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Heian Kata Videos

The first five katas are called heian katas which means peaceful level. After the name appears the number of the kata.

Heian Shodan

Heian shodan contains 21 movements (waza) with 2 kiai points. It is the first kata you learn when joining Shotokan karate.  In Japanese, heian (平安) means “peaceful mind” and shodan means “first level“. Heian shodan was adapted from older kata by Anko Itosu to make them more suitable for young karateka.

This kata focuses on being flexible, soft and slow with quick, sharp movements. It introduces the basic stances zenkutsu-dachi and kokutsu-dachi, with the blocks gedan barai.

Heian Nidan

Heian nidan contains 26 movements (waza) with 2 kiai points. It is the second kata you learn when joining Shotokan karate when you are a yellow belt.  In Japanese, heian (平安) means “peaceful mind” and nidan means “second level“.

This kata focuses on being flexible, soft and slow with quick, sharp movements. Being relatively new to martial arts, most people will not have developed a lot of power yet. Heian nidan takes advantage of this fact and helps you develop quick movements which will be the basis for strength and power later.

Heian Sandan

The shortest kata in the Heian series, Heian Sandan has 20 counts, with almost half of the movements performed in kiba-dachi (horse stance). Tai sabaki, or "body shifting," is of utmost importance. The student must learn how to rotate the entire body to gain momentum, as well as how to slide the feet, yori-ashi. Empi (elbow) techniques are also first learned in this kata.

Heian Yondan

The fourth level Heian has 27 counts and has many similarities to Heian Nidan. The kata's primary stance is kokutsu-dachi (back stance), but students first learning this kata must also contend with the new kosa-dachi, a cross stance that is quite awkward for most karateka. Heian Yondan introduces the student to many new techniques such as kosa-uke, shuto-uchi, kakiwake-uke, mae-empi, and hiza-tsuchi.

Heian Godan

Heian Godan is the last kata in the Heian series and has 23 counts. A combination of quick and slow movements, timing skill and fluidity of motion are essential for this kata. It is the first Shotokan kata containing a jump (tobi-komi), a very exciting technique for beginner and intermediate karateka.