The Japanese word “kata” (形 or 型) simply means form. Consequently, a kata refers to a predefined sequence of techniques. Most katas can be considered instructions for self-defense in dangerous situations, which is the reason, why kata is frequently referred to as “fighting an imaginary opponent (or opponents).”

Kata is an efficient method of repeating accuracy and correct execution of basic techniques and stances over and over again. This is so, because the kata techniques are fixed and therefore known to the practitioner rather quick. Additionally, kata (in karate) is done without a partner, so it’s easy to practice your Karate in any place and at any time.

An important, if not the most important, aspect of kata is the exercise of maintaining focus and stimulating the flow of energy. Especially nowadays when one is constantly surrounded by different distractions, it is crucial to be able to fully focus on one thing at a time and remain centered. With Kata it’s easy to train this self-centering and let the energy flow in and around the body. With certain kata techniques, especially the katas from tai chi and chi kung, energies can be controlled and also generated with full intention.

List of Kata, taught at Shihonkin Dojo:

Main Kata:

Pinan Shodan – White Belt
Pinan Nidan – Yellow Belt
Pinan Sandan – Orange Belt
Seisan – Orange Belt

Shin Tai Sho – Green Belt
Wan Shu Sho – Blue Belt
Chiinto – Purple Belt
Seiuchin – Brown Belt I
Itotsu no Passai – Brown Belt II
Genkauken no Araku – Brown Belt III

Sanchin:
Sanchin Ichi
Sanchin Ni
Saifa

further weaponless Kata:
Kihon Sho
Naihanchi Shodan
Pinan Yondan
Pinan Godan
Hangetsu

Weapon Kata:
Kihon Sho no Hanbo
Muzo No Zen
Pinan Nidan no Bo
Shin Tai Sho no Bo
Kihon no Hanbo Ichi