November: Heian Godan


平安五段

Translation: Peaceful Mind (Level 5)

# Moves: 26

Belt Level:   PURPLE


Summary

Heian Godan the fifth and final Heian kata. Being the most athletic of the Heian series, it is a very visually exciting kata, employing movements, techniques and concepts that stretch the skills of the beginning student. Here, not only must the karate-ka further develop the vital contrast between fast and slow, but must also effectively execute a jump with speed, balance and grace. Through effectively developing this kata, the karate-ka will be able to develop not only the skills introduced and fine-tuned in the previous kata, but incorporate such skills as stance transition.

Read more at the Shotokan Way

Some things to note:

  • Controlling your centre of mass is important in this kata, in order to transition between stances and executing a jump without losing balance.
  • The opening inside block and punch combo set the pace for the remainder of the kata, and should be done with your best speed and power.
  • When performing the crescent kick, do not move your hand to meet the kick, bring the kick to the hand. If you don’t have much flexibility, set the sweeping palm block lower.
  • Jump with purpose. Jump as high as your ability allows you, lifting the knees high (this makes it appear that you are jumping even higher). Land with your back straight and a strong kiai.
  • Concentrate on using the hips to transition from front stance to back stance for manji-uke. Make a distinction between the two stances (ie, make sure front stance is wide enough).
  • In manji-uke, the rear hand must be straight and high enough, to block a head attack from the rear.

Some of the Key Moves

Morote-uke Augmented block

Juji-uke (ryoken) X block (closed fist)

Juji-uke (ryosho) X block (open hand)

Nagashi – uke Sweeping palm block

Mikazuki-geri Crescent Kick

Kagi-tsuki Hook punch

Nagashi uke /Gedan nukite flowing block / sword hand strike

Nagashi-uke /Shuto-uchikomi flowing block/sword-hand cutting strike

Manji-uke Down block/Upper inside block

Heisoku dachi Attention stance

Renoji-dachi “L” stance

Tobi Jump

Additional Info

In some variations, the punch to the face is more like a jab than a straight punch. Both variations are accepted.

Once Heian Godan is learned, the karate-ka has technically learned the basic movements required for Kanku Dai – one of the original advanced katas the Heians were created from.

Embusen

embusen_godan

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