Kata

Kata is Karate, Karate is Kata

The very essence of what we do is embodied in the kata that are at the very heart of any style.

Kata (型) Standard of Movement or Posture

Kata or ‘form’ are a set sequence of movements, a bit like a dance, though with more purposeful intent! Kata can be very short, less than 20 to over 100 movements. At the most basic performance level they are rudimentary self defence combinations or fun calisthenics routines. When performed at higher levels they become a thing of beauty and grace with changes in direction, speed and strength that is often described as “Moving Zen”

Goju Ryu & Kata

Some styles of karate merely practise kata as a form, in Goju we practise kata as an integral part of training. Each sequence of moves is broken down and practised with partners so for every kata you know, you can use every move for self-defence. For every combination there can be 5 or 6 possible uses including sweeps, joint locks, pressure point manipulations. These are an integral part of your gradings so what you practise in class is real, practical, self defence that you can use as a reflex if you need to on the street.

The kata of Goju Ryu


Gekisai dai ichi Attack & Smash I Pattern Bunkai Kata Video Bunkai Video Footwork Pattern
Geki means to “attack,” and Sai means to “smash;” and as a compound Dai Ichi means “the first” or “number one.”

9th
Kyu

8th Kyu Higaonna Sensei performing the kata Bunkai by Higaonna Sensei Footwork by Steve Wilson
Gekisai dai ni
Attack & Smash II

Footwork by Steve Wilson
Saifa
Smash & Destroy
Saifa kata Sai means “smash” or “break,” and Fa means “tear,” or “destroy.” 5th Kyu 4th Kyu Higaonna Sensei performing the kata Bunkai by Higaonna Sensei Footwork by Steve Wilson
Seiyunchin
To Control and Pull in Battle

Seiyunchin kata

Seiyunchin kata

Sei means “to control,” Yun means “to pull,” and Chin means “to do battle.” 3rd Kyu 2nd Kyu Higaonna Sensei performing the kata Bunkai by Higaonna Sensei
Shisochin
Four Direction Battle

Shisochin kata

Shisochin kata

Shi means “four,” So means “direction,” and Chin means “battle” 1st Kyu 1st Dan Higaonna Sensei performing the kata Bunkai by Higaonna Sensei

Sanseru

36 Hands

Bunkai by Higaonna Sensei

 

Here’s a video from the 2009 trip to Fuzhou with some senior IOGKF members performing the higher kata’s:

And here’s some even older footage of Sensei Morio:

Morio Higaonna Kata Video Part 1
Morio Higaonna Kata Video Part 2