The history of Ananku
is comparatively short, and the composer is unknown. (1) Chotoku Kyan
either learned the kata form a Taiwanese who visited Okinawa, or brought
it back with him following a journey to Taiwan. The term ko or ku may
mean elder and that this form may refer to an elder or teacher of Kyan
named Anan. It is interesting that practitioners from different schools
can use the same kata,and even claim the same origination of the form,
yet the movements and performance are virtually unrecognizable. we know
Ananku genealogically comes from Chotoku Kyan, yet the Matsubayashi-shorin-ryu
version is unique compared to other versions with the same name.
Ananku distinguishes itself by developing offensive and defensive skill
using the forward stance. Ananku is the only kata in the Matsubayashi
Shorin-ryu kata curriculum where the practitioner moves back to block
in the forward stance.
Moreover, the practitioner becomes vulnerable to attack from the opponent.
Practitioners of other styles of Karate, particularly the Japanese styles
likes Shotokan, learn this skill early in their kata curriculum. In
Okinawan Shorin-ryu styles, however, variations of the natural stance
are far more commonly used. Therefore, practitioners of Shorin-ryu styles
tend to learn to move forward in the natural stance, and from a natural
stance to a front stance and vice-versa.