Foundation Kata : Kihon (Basic) and Fukyu (Fundamental) Kata.

Kihon Ichi
Kihon Ni
Kihon San
Fukyu no Kata

The Kihon Kata are basic form drills done in a straight line pattern moving forward on offensive and backward on defensive. These training Kata were added by Hanshi Shugoro Nakazato to the syllabus.

Naihanchi Kata : Naihanchi means Iron Horse. There are 3 Katas in Naihanchi.

  1. Naihanchi Shodan
  2. Naihanchi Nidan
  3. Naihanchi Sandan

It is known that the first Two Katas were practiced as one single Kata by Master Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura around 1825. It was handed down to him from earlier times. This Kata was the favourite of Master Itosu (1830 – 1915). He is said to have modified Shodan and Nidan and developed Naihanchi Sandan.

Pinan Kata: Pinan means Peaceful mind. There are 5 Katas in Pinan.

  • Pinan Shodan
  • Pinan Nidan
  • Pinan Sandan
  • Pinan Yondan
  • Pinan Godan

They were developed by the great Shuri Te master Yasutsune “Anko” Itosu. Itosu developed these forms as part of the physical education program in Okinawan schools. He found that kids could benefit greatly from Karate but had to break it down into a simpler form.

There is some debate over which Kata influenced the Pinans the most. It is widely accepted that the forms Kusanku (Kanku Dai) and Channan were the true source. Kusanku is still widely practiced but Channan has been lost to history.

Passai Kata : Passai means Entering / Penetrating the fortress. There are 2 Katas in Passai.

  • Passai Sho
  • Passai Dai

Sokon Matsumura taught Anko Itosu Passai Kata. It is believed that Matsumura was taught Passai by his instructor Master Sakugawa and that Master Sakugawa to learned the Passai Kata in China. The floating hand techniques are very similar to the movements of Tai Chi Chuan. There are other similarities in the shifting of body weight in light stances. Passai was a favorite Kata of the Tomari -Te Masters. Today there are two major versions of Passai that exist and they are called Passai Sho which is ltosu Passai and Passai Dai which is Matsumura Passai.

Kusanku Kata : Named in honour of Kusanku. There are 2 Katas in Kusanku.

  1. Kusanku Sho
  2. Kusanku Dai

In 1756 a Chinese military envoy named Kusanku was sent to Okinawa. He was a skilled Kempo master famous for his fighting skills. Although Kusanku never taught this Kata, his best techniques were combined into this Kata by his followers. There are two main lineages for the Kata called Chatan Yara No Kusanku and Sakugawa No Kusanku. Sakugawa No Kusanku was developed by Master Sakugawa based on his instruction from Kusanku. Sakugawa taught this version to Sokon “Bushi” Matsumura. This lineage was further divided into two other forms of the Kata, Kusanku Sho and Kusanku Dai.

Chinto : Chinto means Fighting towards the east.

The history of this Kata is vague - legend says that this Kata was brought to Okinawa by Chinto, a shipwrecked Chinese sailor. The Kata was likely created by Bushi Matsumura (1797-1884) and was based on the techniques he learned from Chinto.

Gojushiho : Gojushiho means Fifty four Movements.

Gojushiho is of Chinese origin. Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura (1797-1889) is credited with the version now practiced in Shorin-ryu Karate. Gojushiho translates as "54 Steps" - implying that fifty-four techniques are involved in the Kata.

Gorin : Gorin means 5 Rings.

To commemorate the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, Nakazato Shugoro, Hanshi created the Gorin Kata, which was performed by members of the Rengokai from Shorin-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu and Isshin-Ryu.