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: as a gateway into karate training for beginners. Heian Nidan gives us more practice with two basic stances, introduces some new ways of moving in and manipulating these stances, and it introduces two kicks. The biggest challenge in Heian Nidan is to learn to transition smoothly and quickly to the yoko-keage/uraken combination. The body center shouldn’t change position, and there should be no pause getting the support leg under your body weight. It requires good balance and controlling body position from the center. No matter how long we’ve been training, most of us can use more practice on this part of the kata.
Especially now that we’re into the beginning kata again we encourage students of all grades to come to the Saturday kata classes. Even when we get beyond the kata you’re practicing, it’s great to begin to learn how techniques can be combined, and the practice in applying techniques is indispensable.
See you Saturday!
At SVSK our Saturday morning kata classes focus on one kata at a time. We typically spend four Saturdays on each kata:
Week 1: Overview/review of the kata
Week 2: Fine points of the techniques and the kata
Week 3: Hands-on practice to understand applications (bunkai)
Week 4: Variations in the kata