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Sawbridgeworth School


Shotokan Karate

is a member of


who are affiliated to the

English Karate Federation


Video courtesy of Paul Walker

Video courtesy of Kanazawa Kancho


Kata is a preset sequence of moves against imaginary opponents using successful, tried and trusted techniques

It is important for Karateka to visualise these imaginary opponents and to understand the purpose of the techniques employed, this is often refered to as Bunkai

In kata the karateka starts to consider and understand how these techniques may apply to their kihon against real opponents

Kata is the vital link that brings together both kihon and kumite by allowing the karateka to express their karate in a way that kihon does not and importantly, without the risk of injuring an opponent that is inherent in kumite

Nakayama Sensei's six principles of Kata

1) Kata is a set series of moves in a predefined order

2) Kata should start and finish in the same place

3) Know and understand each technique and its application

4) Targeting - consider each technique's aiming points

5) Kimae - Focus, the coming together of timing, power and good technique

6) Breathing - a crucial element in delivering powerful techniques

Each kata has an Embusen which refers to the point at which the kata starts and finishes and the shape or line of the kata. For example the Heian kata all have an I shaped Embusen while the Tekki kata have a straight line Embusen


Kata Videos

Sensei Paul Walker (SKIF 6th Dan) has published a series of informative walkthough kata videos on his Youtube channel Shotokan Sensei he has kindly permitted SSSK to link directly to them; just click the Red icons.


The Green icons are linked to Kanazawa Kancho's famous kata videos.


Please use these videos as a reference point only and not as a substitute for regular training and kata practice.

Taikyoku - First Cause

Taikyoku shodan (太極初段)


Heian - Peaceful Mind

Heian shodan (平安初段)

Heian nidan (平安二段)

Heian sandan (平安三段)

Heian yondan (平安四段)

Heian godan (平安五段)

Tekki - Iron Horse

Tekki shodan (鉄騎初段)

Tekki nidan (鉄騎二段)

Tekki sandan (鉄騎三段)

Sentai Kata

Bassai dai (披塞大)

Jion (慈恩)

Jitte (十手)

Empi (燕飛)

Hangetsu (半月)

Kanku dai (観空大)

Advanced Kata - Shodan

Hangetsu (半月)

Bassai shō (披塞小)

Gankaku (岩鶴)

Kankū shō (観空小)

Advanced Kata - Nidan

Sōchin (壯鎭)

Chinte (珍手)

Ji'in (慈陰)

Nijūshiho (二十四步)

Advanced Kata - Sandan

Meikyō (明鏡)

Wankan (王冠)

Gojūshiho dai (五十四歩大)

Gojūshiho shō (五十四歩小)

Unsu (雲手)

Aditional Kata

Gankaku shō



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