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Shukokai World Karate Union Ryushinkan
EVERYTHING ABOUT KATA        
   
WKF kata rules explained

A kata is a pattern of movements, which contains a series of logical and practical attacking and blocking techniques. In each kata there are certain set or predetermined movements, which the karate-student can practice alone, without a partner. Previous masters have created these kata after many years of research, training, and actual combat experience.

The true meaning and spirit of karate are embedded in the kata and only by the practice of kata can we come to understand them. For this reason, if we change or simplify the kata either to accommodate the beginner of for tournament purposes, then we also will have lost the true meaning and spirit of karate!

In karate there is no first attack. Every kata begins with a defensive movement, which exemplifies this spirit. Not only is there no first attack, but the best defence is to avoid the fight altogether. That is why it is said that karate is the art of a wise man.

Almost all of the Okinawa Goju Ryu kata were handed down from Higaonna Kanryo Sensei. Higaonna Sensei had studied and trained for many years under Ryu Ryuko Sensei in Fukien Province, China. The following kata were handed down by Higaonna Sensei from Ryu Ryuko Sensei: Sanchin, Saifa, Seinchin, Shisochin, Sanseru, Sepai, Kururunfa, Sesan, and Suparinpei. The original creators of these kata are unknown.

Many of the kata names are Chinese numbers symbolizing certain Buddhist concepts. The symbolism of the number 36 is given in the explanation of Sanseru, which follows. The number 3 symbolizes past, present, and future. Bunkai is the application of the kata. It is practised with two persons. One of them is the attacker and the other one the defender, which uses the techniques of the kata to defend him (/her-)self.

To truly understand and do the kata well you have to know the bunkai.          

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KATA LIST

LINEAGE
KATA
Meaning
Sochin Powerful
ARAGAKI Niseishi Moving inside
Unshu Cloud hand
CHATANYARA Kusanku
FUNAKOSHI Taikyoku Shodan
Taikyoku Sandan
Taikyoku literally means first course. It means also, according to a translator of the Karate do Kyohan: "... a philosophical term for the macrocosmos, for it's differentiation in heaven and earth (energy and matter): so, it's the chaos of emptiness." Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of the Shotokan Karate do style, created the original Taikyoku katas. The Shito-Ryu versions have been adapted to certain aspects of the Shito-Ryu style, like Shiko and Necho ashi Dachi. They all follow the basic "H"-pattern. There are 2 katas in this range - Shodan and Sandan
GOKENKI Hakucho
Nipaipo 28 steps
Papuren
HIGASHIONNA
(Handed down from Ryu Ryuko Sensei)
Kururunfa
It means forever peacefulness, stops tearing. This was handed down from the Chinese master, Ryuryu Ko to Kanryo Higaonna but the original creator of this kata is unknown. Kururunfa contains a wide variety of open-hand techniques and especially hand/hip co-ordination techniques. Like Sesan Kururunfa has soft movements followed by hard movements, however in Kururunfa the difference between hard and soft are much more marked with slow drawn out movements followed by a pause with devastating explosive techniques to follow, then the cycle repeats again.
Saifa
Literally means tear apart and destroy. It is the first classic kata in the Goju Ryu repertoire of katas. Classic in the sense that is was handed down by Ryu Ryuko Sensei to Higaonna Kanryo Sensei. Its origins are most likely to be found in the white crane boxing-style in China.
Sanchin
Sanchin means "three battles". It does not refer to actual physical battles, but the internal battle of harnessing body, mind, and spirit through will. It is a classically "hard" kata, involving continuous muscular tension throughout the body, as well as hard "ibuki" breathing. Loud, focused and intense breathing, as well as the sanchin "pigeon-toed" stance characterize it.
Sanseru
Written in Chinese characters, is the number 36. Symbolically it is calculated from the formula 6x6. The first 6 represents eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and spirit. The second six symbolizes color, voice, smell, taste, touch, and justice.
Seienchin
Storm within the calm. Probably means silently marching far or to pull depending on the interpretation. It's a very old Chinese kata, of which the roots probably can be found in the Hsing-I system. This kata consists, unlike most other katas, only out of hand techniques. It belongs to the tiger series of the katas.
Seipai
Similarly, is the number 18. It is calculated from 6x3. The 6 is the same as the second 6 of Sanseru. The 3 represent good, bad, and peace. This kata truly exemplifies the true spirit of Okinawa: a mixture of soft, round techniques (the ju-principle) with hard ones (the go-principle).Yagi Meitoku often said it is based upon crane techniques which can be seen in the leaning stances, whipping style of striking, and evasive footwork.
Seisan
It litteraly means thirteen hands. It contains 8 defensive and 5 attacking techniques, with which there is a change of direction. Thirteen is a prime number and in China is a number representing good luck and prosperity. Traditional Goju Ryu falls back upon techniques, which involve the grabbing and the controlling of the opponent while a weak spot of the body is hit. This kata is a perfect example of this principle. It emphasizes close range fighting using short punching and low kicking techniques to break through the defence of the opponent.
Sesan
Should be practised for many hours for it contains a wealth of information and knowledge. Shisochin Literally means fight in four directions. One reason for this is that this kata typically includes a combination of techniques executed in four directions. It is of Chinese origin, taught to Kanryo Higaonna by Ryu Ryuku. It is said to be one of Chojun Miyagi's favourite katas in his later years, and that it was well suited to his body.
Shinsei Pure heart
Shisochin Powerful men/Brave calming
Suparinpei
One hundred and eight (3x36=108). This kata has special significance in Buddhism. It is believed that man has 108 evil passions and so in Buddhist temples on December 31st, at the stroke of midnight, a bell is rung 108 times to drive away those spirits. The number 108 is calculated from 3x36. The symbolism of the number 36 is the same as in Sanseru (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and spirit; color, voice, taste, smell, touch and justice). Suparinpei is Goju-ryu's longest kata. It utilizes a large number of techniques, including breath control, and it contains the greatest number of applications and depth of meaning. It is said the mastery of Suparinpei is the mastery of the Goju-ryu system.
ISHIMINE Bassai
ITOSU Pinan Shodan  
Pinan Nidan
Pinan Sandan
Pinan Yondan
Pinan Godan

Pinan means - Peaceful Mind
Master Ankoh Itosu was the first person to introduce 'TO-DE' into the Okinawa Dai Ichi Jr. High School and the Okinawa Teachers Jr. College school system.
One of his great contributions to the art of 'TO-DE', was the firm belief of the importance of the development of person's character through the concentration on 'KATA' (form patterns) and 'BUNKAI' application practice.
Master Itosu also organized and systematized 'TO-DE' into a standard method of practice. When he first began teaching in the school system, the introduction of the kata Naihanchin was his preferred way to teach. He soon realized that this kata was far too advanced for the beginner, which lead to master Itosu creating a group of new kata, the PINAN's. The creation of 5 Pinan (alternate reading as HEIAN) kata was based on the kata called Kusanku and some other significant techniques.

Bassai Dai To penetrate a fortress, (major version)
Bassai Sho To penetrate a fortress, (minor version)
Chintei Winning hand
Chinto Chinese military official name
Gojushiho 54 steps
Jiin Temple Sound
Jion Temple Sound
Jitte 10 Hands
Kosokun Dai Chinese's military official name (major)
Kosokun Sho Chinese's military official name (minor)
Kensho Pure/innocent light
Kensh Sister kata of Wanshu - 1945
Naifuanchin Shodan
Naifuanchin Nidan
Naifuanchin Sandan
Rohai Shodan
Rohai Nidan
Rohai Sandan
Shiho-Kosokun
Aoyagi

Green Willow

Juroku 16
MABUNI KENWA
Miyojo
MATSUBAYASHI Annanko
MATSUMURA Bassai
Seisan 13
Rohai
Rohai White Crane on a Rock
MATSUMORA Wankan (Matsukaze) Pine tree in the Wind
Wanshu Chinese Emissary name
MIYAGI Gekisai Ichi

Gekisai Ni
"Gekisai" literally means to destroy, "Dai Ichi (Ni)" means number one (two). It consists of basic techniques, which facilitate the later learning of difficult ones in the classic katas starting from Saifa.
Tensho
Chojun Miyagi created Tensho. It means flowing hands. It's a combination of the hard dynamic tension with "ibuki" breathing (go) and soft flowing hand movements (ju), while the power comes from the Tanden. This kata finds it's roots in a Chinese 'soft'-Sanchin version
UEICHI/MABUNI Shinpa.
New break or tear
MASUYAMA Ryushin Shooting star
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