist named Wang. As you may know from my talking about Pai Lum Kung Fu (my style), in the Chinese martial arts, it is common to refer to a teacher as Shifu or Sifu (the letters stand for Teacher-father). Could not the name Wansu be an Okinawan mispronunciation of Wang Shifu (Kinjo, 1999)?
Other schools of thought are that Wu Xianhui (in Japanese, Go Kenki, 1886-1940) or Tang Daiji (in Japanese, To Daiki, 1888-1937), two Chinese martial artists who immigrated to Okinawa in the early part of the 20th Century, may be responsible for the introduction of the Wansu kata (Gima, et al, 1986). As a side note, Wu was a Whooping Cran Kung Fu practitioner, and Tang was known for his Tiger Kung Fu. They were both from Fujian.
Simabuku Tatsuo Sensei is believed to have added on several techniques to this kata, such as the side kicks, the evasive body movement in kagi dachi with punch to the side and elbow smash before the ending front-side kicks, as these are not found in anyone else's version of Wansu known in any Okinawan karate, nor in any of the Chinese kata resembling Wansu before its popularity in Okinawa.
1. Bow in as in Naihanchi (announce kata then open)
2. As you raise yoi-hands, assume long Seiuchin stance across kata line, right fist in left palm at heart
3. Look left, Gedan Barai left, Seiken Tsuki right across body to left
4. Advance left foot into Hidari Seisan
5. Gedan Barai left front, Seiken Tsuki right front
6. Advance, right Seisan, right Shuto Uke
7. Same stance, Nukite left to throat while right hand covers left ear
8. Step left behind right into Kagi Dachi and Seiken Tsuki to front of kata line (from side of your body)
9. Pivot on right foot while left foot comes into Left Seisan facing rear kata line
10 Repeat 5
11 Repeat 6
12 Repeat 7
13 Repeat 8
14 Repeat 9, facing front of kata line
15 In Left Seisan, Age Uke
16 Simultaneous right Mae Geri and augmented upper cut right, Kiai
17 Come down from geri into right Goju with Chinese blocks
18 Chamber back, then chamber front while grabbing opponent for Kata Garuma
19 Raising right leg up and pivoting into left Seiuchin, dump opponent
20 Look over left shoulder, pivot on right foot
21 Come into left Seisan facing right side of kata line, do left Shuto Uke
22 Perform right Hiza Geri
23 As foot returns, Seiken Tsuki right
24 Look over right shoulder, pivot into 180 degree turn to right Seisan
25 Do right Shuto Uke
26 Perform left Hiza Geri
27 As foot returns, Seiken Tsuki left
28 Right foot joins left with fists on hips at attention to front of kata line
29 Look 45 degrees to right front of kata line, step wide right, Seiken Tsuki left, Seiken Tsuki right
30 Look 45 degrees to left front of kata line, stelp over body, Seiken Tsuki right, Seiken Tsuki left
31 Feet together, Yoko Geri to left of kata line
32 Yoko Geri to right of kata line
33 Kamae in left Seisan
34 Advance to right Seisan and right Empi Uchi to left hand
35 Spin around into left Neko Ashi Dachi facing rear
36 Shoba geri left to front
37 Reverse to front of kata line in right Neko Ashi Dachi
38 Shoba Geri right to front
39 As leg falls into right Zenkutsu, perform double Gedan Shuto Uke, Kiai
40 In same stance perform right Wing Chun block
41 Draw right foot back to left foot in Musubi Dachi