Showing Tag: "kata" (Show all posts)

Keinosuke Enoeda - Unsu

Posted by on Friday, July 27, 2018, In : Photography 


Keinosuke Enoeda, former Chief Instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain, performing the kata unsu. 

Image Source: kenseis-shogyu.blogspot.com


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Jumping Spinning Back Kick - Unsu

Posted by on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, In : Photography 

Mikazuki geri (crescent kick) flowing into sempu geri (jumping whirlwind kick) and ending with fuse no shisei (going to ground position) from the kata Unsu.


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Gichin Funakoshi - Gankaku

Posted by on Monday, January 15, 2018, In : Photography 



Sensei Gichin Funakoshi performing the characteristic crane-like technique from the kata Gankaku.

Source:  helldragon.eu

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Luca Valdesi Unsu Gif

Posted by on Wednesday, August 19, 2015, In : Gifs 


Luca Valdesi (Taken from Unsu)

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Tekki Shodan - Gichin Funakoshi

Posted by on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, In : Photography 

Still photos of Gichin Funakoshi taken while performing Tekki Shodan.

More photos of Sensei Funakoshi performing Tekki Shodan
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The History of Kihon Kata

Posted by on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, In : Video 

An instructional video of kihon kata by Sensei Masao Kawasoe.

Kihon (basic form) is the most elementary of all the shotokan kata. Invented by Sensei Gichin Funakoshi as an easy introduction to kata and karate itself, it is made up of only two moves, gedan bari (lower block) and oi tsuki (lunge punch). Kihon kata, also known as Taikyoku Shodan, is a part of a set of basic kata that Funakoshi introduced, though in shotokan only the first is now taught and even that has now disappeared from the...
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Heian Sandan - Gichin Funakoshi

Posted by on Friday, May 1, 2015, In : Photography 

Still photos of Gichin Funakoshi taken while performing Heian Sandan.

More kata photos
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The History of the Heian Kata

Posted by on Friday, January 30, 2015, In : Video 


The Heian (peaceful mind) kata are derived from the older Okinawan Pinan kata (which also means peaceful or calm mind). Sensei Gichin Funakoshi changed the name of these and many other Shotokan kata when he took karate to Japan in the early 1920s in a bid to make them more accessible to a Japanese consumer base. An interesting karate history fact is that the kata we know today as Heian Nidan was originally the first of the Heian kata until in the 1930s, Funakoshi switched Nidan with Shodan. ...
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The History of the Tekki Kata

Posted by on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, In : Video 
The Tekki (Iron Horse) kata originally came from the Okinawan style of karate known as Shuri-te and were derived from one longer form called Naihanchi (Internal Divided Conflict) that was revised and split into three through  Anko Itosu’s teachings.


Gichin Funakoshi performing Tekki Shodan

Some scholars believe he actually invented Tekki Nidan and Sandan, but as only Tekki Shodan has a formal opening, they were probably derived from one kata. It is believed that Itosu learned Naihanchi from ...
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The History of the Bassai Kata

Posted by on Monday, May 26, 2014, In : Video 

The Bassai (To Penetrate a Fortress) kata are believed to have been designed to complement each other as the first, Bassai Dai, (Dai means major/large) represents getting into a fortress and the second, Bassai Sho, (Sho means minor/small) represents getting out again.There are many versions of these kata practiced in various styles and while the origins within martial arts history are obscure, there is a 400 year old silk drawing which supposedly depicts an early version of Bassai Dai. 

Some h...

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Thirteen Iaido Kata

Posted by on Sunday, April 6, 2014, In : Video 


A demonstration of thirteen Iaido kata.
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The History of Empi

Posted by on Friday, March 14, 2014, In : Video 


The origins of the kata Empi (Flight of the Swallow) are unclear though there are three main theories on how it came into being;
  1. Empi was, according to some sources, originally brought to Okinawa from China in 1683 by an envoy named Wang Ji, an expert in Shaolin Fujian White Crane.
  2. Others suggest it was brought to the island with the arrival of a group of Chinese immigrants known as the Thirty-Six Families. Their appearance in the late 14th century changed the history of fighting on Okinaw...

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The History of Wankan

Posted by on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, In : Video 

Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda performing Wankan.

Wankan (Kings Crown) is also known as Ohkan (which means the same thing in Japanese). The history of all the Shotokan kata is hazy at best and this applies doubly for Wankan as not much at all is known about its origins. 

In some styles there is another kata practiced that shares the name but has totally different moves to the Wankan of Shotokan, which may suggest that they are both only a portion of a longer, lost original kata. If this is the case, ...
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The History of Hangetsu

Posted by on Thursday, October 31, 2013, In : Video 

Takayuki Mikami perofming Hangetsu.


Hangetsu (Half Moon) is possibly the oldest kata in the whole art of karate. Formally known as Seishan, it came through the Naha-te school though its origins are unknown. One theory is that the kata was formed from a Chinese folk dance, which aimed to explain to the onlooker the importance of the tides.

The original name, Seishan, means Thirteen which may be in reference to the thirteen day intervals as the moon revolves around the earth. However a more like...
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The History of Jion

Posted by on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, In : Video 

Hirokazu Kanazawa performing Jion


The origins of the kata Jion (Mercy) is highly debated by scholars of world martial arts. It starts with the left hand covering the right fist, kamae that probably has its roots in Chinese boxing. It is thought to have come through the Tomari-te style of Okinawan karate, however according to the legendary Hirokazu Kanazawa (above), the kata originated in the Chinese Buddhist Jion Temple (where the monks were accomplished martial artists) and then spread to the...
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The History of Ji'in

Posted by on Friday, July 19, 2013, In : Video 

Hirokazu Kanazawa performing Ji'in


Ji’in (Inverted mercy) is no longer accepted as a kata of the Japanese Karate Association (JKA) and along with Wankan, was not included in the ‘Best Karate’ series by Masatoshi Nakayama, which is widely seen as a definitive guide to Shotokan kata. Despite this, many associations still teach it and many instructors feel the kata has a lot to offer their students.

The origins of Ji’in are obscure though as it shares the same Yoi position as Jion and Jitt...
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The History of Jitte

Posted by on Friday, June 28, 2013, In : Video 

Jitte, performed by sensei Imura Takenori with application from Masatoshi Nakayama

Jitte literally means Ten Hands and the name may imply that one must have the strength of ten men, which is how Masatoshi Nakayama interpreted it in his book, Best Karate, Volume 7, (seen by many as a definitive guide to Shotokan kata). An alternative theory is that the name may derive from the raised fists hand position from within the kata, which is said to looks similar to a type of Sai known as a Jitte that ...
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Nihon Kendo Kata

Posted by on Sunday, May 5, 2013, In : Video 


Nihon Kendo Kata, forms 1 to 10.

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The History of Sochin

Posted by on Sunday, March 24, 2013, In : Video 


Sochin (Tranquil Force) may have its origins in martial arts history in Dragon Style Kung Fu and then later come through the Naha-te school in Okinawa, where it was taught by Seisho Arakaki. According to legend, Higaonna Kanryo learned it from him then passed it down to Kenzo Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu.

Mabuni is said to have spent some time instructing Gichin Funakoshi’s son, Yoshitaka in the art of kata and as a result of these instructions, the Shotokan syllabus gained not only S...
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The History of Nijushiho

Posted by on Friday, February 22, 2013, In : Video 

Nijushiho being performed by Tetsuhiko Asai (1935 – 2006)


Nijushiho (Twenty-four steps) is of unknown origins though some scholars believe that like Sochin, it originally comes from the Chinese Dragon style of fighting. Others believe the kata was created by the 19th century Okinawan master Seisho Arakaki, who may have also invented Sochin and Unsu.

The Okinawan name, Niseishi, was changed by Gichin Funakoshi however both mean the same thing. Whenever it was created, its development fo...
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The History of Gankaku

Posted by on Monday, January 28, 2013, In : Video 


Gankaku, as performed by JKA Chief instructor Masaaka Ueki (1939 – Present)

Gankaku Gankaku (Crane on a Rock) is a very old kata that was originally named Chinto (Fighter/Battle to the East), until it was changed by Gichin Funakoshi. In this case the change was brought about not only to make it more acceptable to the Japanese, but to remove any connotations of war the name might have as a result of Master Funakoshi’s pacifist beliefs. He also made modifications to the kata, changing its...
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The History of Meikyo

Posted by on Friday, December 7, 2012, In : Video 


Meikyo (Bright/Polished Mirror) was renamed by Gichin Funakoshi (above) from its original name, Rohai meaning ‘Vision of a Crane’ (though many styles still use the old name). The kata comes from the Tomari-te school where it was a set of three, Rohai Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan.

These kata were probably invented by Sensei Anko Itosu, with the techniques being derived from a much longer version of Rohai which was possibly invented by Kosaku Matsumora, suggested by the fact that it was known...
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The History of Chinte

Posted by on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, In : Video 


Chinte (Strange Hands) (performed by Master Masataka Mori above) is a very old kata that probably has its origins in China, though it has been suggested it is actually derived from an Okinawan folk dance. Favoured more by women than men, unlike most Shotokan kata it consists of predominantly circular movements instead of the more common linear ones.

If it did derive from a dance, some suggest that it symbolizes all the things a woman should know about life according to the culture at the ...

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The History of the Kanku Kata

Posted by on Thursday, September 20, 2012, In : Video 


Kanku (Looking into the sky) Sho (minor) and Dai (major) are advanced kata in the Shotokan syllabus and practiced by many styles including those of Japanese, Okinawa and Korean karate. Kanku Sho (Performed above by Takayuki Mikami) is the younger of the two Kanku kata and was probably developed from kanku Dai and handed down as a part of Master Anko Itosu’s teachings.

It contains moves that are typical of Itosu kata, such as double punches and moves that are designed to control and or ...
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The History of the Gojushiho Kata

Posted by on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, In : Video 



Gojushiho (54 steps) is a set of two kata (sho/minor and dai/major) that both have their origin in a single kata from the Shorin-ryu style which was called Useishi (meaning 54). In a strange quirk of martial arts history, the kata known as Gojushiho Sho was previously known as Gojushiho Dai and vice-versa, but they got reversed.

Legend has it that in the 1960s or the 1970s during the All Japan Karate Championships, a high ranking karateka of the JKA announced Gojushiho Dai then did the wron...

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The History of Unsu

Posted by on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, In : Video 


 Unsu (Hands in the Clouds) is a high level kata and one of the oldest practiced within Shotokan karate. Its exact origins are unknown but it is believed to be of Chinese origins, and of the Dragon Style of Kung Fu. According to Masatoshi Nakayama, anyone who tries to master Unsu before first mastering the Heian kata, Kanku-Dai, Empi and Jion will look like “a scarecrow trying to dance".

Symbolism is a recurring theme in the history of the martial arts and it has been suggested that the mo...

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