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Arizona Hombu Dojo

Traditional Okinawan Martial Arts (Karate, Kobudo, Self-Defense, Samurai Arts)

Kata - Living Encyclopedia of Karate & Self-Defense

Karate is kata & kata is karate. Kata provides muscle memory, muscle focus, power, proper stances, timing, visual focus, distancing (ma), and most important, when practiced like a warrior, kata provides performers with many devastating self-defense applications (bunkai). But when practiced like dance with no focus like Tai Chi, it will harm most self-defense abilities. How you practice kata is how you defendEither sweat blood doing kata & bunkai, or lose blood on the street. It's your choice.

KARATE KATA are living encyclopedia of self-defense techniques. Kata is what makes karate beautiful and at the same time makes karate a weapon. As one learns more kata, more hidden meanings & techniques will be revealed. Shoshin Nagamine (1907-1997), Grandmaster of Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu karate wrote in Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters, "If there is no kata, there is no karate, just kicking & punching". Think about that for a minute. This implies MMA is not karate and not even martial art - no more than boxing, gymnastics or wrestling.

KARATE KATA of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu

Kihon (Basic Kata)

The Basic karate kata of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu include two unique to Seiyo Kai. These were developed to teach practitioners proper hip rotation when striking and proper karate kicks. 

  • Taikyoku Nidan 
  • Taikyoku Sandan - developed by Soke Hausel to emphasize gyaku zuki, hip rotation & focus.
  • Taikyoku Yondan - developed by Soke Hausel to emphasize correct use of basic kicks. 

Pinan Kata 

Pinan (Ping-an, Heian), translates as 'peaceful mind'. According to 'Martial Arts - A Layman's Guide' and 'The Overlook Martial Arts Dictionary' Pinan karate kata were developed by Yasutsune Itosu from 1903 to 1906 & incorporated into the public school system of Okinawa Perfecture. Itosu simplified the Chiang Nan Chinese kata to produce five Pinan kata (Mark Bishop, 1989, Okinawan Karate, A & C Black, publisher, London). These are referred to as Heian on mainland Japan. These five kata, with some modifications unique to Seiyo Shorin-Ryu karate, incorporate self-defense bunkai (applications) for every technique. The applications include defenses against unarmed & armed assailants and street fighters as well as strikes, kicks, pressure points, throws & restraints. 

Nifanchi Kata

Naihanchi Kata (also known as naifanchi or Tekki on mainland Japan) are referred to as 'horse-riding' forms performed along a linear path in kiba dachi. It is thought these were developed to teach self-defense when a person has their back to a wall, while on a horse, or on a rice paddy dike. In Seiyo Shorin-Ryu we break down each individual technique into ippon kumite (one-step sparring). It is thought Itosu split this kata into three separate kata from a long, complex, form. There are many excellent bunkai found in these kata.

  • Naihanchi Shodan
  • Naihanchi Nidan
  • Naihanchi Sandan

Passai Kata

Passai Kata, referred to as Bassai in Japanese, includes two kata which translate as "to Penetrate a Fortress". 

Shorei Kata 

  • Jutte (Ten Hands)
  • Jion (named after the Jion-ji Buddhist temple).
  • Giin

Kusanku Kata

Two kata named after a famous Chinese martial artist. Also known as Kanku kata in Japanese. "Translates as Looking at the Sky".

  • Kusanku Dai
  • Kusanku Sho

Group 5 Kata

Group 6 Kata

  • Chinto (Gankaku). "Crane on the Rock". Originally known as Chinto, this was introduced to mainland Japan by Shihan Funakoshi as Gankaku. Also referred to as Rohai kata.
  • Wanshu (Empi). "Flying Swallow". Originally named Wansu or Wanshu after the kata's founder.
  • Sochin. Based on the powerful 'Rooted stance".
  • Seisan (Hangetsu)'Half-Moon Form'. The abundance of hangetsu dachi is characteristic and provides a feeling of a moving arch or half-moon due to the pigeon toe (hachi dachi) stances throughout the kata. The form is originally from the Shorei-Ryu school.

Group 7 Kata

  • Wankan Dai. From Tomari-te school of karate. The Seiyo version is different from kata practiced by other systems and incorporated a few of Soke's favorite techniques.
  • Okan (Wankan Sho)
  • Useisan kata (Gojushiho) is known at the Drunken Monk form. In Japanese, the kata is referred to as Gojushiho (54 step form). (see also bunkai). 

Group 8 Kata

  • Anaku. A kata from the Matsubayashi-Ryu system.
  • Rohai translates at 'vision of the crane' and considered to be a white crane form. Rohai is the Okinawan dialect for Meikyo. In Seiyo-Ryu we practice Rohai from one style of Shorin-Ryu and Meikyo from a different style of Shorin-Ryu. The term Meikyo was retained for the second Rohai kata. 
  • Hakutsuru Dai. A white Crane kata. (see also Bunkaiself-defense application, sissor strikecrane wings, single wing.
  • Hakutsuri Sho. a white crane kata (see also bunkai)

KOBUDO KATA of Seiyo Shorin-Ryu

Bojutsu Kata (6-foot staff). Our bo kata are from Yamani-Ryu and Ryuku-Ryu schools.

  • Kihon Bo.
  • Sho No Kun. 
  • Sho Ken No Kun.
  • Suuji No Kun.
  • Choun No Kun Dai
  • Choun No Kun Sho
  • Bojutsu Shodan
  • Bojutsu Nidan
  • Bojutsu Sandan
  • Bojutsu-Katana Kata

Nunchaku Kata. The classical rice flails are a common staple of all Shorin-Ryu systems. Above photo taken of nunchaku training at the University of Wyoming. 

  • Nunchaku Shodan.
  • Nunchaku Nidan
  • Nunchaku Sandan.
  • Nunchaku Yodan. Kata created by Soke Hausel.
  • Nunchaku Godan
  • Nicho Nunchaku (Nunchaku Rokudan).

Sai Kata. The classical forks, similar to Jutte (jitte), trident or trishula.

  • Sai Shodan.
  • Sai Nidan
  • Sai Sandan
  • Sai Yodan. Kata modified from Yamani-Ryu 
  • Sai Godan. Kata modified from Yamani-Ryu

Tonfa Kata. Rice Grinder Handles or side handle batons.

  • Tonfa Shodan
  • Tonfa Nidan
  • Tonfa Sandan

    Kama Kata. Sickles 
    Gama Shodan
  • Gama Nidan
  • Gama Sandan

Kuwa Kata



Tanto no kata (see Bunkai) (knives)


Nitanbo no Kata (two sticks)

Sansetsukon no Kata (Dragon whip)

Eku no Kata (Okinawa oar)

Maezato no Tekko



Seiyo Shorin-Ryu also trains in samurai arts including kenjutsu (samurai sword), manrikigusari (rope or weighted chain), yari (spear), naginata (halberd), hojo (rope tying). These also include various kata inlcuding:

  • Iaido Kata (sword drawing) incudes 8 Okuden kata, 5 Chuden kata, and 5 Jodan kata.
  • Okuden kata Mae, Migi, Hardari, Ushiro, Ushiro-mae, Migi-hardari-mae, Nuki uchi, Choku-zen 

  • Chuden Kata Kihon, Kake, Munae Utsu, Choaku, Hiza mizuki, Mizu Garuma

  • Jodan KataYoshin Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan

  • Naginata KataNaginata Dai and Katana-Naginata kata.
  • Yari Kata. Yari Dai and katana-yari kata.
  • Hanbo KataHanbo includes many waza and a few kata created by Dai-Shihan Adam.  
  • Jujutsu Kata A variety of Waza.