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Kata: Heian Sandan

By admin - Posted on 26 January 2014


English - Peaceful Mind: Third Step
The five Heian katas were created by Sensei Itosu, one of the two masters of Sensei Funakoshi, for teaching karate in Okinawan High Schools in 1905. Drawing mainly from the Kusanku and Passai katas, the name of the series was originally Pinan, and this is still how they are known in many styles of karate. In Shotokan, Sensei Funakoshi changed the names to the more Japanese sounding Heian, along with Kusanku which became Kanku Dai and Kanku Sho, and Passai which became Bassai Dai and Bassai Sho.

The third Heian kata makes extensive use of side or straddle stance (kiba-dachi), and introduces many different turning movements. As well as more simultaneous techniques (the kosa-uke crossed blocks at the start, and the combined punch and elbow strikes at the end), students are now required to perform techiques with one hand only while not moving the other - another new thing to learn. This is true of the empi-uke - uraken (elbow block - backfist) combinations on the return leg, and the slow tate-shuto-uke (vertical knife-hand block) immediately following the last of these.