are the kata as practiced by the Jundokan So-Hombu Dojo in
Okinawa, and the South African Shi- Hombu Dojo in Durban.
With the exception of Sanchin and Tensho Kata, the kata as
outlined below are taught in that order. Sanchin Kata is
taught at an early stage while Tensho Kata at a later stage (about
2nd kyu Brown Belt). The gradings require certain kata to be
performed per grade however, there are no rigid restrictions on
the number of kata to be learnt. After Gekisai Dai Ichi
& Ni the other Goju Ryu Kata are categorized into two
sections, Heishukata and
Kaishukata. Tensho and Sanchin Kata are both Heishukata,
while all the other Goju Ryu
kata are Kaishukata. Heishukata can be translated as 'closed hand
kata', but, how can that be if Tensho Kata contains open hand
techniques? What is really meant by Kaishukata is that the
body is in a constant state of tension throughout the kata - the
muscles are contracted or 'closed'.
Dai Ichi is kata was developed and introduced in
the 1940's by Nagamine Shoshin Sensei (1907-1997) of the
Matsubayashi Ryu and Miyagi Chojun O'Sensei. It's intention
was to popularize Karate-Doh to the general public and help
establish a curriculum for school children. It contains
powerful, basic movements that are quite easy to interpret and
learn, however many of the techniques have multiple applications.
All the movements are done with a closed fist and with full power.
Dai Ni The
format of this kata is very similar to Gekisai dai Ichi, however
some advanced techniques and timing are included. Hiki uke
(open hand hooking block), mawashi uke (circular block) and neko
ashi dachi (cat foot stance) are the additional techniques in the
kata. In Gekisai dai Ichi full power and speed was utilized
however, in Gekisai dai Ni the concept of 'muchimi' (a heavy,
sticking but flowing action) is introduced in the hiki and mawashi
uke's. 'Muchimi' requires stances with a lower centre of
gravity, hence neko ashi dachi!
kata introduces tai sabaki (body evasion) and open handed
palm-heel blocks and strikes (haito uchi). It mixes swift,
light stances (neko ashi dachi & sagi ashi dachi) with solid,
grounding stances (shiko dachi). Saifa contains a vast
number of techniques like hammer fist strike (tettsui uchi), back
fist (ura uchi), morote tsuki (double fist punch), ashi barai
(foot sweep), haito uchi (ridge hand strike) etc, etc.
is a long and strength-sapping kata. It contains pulling and
gripping techniques, throws, hidden techniques and requires a
strong upper and lower body, good breath control and lots of
stamina. There are NO kicks in this kata!! This kata
is most performed at tournaments throughout the world. The
techniques are well suited for practical, close-in fighting.
close range techniques are used throughout this kata. Rapid,
are blended in with those requiring 'muchimi'. Joint locks
and breaks are a feature of Shisochin kata. The photo on the
left shows Chantal Dai-Sempai performing Shisochin Kata. Much
practice is required to master this kata.
techniques in this kata seem basic, direct and hard, however there
are some unique and advanced, close-in techniques. Joint and
knee locks and kicks, low front kicks while moving forward and
blocking after turning are techniques that require lots of
practice. Slow movements evolve into fast, explosive ones.
A feature of this kata is use of ko (top of wrist) at the end of
the kata. This last movement (morote ko uke in Shikodachi)
is an often misunderstood movement with an array of close-in
whipping movements and body evasion (taisabaki), dropping your
body to rise up and push your opponent off balance and faints are
all found within this kata. There are, as in ALL the other
kata, many hidden techniques and movements. Certain hand
techniques require a unique use of certain part of the hand eg,
performing the gedan furi uchi after swiveling 90 degrees requires
the hand to be shaped like it would when one knocks on a door.
the use of taisabaki, joint locking and breaking techniques are
prominent within this quick and fast kata. Many open handed
techniques could either be interpreted as a joint lock or a block,
and depending on the circumstances could be used as both.
The use of the hips to aid some hand techniques enhances both the
power and effect of the technique.
The opening three Sanchin dachi steps with the morote chudan uke
(double middle level block) and chudan gyaku tsuki (reverse
stomach punch) appears to be similar to that as in Sanseru kata,
BUT, in performance and application they are NOT! This is a
powerful, fighting kata with many superb close-in fighting
longest of all the Goju Ryu kata, Suparinpei is said to contain
all the techniques from all the Goju Ryu kata. Quick
blocking and simultaneous striking are found all over this kata.
Just like in a fight, you have to pace yourself and your breathing
to end off this kata strongly. This kata is also known by
it's original name, Pichurin. The photo on the right shows
Buddy Govender Sensei performing Suparinpei Kata in Osaka Japan
here to be transported to a virtual Sanchin Kata Encyclopedia
kata was created by Miyagi Chojun O'Sensei. Tensho literally
means 'turning hands'. This is the 'JU' (softness) of Goju
and Miyagi O'Sensei developed this kata from the 'Rokkishu' kata
of the Fukian White Crane System. The hand movements and
breathing require a high level of co-ordination.