The Chinese Sailor

Person: Chinto

The Chinese Sailor

Chintō (In Shotokan, Gankaku (岩鶴)) is an advanced kata practiced in many styles of Karate. According to legend, it is named after a Chinese sailor, sometimes referred to as Annan, whose ship crashed on the Okinawan coast. To survive, Chintō stole from the crops of the local people. Matsumura Sōkon, a Karate master and chief bodyguard to the Okinawan king, was sent to defeat Chintō. In the ensuing fight, however, Matsumura found himself equally matched by the stranger, and consequently sought to learn his techniques.

It is known that the kata Chintō was well known to the early Tomari-te and Shuri-te schools of Karate. Matsumura Sōkon was an early practitioner of the Shuri-te style. When Gichin Funakoshi brought Karate to Japan, he renamed Chintō (meaning approximately "fighter to the east") to Gankaku (meaning "crane on a rock"), possibly to avoid anti-Chinese sentiment of the time. He also modified the actual pattern of movement, or embusen, to a more linear layout, similar to the other Shotokan kata.

The kata is very dynamic, employing a diverse number of stances (including the uncommon crane stance), unusual strikes of rapidly varying height, and a rare one-footed pivot. Bunkai generally describes this kata as being useful on uneven, hilly terrain.

It is often said that Chintō should be performed while facing eastwards.

Sources: Wikipedia story of Chino