Author Archives: Fred Borda

Current Kata for Saturday Kata Class: Unsu

We are now working on the kata Unsu (雲手). This is the last in our syllabus kata, so after this we will soon start the cycle over with beginning kata (Tekki Shodan for Advanced). The name Unsu means literally “cloud hands.” You can see techniques that look like hands parting the clouds in the opening of the kata. […]

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Current Kata for Saturday Class: Tekki Shodan

We are now studying Tekki Shodan (鉄騎初段) in our Saturday classes. As with the Heian kata, the Tekki kata came to Japan from Okinawa, based on the Naihanchi kata. Tekki means “iron horse,” referring to the characteristic kibadachi (literally “horse-riding stance”). There are three Tekki kata, which may have all been one kata at one time. The Tekki kata focus on […]

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Next Kata for Saturday Kata Class: Wankan

The next kata for our Saturday classes is Wankan (王冠). Wankan literally means “king’s crown.” The second character in the name can also mean a “great achievement,” suggesting that this kata could be the crowning achievement of someone who has practiced for many years. We don’t see this kata practiced often, so the coming month will be a good […]

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Current Kata for Saturday Kata Class: Gojushiho Dai

Our kata-of-the-month is now Gojushiho Dai (五十四歩大), the companion to Gojushiho Sho, which we just completed. Gojushiho means “Fifty-four Steps.” Gojushiho Dai is  “Gojushiho the Greater.” In Shotokan karate we typically practice these two variants of the older Gojushiho kata. If it looks like the movements in Gojushiho Sho are in fact bigger than those in Gojushiho […]

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Next Kata for Saturday Kata Class: Gojushiho Sho

We are now onto the kata Gojushiho Sho (五十四歩小). The name of this kata is similar to the one we just completed, Nijushiho. Gojushiho means “Fifty-four Steps.” Sho, “small” (or here, “the lesser”) distinguishes this kata from its companion Gojushiho Dai (or “Gojushiho the Greater”). In Shotokan karate we typically practice these two variants of the older Gojushiho kata. If it […]

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Next Kata for Saturday Morning Kata Class: Nijushiho

This month, we are studying the kata Nijushiho or Nijuushiho (二十四歩). This kata’s name is less poetic than some others. It means “Twenty-four Steps.” Although a relatively short kata, in Nijushiho we practice a wide variety of techniques and applications of power. It features most of the basic Shotokan stances and some less common stances, and slow application of power as well as […]

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Next Kata for Saturday Kata Class: Heian Yondan

This Saturday we are doing Heian Yondan (平安四段), the fourth kata in our regular syllabus. The Heian kata came to Japan from Okinawa, where Funakoshi Sensei gave them their Japanese name. Heian means “peace and safety.” These kata were developed from the advanced kata to play the same role we use them for today: as a gateway […]

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Next Kata for Saturday Kata Class: Heian Sandan

In our basic kata classes on Saturday mornings, we are now on Heian Sandan (平安三段), the third kata in our regular syllabus. The Heian kata came to Japan from Okinawa, where Funakoshi Sensei gave them their Japanese name. Heian means “peace and safety.” These kata were developed from the advanced kata to play the same role we use them for today: as a […]

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Next Kata for Saturday Kata Class: Heian Nidan

In our weekly basic kata class on Saturday mornings, we are now practicing the kata Heian Nidan (平安二段), the second kata in our regular syllabus. The Heian kata came to Japan from Okinawa, where Funakoshi Sensei gave them their Japanese name. Heian means “peace and safety.” These kata were developed from the advanced kata to play the same role we use them for today: […]

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