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Sensei Grzegorz (Greg) Konieczka
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Heian Shodan - Kata

 

Heian Shodan is the first of the five Heian, or "Peaceful Mind" katas. Heian Shodan is composed entirely of "basic" techniques.

The layout of this kata is an "I". It starts at the intersection of the top horizontal and the vertical lines of the "I".

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Heian Nidan - Kata

 

Heian Nidan is the second of the five Heian, or "Peaceful Mind" katas.

Heian Nidan follows a floor pattern fairly similar to the first Heian kata, but adds a greater variety of techniques. It introduces the student to the spear hand strike, augmented block, pressing block, close punch, back fist strike, bottom fist strike, and the use of reverse inside block. It also heavily emphasizes the knife hand block and kicking.

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Heian Sandan - Kata

 

Heian Sandan introduces the student to a number of challenging techniques. The cross block, spinning bottom fist strike, knee lifts, stomping blocks, and over the shoulder punch are all movements that the novice student is unlikely to have attempted before. However, of particular interest is the number of complicated turning maneuvers. The student will be required to pivot and turn many times throughout the kata and attention to these movements is therefore essential. While Heian Sandan is quite different from the other Heian kata, its distinguishing characteristic is its heavy emphasis on proper footwork.

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Heian Yondan - Kata

 

Heian Yondan is the fourth kata in the basic Heian series. As such, it contains many techniques that the student will have seen previously in the earlier kata. The back stance, the knife hand block, the augmented block, and a simultaneous side snap kick and back fist strike all reappear in this kata. However, it also includes several techniques not seen in the previous Heian kata. Heian Yondan introduces the X-block, the wedge block, the elbow smash, and the knee smash. It also places a greater emphasis on timing and rhythm than the previous Heian kata. This is particularly illustrated in both of the opening back arm blocks and the wedge blocks in the middle of the kata.

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Heian Godan - Kata

 

The fifth and final kata in the Heian series is Heian Godan. It is distinguished by a jumping technique and the use of double armed blocks. While the jump is one of the more challenging techniques the student will have faced to date, the technique commonly referred to as the swastika posture is also of particular note. This technique involves the performance of a simultaneous upper level inside block to the rear and a lower level downward block to the front. The movement appears towards the end of Heian Godan and is featured prominently in several more advanced Shotokan kata.

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Tekki Shodan - Kata

 

Among other possible interpretations, the word Tekki may be interpreted to mean "iron knight." There are three Tekki kata in the standard Shotokan curriculum, however, the first is generally practiced far more than the other two. All are distinguished by their widespread use of horse stance and the fact that the floor pattern, or enbusen, of the kata traces a horizontal line. For those interested in practical applications of these kata

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Bassai Dai - Kata

 

Bassai Dai is one of the most popular kata in Shotokan karate. Along with Enpi, Jion, and Kanku Dai, it is required for black belt examinations in virtually all Shotokan organizations. It contains a number of interesting techniques that will challenge intermediate level students.

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Jion - Kata

 

Jion is a kata that virtually all Shotokan style black belts will be required to learn. It contains many basic Shotokan movements including the front stance, back stance, horse stance, straight punch, reverse punch, and front kick. All of these techniques should have been developed previously through the practice of earlier kata. The three falling blocks towards the end of the kata, the palm heel strikes in the middle of the kata, and the sliding punches at the end of the kata, however, will be new to most students when they first learn this kata. These techniques, along with the changes in rhythm interspersed throughout the kata, will likely require the most time for the student to learn.

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