This page provides videos of the 26 Shotokan Karate katas. To master these Katas, you will also have to learn basic stances, Ki breathing, kicks, blocks and punches. Please use the demonstration videos in order to see what the Kata should look like at full speed and the instructional video in order to learn the individual elements involved in the Kata.
Created relatively recently, the Heians were originally called Pinan from the Okinawan pronunciation of the Chinese word for safety. When introduced to Japan, Master Funakoshi opted to use the Japanese pronunciation Heian. Considered basic kata for beginning students.
- 平安初段 Heian Shodan – (peaceful mind, first level) image link
- 平安二段 Heian Nidan – (peaceful mind, second level) image link
- 平安三段 Heian Sandan – (peaceful mind, third level) image link
- 平安四段 Heian Yondan – (peaceful mind, fourth level) image link
- 平安五段 Heian Godan – (peaceful mind, fifth level) image link
Originally known in Okinawa as Naihanchi, the katas were renamed by Master Funakoshi upon its introduction to Japan to reflect the strength exhibited with kiba-dachi. Rich in fighting techniques, the Tekki family offers a plethora of close combat techniques.
- 鉄騎初段 Tekki Shodan – (iron horse riding, first level) image link
- 鉄騎弐段 Tekki Nidan – (iron horse riding, second level) image link
- 鉄騎参段 Tekki Sandan – (iron horse riding, third level) image link
- Bassai Dai (to penetrate a fortress – big) image link
The strong techniques of this kata emphasize hip movement. Some resemble a battering ram being used against fortress walls.
- Bassai Sho (to penetrate a fortress – small) image link
This kata was derived from Bassai-Dai. It has a similar performance line.
- Kanku Dai (to view the sky – big) image link
Most of the elements of the Heian Kata were derived from this kata. The first movement in this kata views the sky, which symbolizes the universe and shows your opponent that you are unarmed. It was Master Funakoshi’s preferred kata.
- Kanku Sho (to view the sky – small) image link
Kanku Sho was created from Kanku Dai. The movements and performance line are similar.
- Hangetsu (half moon) image link
This kata received its name from its principal stance, hangetsu dachi (half moon stance).
- Gojushi Ho Dai (fifty four steps – big) image link
This kata is one of the most advance kata of Shotokan. Master Funakoshi called it hotaku (knocking of a woodpecker) because some of the techniques resemble a woodpecker tapping its beak against a tree.
- Gojushi Ho Sho (fifty four steps – small) image link
This is a smaller version of Goju Shi Ho Dai. It is also one of the most advanced kata of Shotokan.
- Enpi (flying swallow) image link
The quick up and down movements of this kata are reminiscent of a fling swallow. Enpi is one of the oldest kata in Shotokan. Its former name was Wanshu.
- Jion (love and goodness) image link
Jion is a term in Buddhism. It is also the name of a temple in China. It uses basic stances and techniques. It is one of the most traditional kata in Shotokan.
- Jiin (love and shadow) image link
Jiin is another term in Buddhism. It has similar techniques and performance line as Jion.
- Jitte (ten hands) image link
The goal of this kata is to teach a student to fight against ten opponents. This is a strong kata, similar to jion and Jiin.
- Meikyo (bright mirror) image link
The first movements of this kata suggest the smoothing of water to make it as calm and even as a mirror. The triangle jump at the end of this kata is said to have a secret meaning portending to a miracle.
- Niju shi ho (twenty-four steps) image link
The movements in this kata resemble waves breaking on a cliff. The former name of this kata was ni sei shi.
- Wankan (king and crown) image link
Wankan is the shortest kata in Shotokan.
- Gankaku (crane on a rock) image link
The main stance in this kata (tsuruashi dachi) resembles a crane ready to strike at its prey. The movements are supposed to simulate a fight in the narrow alleyways of Okinawa. The former name of this kata was Chinto.
- Sochin (strength and calm) image link
The name of this kata comes from its stance (sochin dachi), a strong, rooted stance. The purpose of this kata is to teach defense against a stick. Its former name was Hakko.
- Chinte (rare hand) image link
Chinte has a lot of circular and roundhouse techniques. These are rare and are not typical of the shortest distance between two points concept of Shotokan.
- Unsu (cloud hands) image link
Unsu has several techniques that symbolize parting the clouds with open hands. It is also one of the most advanced kata of Shotokan.