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Arizona Hombu Dojo

School of Traditional Okinawan Karate, Kobudo, Self-Defense & Samurai Arts

Kata - Living Encyclopedia of Karate & Self-Defense

Karate is kata & kata is karate. Kata is not a dance even though some believe it was disguised to look like ancient traditional Okinawan dances to protect those who practiced karate and kobudo from Japanese Samurai & Okinawan Pechin prior to 1900. 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 (Common oar)
Tekko (Maezato no Tekko)

 

SAMURAI ARTS

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.
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