Kata

Kata are a series of pre-arranged movements in which a person defends themselves against multiple imaginary attackers.
Each movement in a Kata is a self-defense technique against a potential attacker.
Kata is one of the earliest form of karate training.  It teaches the student body stances,rhythm, timing, balance, coordination, proper breathing and agility.
Key elements in learning the Kata are:  application of power (strength or gentleness), speed of technique (slowness or quickness), extension and contraction of the body (compression or expansion).
Some Kata are very strong and sturdy, while others require great speed and agility.In this way Kata are very dynamic, teaching the student how to move in all directions, sometimes jumping, sometimes dropping.
One must always be in a state of readiness, especially at the end of a Kata.

Shotokan Karate is comprised of 26 Katas, categorized into 2 types ‘Shorin’ and ‘Shorei’. Shorin kata movements are performed with the mind and bodyset of  being flexible, soft and slow, with quick sharp movements. Shorei kata movements are performed with the mind and bodyset of   being strong, solid, with solid movements, strong-hard foundation.

Listed below are all 26 katas divided into their specific category:

SHORIN KATAS

Kata Name
# of Moves
Kiai in Move #
Kata Meaning
Heian Shodan
Heian Nidan
Heian Sandan
Heian Yondan
Heian Godan

21
26
20
27
23

9, 17
11, 26
10, 20
13, 25
12, 19
5 Heian Katas
“Peacefull Mind”
Bassai Dai
Kanku Dai
Empi
Gankaku
Bassai Sho
Kanku Sho
Unsu
Nijushiho
Wankan
Chinte
Gojushiho-Dai Gojushiho-Sho
42
65
37
42
27
48
48
24
24
32
67
65
19, 42
15, 65
16, 36
28, 42
17, 22
6, 48
36, 48
18, 23
24
28, 32
59, 66
57, 64
“Penetrating the Fortress-Big”
“To look at the Sky-Big”
“Flying Swallow”
“Crane on the Rock”
“Penetrating the Fortress-Small”
“To look at the Sky-Small”
“Cloud Hands”
“Twenty-four Steps”
“Kings (and) Crown”
“Incredible Hands”
“Fifty-Four Steps-Big”
“Fifty-Four Steps-Small”

SHOREI KATAS

Kata Name
# of Moves
Kiai in Move #
Kata Meaning
Tekki Shodan Tekki Nidan
Tekki Sandan
23
24
36
12, 19
16, 24
16, 36
“Iron Horse Stand”
Jion
Jutte or Jitte Hangetsu
Sochin
Meikyo
Jiin
47
24
41
41
33
38
17, 47
13, 24
11, 40
30, 41
32
no records
“Temple of Jion”
“Ten or Stick Hands”
“Half Moon”
“Preserve Peace”
“Mirror of the soul”
“Named after the Monk”

– The first kata is Heian Shodan meaning “Peaceful mind one”.
This kata is required for the 8th Kyu grade, yellow belt.

View “Heian Shodan” video performed by Sensei John Lenci of the Surrey YMCA dojo

View Old Kata Demonstration Videos below:
HeianShodan-old
HeianNidan-old
HeianSandan-old
HeianYondan-old
HeianGodan-old
BassaiDai-old
KankuDai-old
Empi-old
Gankaku-old
BassaiSho-old
KankuSho-old
Unsu-old
NijuShiho-old
Chinte-old
TekkiShodan-old
TekkiNidan-old
TekkiSandan-old
Jion-old
Jitte-old
Sochin-old

 

View newer versions of Kata Demonstration Videos:
HeianShodan
HeianNidan
HeianSandan
HeianYondan
HeianGodan
BassaiDai
KankuDai
Empi
Gankaku
BassaiSho
KankuSho
NijuShiho
Chinte
TekkiShodan
TekkiNidan
TekkiSandan
Jion
Jutte
Sochin