Shotokan

Shotokan Karate Kata

Kata
Heian Shodan

Kata

Embusen of Heian Shodan, Kata is often described as a set sequence of karate moves organized into a pre-arranged fight against imaginary opponents. The kata consists of kicks, punches, sweeps, strikes and blocks. Body movement in various kata includes stepping, twisting, turning, dropping to the ground, and jumping. In Shotokan, kata is not a performance or a demonstration, but is for individual karateka to practice full techniques—with every technique potentially a killing blow (ikken hisatsu)—while paying particular attention to form and timing (rhythm).

As the karateka grows older, more emphasis is placed on the health benefits of practicing kata, promoting fitness while keeping the body soft, supple, and agile.Several Shotokan groups have introduced kata from other styles into their training. The original Shotokan kata syllabus is introduced in Funakoshi's book Karate-do Kyohan, which is the Master Text of Shotokan karate.

Dai Nihon Karate-do Shotokai is the official representative of Shotokan karate. Japan Shotokai's kata syllabus is the same as established in "Karate-do Kyohan" added Gigo Funakoshi's staff kata Matsukaze No Kon. When the JKA was formed, Nakayama laid down 27 kata as the kata syllabus for this organization. Even today, thousands of Shotokan dojo only practice 26 of these 27 kata.

The standard SKIF (Shotokan Karate-do International Federation) kata are: Taikyoku shodan (sometimes termed Kata Kihon or Kihon Kata, discontinued in most of today's Shotokan dojos) (太極初段), Heian shodan (平安初段), Heian nidan (平安二段), Heian sandan (平安三段), Heian yondan (平安四段), Heian godan (平安五段), Bassai dai (披塞大), Jion (慈恩), Empi (燕飛), Kanku dai (観空大), Hangetsu (半月), Jitte (十手), Gankaku (岩鶴), Tekki shodan (鉄騎初段), Tekki nidan (鉄騎二段), Tekki sandan (鉄騎三段), Nijūshiho (二十四步), Chinte (珍手), Sōchin (壯鎭), Meikyō (明鏡), Unsu (雲手), Bassai shō (披塞小), Kankū shō (観空小), Wankan (王冠), Gojūshiho shō (五十四歩小), Gojūshiho dai (五十四歩大), and Ji'in (慈陰).

Heian Shodan

The word Heian is a mixture of the syllables for Heiwan and Antei - 'Peacefulness and Calmness'. The meaning of the Kata signifies a 'Peaceful Mind'. The original versions of the Kata were named Pinan however Funakoshi Sensei, during the creating of the style changed Chinese and Okinawan names to Japanese conveying his philosophical meanings. This is the 'first step' or Shodan, and required for the 9th Kyu grade(White belt).

Heian Nidan

Heian Nidan is the 'second step' of the five kata in the series. This is a Shitei Kata for the grade of 8th Kyu. (Yellow belt). It is also a mandatory kata (examiner's choice) for 1st Kyu(Last brown belt level) and Shodan (Black belt).

Heian Sandan

The 'third step' of the five kata in the series. This is a Shitei Kata for the grade of 7th Kyu. (Orange belt). It is also a mandatory kata (examiner's choice) for 1st Kyu(Last brown belt level) and Shodan (Black belt).

Heian Yondan

The 'fourth step' of the five kata in the series. This is a Shitei Kata for the grade of 6th Kyu. (Green belt). It is also a mandatory kata (examiner's choice) for 1st Kyu(Last brown belt level) and Shodan (Black belt).

Heian Godan

The 'fifth step' and final kata in the series. The karate-ka should now have developed enough basic ability within the techniques to be able to handle an average 'self defense' situation, hence the 'Peaceful mind'. This is a Shitei Kata for the grade of 5th Kyu. (Purple belt). It is also a mandatory kata (examiner's choice) for 1st Kyu(Last brown belt level) and Shodan (Black belt).

Tekki Shodan

The origins of this kata are Chinese. Known as Naihanchi in Okinawa. Funakoshi Sensei changed the name to Tekki signifying 'Iron Horseman' referring to the use of kibadachi to creating an 'iron' (strong) stance. The kata also develops the waist and torso area. This is a Shitei Kata for 4th & 3rd Kyu (brown belt) It is also a mandatory kata (examiner's choice) for 1st Kyu(Last brown belt level) and Shodan (Black belt).