The Japanese word kata means mould, or form. Traditionally, katas were the only way in which karate was learned, until basic training (kihon) and the various forms of sparring (kumite) were introduced in the first half of the twentieth century, when karate moved into Japan. This page lists the twenty seven Shotokan katas that we perform in the SKA, together with common English translations of their names, and the grade at which they enter the syllabus.

Kata English translation Adult grade Junior grade
Taikyoku First cause 10th kyu 9th kyu
Heian Shodan Peaceful Mind- first step 8th kyu 7th kyu
Heian Nidan Peaceful Mind - second step 7th kyu 6th kyu
Heian Sandan Peaceful Mind - third step 6th kyu 5th kyu
Heian Yondan Peaceful Mind - fourth step 5th kyu 4th kyu
Heian Godan Peaceful Mind - fifth step 4th kyu 3rd kyu
Tekki Shodan Iron horse - first step 3rd kyu 2nd kyu
Tekki Nidan Iron horse - second step 2nd dan N/A
Tekki Sandan Iron horse - third step 3rd dan N/A
Bassai Dai Storming a fortress - large 2nd kyu 1st kyu
Bassai Sho Storming a fortress - small 2nd dan N/A
Kanku Dai Viewing the sky - large 1st kyu Pre-shodan
Kanku Sho Viewing the sky - small 2nd dan N/A
Empi Flight of a swallow 1st kyu N/A
Jion The Temple at Jion 1st kyu N/A
Ji'in Temple Grounds 1st kyu N/A
Jitte Ten hands 1st kyu N/A
Hangetsu Half moon 1st dan N/A
Gankaku Crane on a rock 1st dan N/A
Meikyo Bright Mirror 2nd dan N/A
Chinte Unusual hand 2nd dan N/A
Sochin Tranquil Force 2nd dan N/A
Nijushiho Twenty four steps 2nd dan N/A
Unsu Hands in the clouds 3rd dan N/A
Gojushiho Dai Fifty four steps - large 3rd dan N/A
Gojushiho Sho Fifty four steps - small 3rd dan N/A
Wankan King's crown 3rd dan N/A