Kyokushin Kata

Kyokushin Kata has its origins in :


  1. Goju-Ryu (Chojun Miyagi) - Goju style is heavily influenced by Southern styles of what the people of the region did for their livelihood. Southern Chinese primarily worked around the rivers and rice fields, work that promoted upper body strength, therefore Ma-ai or fighting range is close, stability over mobility is stressed and upper body movements and breathing techniques with strong, stable stances are typical.
  2. Shoto-kan (Ginchin Funakoshi) - Shoto-kan style is influenced by Northern Chinese Kempo. People of this area worked on the plains as farmers and hunters and traveled extensively by foot or horseback promoting lower body strength therefor Ma-ai or fighting range is mid to long range and economy of motion is stressed (straight line blocks and strikes, etc.)

Taikyoku and Pinian of Kyokushin Karate


  The following 3 katas are of northern influence. Created by Gichin Funakoshi as the basis or foundation of all Kata, Taikyoku (First Cause) is consistent with the basic and all important principal of the martial arts; 'Karate Ne Sente Nashi'; Karate begins and ends with courtesy.

 Taikyoku Sono Ichi  First Cause of Grand Enlightenment (1)
 Taikyoku Sono Ni   First Cause of Grand Enlightenment (2)
 Taikyoku Sono San  First Cause of Grand Enlightenment (3)

  The following 5 katas were created by Anko Itosu in 1905 and are of Northern influence. They are simplified versions of advanced forms. Devotion to practice will calm the mind and forge indomitable spirit (Zanshin).

 Pinian Sono Ichi  Peaceful Mind; Peaceful Safety (1)
 Pinian Sono Ni  Peaceful Mind; Peaceful Safety (2)
 Pinian Sono San  Peaceful Mind; Peaceful Safety (3)
 Pinian Sono Yon  Peaceful Mind; Peaceful Safety (4)
 Pinian Sono Go  Peaceful Mind; Peaceful Safety (5)
 Sanchin (southern) Three Battles: Body, Mind, and Spirit. Sanchin is one of the basic Kyokushin katas. Very important are tempo of technique, points of power stress, and breath control. Formal Sanchin employs the the process of removing the gi top correctly and the ibuki breathing system.
For the formal version of this kata there is a defined set of exercises.
 Yantsu (Northern) Safe Three; Maintain Purity: Principles may never be betrayed in favor fo other advantages. One must strive daily and create a sense of urgency to overcome weakness and forge a strong will and spirit.  
 Gekusai Dai (Southern) Conquer and Occupy or Storm the Fortress: The Gekisai katas (Dai & Sho) teach strong, mobile and powerful movement. Flexibility during attack is always be better than rigid, inflexible strength.  
 Tsuki No (Northern) Fortune and Luck: Effort directed at problems will bring answers. With this kata you learn to generate thrusting power in many directions with different hand positions. While at the same time, generating power from the lower body (legs and hips) as you change stances, kiba, zenkutsu, and sanchin dachi.  
 Tensho (Southern) Turning Palms or Changing Hands: Created by Chojun Miyagi to compliment Sanchin as it emphasizes smooth movements vs Sanchin's hard movements.  
 saifa_saihaSaifa of Saiha (Southern) Maximum Destruction: Saifa (as we call it) can be translated as "to smash, break and rolling wave", all can be perceived in a destructive manner. Promotes the feeling of expressing maximum potential throughout the instrument of the body.  
 Kanku (Northern) View the Heavens: Gichin Funakoshi choose Kanku to perform in Japan in 1922. Kanku is the representative kata of Kyokushin karate.  
 Gekisai Sho (Southern) Conquer and Occupy - Major: Same as dai, sho is a more advanced form of Gekisai Dai.  
 Seienchin (Southern) The Store Within is Calm: Train to overcome the weakness of spirit and control the desire to give up in the face of life's challenges; "Suppress the Retreating Heart". The word Seienchin is can be translated as "control, pull or fight", perhaps referring to the grabbing techniques seen in it.  
 Garyu (Southern) Reclining Dragon: Mas Oyama created this kata and it refers to one who develops the spirit of humility. Like a reclining dragon, you have the power but choose not to use it.  
 Shush-Ho (Northern) Fifty Four Steps: This was one of the most advanced katas of the Shuri-te school. The number fifty four is also intimately linked to Buddhist philosophy. 
 Seipai (Southern) Eighteen Hands: Often referred to as the "Dragon Kata" the Kyokushin version greatly differs from the Goju style version.  


Kicking Katas

Taikyoku Sono Ichi - Kicking First Cause of Grand Enlightenment - Kicking(1) An exercise in the use of Low Side Kicks and Middle Front Kicks
Taikyoku Sono Ni - Kicking First Cause of Grand Enlightenment - Kicking(1) An exercise in the use of High Side Kicks and High Straight Kicks
Taikyoku Sono San - Kicking  

Bo Katas

A few words about Bo Kata's
Walking with a Bo:
When walking with the Bo always hold it vertically (up and down), out in front of you with both hands.

Holding a Bo:
You begin all Bo katas with it behind your right shoulder, (hiding the bo), holding it vertically with the bo one inch from the ground.

Naming the Kata:
Before you perform any kata the practitioner must name the kata. Bring your left hand across your body to your right biceps and bow while reciting the words "Bo kata ___".
Bo Kata Ichi
Bo Kata Ni
Bo Kata San
Bo Kata Yon
Bo Kata Go
Bo Kata Roku
Bo Kata Schichi



By Bill Feltt

I've judged and attended more tournaments than I can count; never have I seen a "10" in any form competition. Most performances fall well short of that lofty goal of perfection. Part of the problem springs from inconsistencies in judging. At an open tournament, you might have five judges from five different martial art disciplines. Even in closed tournaments, you'll find a mixture of what judges look for in a form.

Of course, there is the situation of a poor performance by the competitor. This is often the result of lack of preparation and practice. But, it can also result from not understanding the universal criteria that judges utilize in reviewing a competition form. This isn't the student's fault, usually. More often, it's the misinterpretation of what should go into an excellent or even a passable form.

One of the major competition organizations has published the Ten Commandments of performing a competition form. Although they were published for Taekwondo practitioners, the commandments apply to all forms in all styles of martial arts.

1. Thou shall memorize, memorize, memorize! (Practice your form at least a thousand times.)

2. Thou shall present a calm and courageous expression upon assuming the ready or attention stance.

3. Thou shall, when practicing, start slow then increase speed until reaching the target speed. (Don't perform too fast or too slow.)

4. Thou shall demonstrate spirit by yelling loudly when appropriate and perform each movement energetically.

5. Thou shall focus your eyes on the imaginary target (not at your feet or your hands or at your mother in the audience).

6. Thou shall not turn without first looking where thou art going.

7. Thou shall maintain poise, balance, a good posture and level movement.

8. Thou shall relax between strikes, tensing only at the point of impact.

9. Thou shall practice forms in different directions and at the prescribed rate of speed.

10. And, thou shall return to ready stance calmly and peacefully.


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