Kata - Heian Shodan

English - Peaceful Mind; First Step

The Heian series of katas were created by Sensei Itosu, for teaching karate in Okinawan middle schools. They were completed in 1905, and were originally called the Pinan katas - many styles of karate still use this name. Sensei Funakoshi changed the name to the more Japanese sounding Heian. According to Sensei Kanazawa, the kata were given a name signifying peace and tranquility as all five katas in the series begin and end with blocking movements.

A strong front stance (zenkutsu-dachi) forms the foundation for this kata. Note that in our club we teach that the hammer-fist strike (tettsui-uchi) should be performed in L-Stance (renoji-dachi). Neither of the two videos do exactly this - Sensei Kanawa pulls his leg back half way, and Sensei Kawazoe does that and then drives forward. When searching, I couldn't find any two karateka who performed this move in exactly the same way!

Video links

Videos from YouTube

Sensei Kanazawa

First quickly, and then slowly.

Sensei Kawazoe

Slowly, and then quickly from the front and the side. There are some useful comments too.