The ultimate aim of the art of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters of its participants.
Gichin Funakoshi

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Kata is one of the earliest forms of karate training. It is how karate passed from one generation to the next. Kata is often described as a set sequence of karate moves organized into a pre-arranged fight against imaginary opponents. The kata consists of kicks, punches, sweeps, strikes, blocks, and throws. Body movement in various kata includes stepping, twisting, turning, dropping to the ground, and jumping. In Shotokan, kata is not a performance or a demonstration, but is for individual karateka to practice full techniques—with every technique potentially a killing blow; while paying particular attention to form and timing (rhythm).

It is important for every student to remember that as they rise up through the various kyu levels and Dan ranks, the continued regular practice of all of the previous katas that they have been taught is vital to their future progress.
 Kata are very dynamic, teaching the student how to move in all directions, sometimes jumping, sometimes dropping. Kata can be quite diverse. Some kata are very strong and sturdy in nature, while others require great speed and agility. Certain techniques are performed slowly and powerfully, while others are executed more sharply and quickly. By practicing kata, the students learn rhythm and timing, expansion and contraction of the body's muscles, and proper breathing. Above all, an individual's performance in kata must exude confidence while maintaining the kata's humble nature. In kata, the concept of zanshin becomes important. Zanshin means "remaining mind," referring to the idea that one must always be in a relaxed state of readiness, especially at the end of a kata to demonstrate one's awareness of any remaining potential danger. Only after the final bow is the kata truly finished.
Shotokan Karate is comprised of 26 katas, each with their own emphasis on fast and slow or controlled and powerfull movements. Virtually all of the katas taught today in the Shotokan system have two kiai points.
The kiai or "spirit cry" as it is sometimes referred to, occurs only at certain pre-determined moments in each kata. It is precisely at these pre-determined moments that the karate-ka is required to demonstrate a total commitment of body, mind, and spirit, and to channel all of their available energy and apply it appropriately to the required technique.


Nidan Sandan Yondan Godan

Heian Shodan

Bassai Dai Bassai Sho Nijushiho Chinte

Heian Nidan

Enpi Gankaku Sochin Gojushiho Dai

Heian Sandan


Jitte Jiin Gojushiho Sho

Heian Yondan

Jion Kanku Sho Tekki Sandan Meikyo

Heian Godan

Kanku Dai Tekki Nidan Unsu Wankan

Tekki Shodan