Instructional Karate Videos

Kata Name/Video Step by Step
Sensei Paul
English Translation Purpose & Key Points Moves
White belt
Course” or “Basic Ultimate” First Step
Introduces the two most common forms of hip movement, hip rotation and counter rotation. Only two techniques, downward sweeping block (gedan berai) and chest lunge punch (oi-zuki chudan) are performed, all in front stance (zenkutsu dachi). 20
Heian Shodan
Red belt
Heian Shodan Peaceful – First Step Stepping, in front and back stance. Changing direction. 21
Heian Nidan
Yellow belt
Heian Nidan Peaceful
– Second Step
Introduces sword & spear hand techniques. Reverse blocking. 26
Heian Sandan
Orange belt
Heian Sandan Peaceful – Third Step Complicated turning/footwork. Close distance techniques. 20
Heian Yondan
Green Belt
Heian Yondan Peaceful – Fourth Step Teaches balance and control. Side kicks and back stances. 27
Purple belt
Heian Godan Peaceful – Fifth Step The first jump, encountered among the 26 kata, is found here. 23


Tekki Shodan Tekki Shodan Iron Knight or, Steel Horse or, Steel Horse Riding The kanji refer to “land between two rice paddies” and “battle”, or “war” These katas are performed solely in horse riding stance (Kiba Dachi). Provides for strong knee development. Side to side combat. Snappy head motions.
The kanji suggests fighting techniques used by a horseman in combat, or from the back of a horse.
Tekki Nidan Tekki Nidan 24
Tekki Sandan Tekki Sandan 36


Bassai Dai Bassai Dai “Extract from a fortress”, “rescue” (Big Bassai) Large scale techniques with wide motions. Frequent reverse postures with snappy hip motions. 42
Kanku Dai Kanku Dai “The view of the sky” (Big Kanku) The longest of Shotokan Kata, Kanku-Dai is a compilation of all the Heian. It is thought to be the Shotokan parent kata. The 2 level double kick is encountered here. 65
Jion Jion “Temple” – from a temple named “Jion-Ji” A large scale and simple kata with familiar single technique and single step combinations. Simple to learn for one who has mastered the Heian and Tekki kata. 47
Enpi Enpi “Flying Swallow” Contains the first difficult jumping technique, combined with a knife hand block. Best suited for light, agile students. Very athletic kata. 37


Gankaku Gankaku “Crane Standing Upon a Rock” Balance and control. Much use of one legged stance, “Sagi Ashi Dachi” 42
Jitte Jitte “Ten Hands” Some techniques are indicative of “bo or staff fighting techniques. 24
Hangetsu Hangetsu “Half Moon” or “Half Month” Named after the Half Moon Stance “Hangetsu Dachi”. Contains many slow, tensed motions requiring breathing exercises of the performer. Hardens the body against a blow. 41


Advanced Kata

Bassai – Sho Bassai – Sho “Extract from a fortress”, “rescue” (Little Bassai) Unique emphasis on stick defenses and counters. Neko ashi dachi is encountered here. 27
Kanku – Sho Kanku – Sho “The view of the sky” (Little Kanku) Contains many double punches and stick controlling techniques. The mid section is the prime target area 47
Chinte Chinte “Unusual Hands” Use of elbow strikes, scissors punch, and 2 finger punch help give Chinte it’s name. Thought to be more appropriate for women, having strikes indicative of using technique more than raw power. 32
Sochin Sochin “Grand Suppression” or “Energetic calm” Smooth with a powerful and heavy rhythm. Stance is mostly Fudo Dachi with remainder of kata in Kokutsu Dachi. Muso-Gamae & Manji-Gamae postures. 41
Nijushiho Nijushiho “Twenty-four Steps” Sanchin Dachi (inward tension stance) is introduced in this kata. 34
Meikyo Meikyo “Bright Mirror” The opening technique has the performer pull both palms up to their face and look in them, as if they are looking into a mirror. Derived from the Rohai kata in Okinawa. 33
Gojushiho – Dai Gojushiho – Dai “Fifty-four Steps” (Big Gojushiho) Some interesting techniques include the “Flowing Cloud Block”, the “Flowing Water Back Fist Posture”, and the “Chicken Head Wrist Block”. The kata should convey the idea of a bird attacking its foe with its beak, wings, and claws. Smooth and
flowing techniques when performed well.
Gojushiho – Sho Gojushiho – Sho “Fifty-four Steps” (Little Gojushiho) 65
Unsu Unsu “Cloud Hands” The most intense and acrobatic of the 26 kata, it is arguably the most beautiful to watch. It’s ground techniques, and a 360 degree turn, leaping into the air, are indicative of it’s degree of difficulty. 48
Wankan Wankan “Kings Crown” The shortest of the 11 advanced katas, it contains smoother and lighter movements than what is typically encountered in Shotokan kata. 24
Jiin Jiin “Temple Grounds” Although more complex and difficult than “Jion“, Jiin contains many of the same movements. Where “Jion” has simple stepping movements, Jiin contains many twists and turns that add to it’s difficulty. 35