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The 26 Shotokan Kata of the Japan Karate Association

Kata is often described as a set sequence of karate moves organised into a prearranged fight against
imaginary opponents. The kata consists of kicks, punches, sweeps, strikes, blocks and throws. Body
movement in the various kata includes, stepping, twisting, turning, dropping to the ground and
jumping.

In this article we list the 26 standard Shotokan kata that are practiced by millions of karateka all
over the world.

Several Shotokan groups have introduced kata from other styles into their training but when the
Japan Karate Association (JKA) was formed by Nakayama Sensei, he laid these 26 kata down as the
training kata for the JKA karateka. Even today, many thousands of Shotokan Dojo only practice
these 26 Kata.

Kata should be executed with the correct attitude first and foremost, if the karate practitioner has an
understanding of the kata, each fast move will be executed with speed, power and intent. The
karateka will execute the technique like it’s their last.

Kata is not a performance, or a demonstration, it is for the individual karateka to practice full
techniques with 'Ikken Hisatsu' (finishing blow or to kill with one blow).

There is most definitely a health aspect to kata, the practice of kata is great for fitness, keeping the
body soft, supple and agile. As the karateka gets older, a lot more emphasise is put on health and for
good reason.

Follow the link below for


Shotokan Karate Videos
The 26 Shotokan Standard katas With Meaning And Origin:

Name Meaning Originator


Heian Shodan Peaceful Way One Yasutsune Itosu
Heian Nidan Peaceful Way Two Yasutsune Itosu
Heian Sandan Peaceful Way Three Yasutsune Itosu
Heian Yondan Peaceful Way Four Yasutsune Itosu
Heian Godan Peaceful Way Five Yasutsune Itosu
Tekki Shodan Iron Horse One Yasutsune Itosu
Tekki Nidan Iron Horse Two Yasutsune Itosu
Tekki Sandan Iron Horse Three Yasutsune Itosu
Bassai Dai To storm a fortress (dai=major) Peichin
Bassai Sho To storm a fortress (sho=minor) Yasutsune Itosu
Kanku Dai To view the sky (dai=major) Kung Hsiang Chun
Kanku Sho To view the sky (sho=minor) Yasutsune Itosu
Enpi Flying swallow Wang Ji?
Jion Named after a Chinese temple Tomari-te?
Gankaku Crane on a rock Bushi Matsumura
Hangetsu Half Moon Bushi Matsumura
Jitte Ten hands Tomari-te
Chinte Incredible hands ??????
Sochin Preserve Peace Yoshitika Funakoshi
Meikyo Mirror of the soul Tomari-te
Ji'in Named after the saint Tomari-te
Gojushiho Dai 54 steps (dai=major) Yasutsune Itosu
Gojushiho Sho 54 steps (sho=minor) Yasutsune Itosu
Nijushiho 24 steps Seisho Aragaki
Wankan Crown of a king Gigo Funakoshi
Unsu Cloud Hands Seisho Aragaki

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Shotokan Karate Videos