Beginner to brown belt kata

Below are the 8 kata necessary to complete the SSKA Shotokan syllabus up to Shodan (1st Dan) black belt.  However, this is the minimum requirement and Brown belt students (3rd Kyu upwards) are expected to be progressing with the advanced brown belt kata.

Kata Kihon 基本形

"Basic Kata"

White belt kata to grade for Orange belt (9th Kyu)

Performed by Sensei Yoshinobu Ohta (JKA).

The first kata that beginners must learn.

It consists of the most basic techniques, however as your level and proficiency increases, you should be striving to execute this kata with higher level technical principles the same as for more advanced kata,  e.g. maximum kime for each move to snap those blocks and punches, hip rotation for power, timing and flow.

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Heian Shodan 平安初段

"Peaceful mind, first level"

Orange belt kata to grade for red belt (8th Kyu)

Performed by 5 year old Mahiro Yukukai (JKA).  Let this be an inspiration for you "older students"!

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Heian Nidan 平安二段

"Peaceful mind, second level"

Red belt kata to grade for yellow belt (7th Kyu)

SSKA specific version.

​There is a significant step up in difficulty for red belt syllabus involving gyaku (opposite) arm techniques which is also reflected in this kata.  The introduction of kicks also makes for additional challenge.

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Heian Sandan 平安三段

"Peaceful mind, third level"

Yellow belt kata to grade for green belt (6th Kyu).

SSKA specific version.

One of the shortest kata in the syllabus.  You must ensure a good low kiba-dachi stance.  Note the slightly offset alignment of the kiba-dachi with tetsui-uchi (hammer fist).  Make sure you initiate your mikazuki-geri (crescent kicks) by launching your leg forward towards your target, not swinging around from the side.

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Heian Yondan 平安四段

"Peaceful mind, fourth level"

Green belt kata to grade for purple belt (5th Kyu).

SSKA specific version.

You may see a number of techniques performed differently in other styles, including the speed and timing of the first two moves.  Note that the uraken (back-fist) performed with yoko-geri-keage (side snap kick) is retracted prior to holding back out for enpi (elbow strike).  Also be aware of the leading arm being on the outside of the jodan juji-uke (upper x-block) prior to lowering into kakiwake-uke (wedge block).

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Heian Godan 平安五段

"Peaceful mind, 5th level"

Purple belt kata to grade for purple white stripe belt (4th Kyu)

SSKA specific version.

This kata contains techniques and combinations of moves found in advanced level kata including a jump.  Continual practice will be required to ensure integrity of stances, balance and focus of techniques.

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Tekki Shodan 鉄器初段

"Iron horseriding, first level"

Purple white stripe belt kata to grade for brown belt (3rd Kyu).

SSKA specific version.

This kata is performed fast with the exception of a slow haishu-uke (back hand block).  Care must be taken to ensure each technique is fully completed before moving to the next.  You must rapidly turn your head to look in the right direction for each movement.  Take note of the correct technique for Nami ashi (inside leg blocks), frequently performed wrong.

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Bassai Dai 披塞大

"to penetrate a fortress - major"

Brown belt kata to grade for brown white stripe belt (2nd Kyu)

SSKA specific version.

Note the use of mikazuki-geri (crescent kicks) with fumikomi (stamping kicks).

ALL of the above kyu-grade kata learned up to Bassai Dai will be tested to earn your brown belt two white stripes (1st Kyu).

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