SKA so-cal

Shotokan Karate School

Palm Springs, California, USA





(First Cause)

  1. 1.Shodan - 20 moves



1. Shodan - 21 moves

  1. 2.Nidan  - 26

  2. 3.Sandan - 23

  3. 4.Yondan - 27

  4. 5.Godan  - 25

TEKKI GROUP ( horse riding ):

  1. 1.Shodan -29 moves

  2. 2.Nidan - 26

  3. 3.Sandan - 36


  1. 1.Bassai-Dai  ( penetrate a fortress )  - 42 moves

  2. 2.Kanku-Dai  ( view to the sky ) - 65

  3. 3.Empi  ( flying swallow ) - 37

  4. 4.Jion  ( associated with the Jion Temple, a famous old Buddhist temple, or the buddhist saint by the name of Jion)  - 47

Last 3 of FUNAKOSHI’S 15:

  1. 1.Gankaku ( crane on a rock )  - 42 moves

  2. 2.Jutte ( ten hands)   - 24

  3. 3.Hangetsu ( half-moon )  - 41


  1. 1. Bassai Sho ( storm/penetrate a fortress )

  2. 2. Kanku Sho ( view to the sky )

  3. 3. Chinte ( incredible hands )

  4. 4. Unsu ( hands of a cloud )

  5. 5. Sochin ( preserve peace )

  6. 6. Nijushiho  ( 24 moves )

  7. 7. Gojushiho Sho ( 54 moves  - minor)

  8. 8. Gojushiho Dai ( 54 moves - major )

  9. 9. Meikyo  ( mirror of the soul )

  10. 10. Ji’in ( named after the saint )

  11. 11. Wankan ( crown of a king )


Much of what we know about the history of karate and katas or “forms” (as it is translated into English) is based on oral tradition. It is difficult to pin point the origin or with any certainty, to describe the evolution of the many katas which are practiced in dojos around the world today.  We do know however, from his book Karate-do Kyohan, that the founder of Shotokan, Master Gichin Funakoshin had very specific ideas about the use of katas in training and in the pursuit of karate-do.

Funakoshi said , “Mind and technique are to become one in true karate....True karate, that is, Karate-do strives internally (mentally) to train the mind to develop a clear conscience enabling one to face the world truthfully, while externally (physically) developing strength until one may overcome even ferocious wild animals.” ( Karate-do Kyohan, p 6)

Katas are one of the three training cornerstones used in most karate schools. These cornerstones, sometimes referred to as the “three K’s” are: kihons (basics), kata (forms) and kumite (sparring), each complimenting the others. Katas are not unique to Shotokan Karate and the original intent of training with katas was to develop and master combat worthy self defense or fighting skills.

A kata consists of a prescribed number of offensive and defensive karate techniques and movements, including blocks, strikes, kicks, stances and turns. These are both basic and advanced techniques, choreographed with a particular rhythm, in a specific sequence and executed along a defined performance line (or embusen).

Through repeated performance of any given kata, the student learns how individual karate techniques can be applied in self defense situations. Kata is most effective as a training tool for fighting when one visualizes an opponent as each technique is executed. This leads to a deeper understanding of how different techniques are used for attacks and counterattacks. All of this make katas an invaluable instrument for practicing and perfecting the execution of blocks, strikes, kicks, stances, posture, turns, breathing, focus, speed, advancing and retreating, expansion and contraction, as well as proper application of light and heavy power.

Karate is intended to develop a student’s physical abilities as much as his mental and spiritual ones. Over time, the dedicated student begins to see the relationship between training our bodies with the physical techniques used in kihons, kata and kumite and training our minds and character by developing discipline, commitment, patience, focus, concentration, and most of all respect and humility. This is the pursuit of karate-do.

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