Meaning of Shotokan Karate Kata
This page looks at the meaning behind each Shotokan Karate kata. Knowledge of these kata meanings are often part of Shotokan belt tests. Be aware that the order of these kata can vary from school to school. Please check with your Sensei for the proper kata sequence taught at your school. If you are looking for videos and/or written instructions for these kata (i.e. to prepare for a belt test), please visit the main Shotokan Karate Katas section.
Section supported by Shotokan Books
Shotokan Karate Kata Meanings - Click on the kata in order to view kata videos, etc.
- Heian Shodan – Peaceful mind, Level 1
- Heian Nidan – Peaceful mind, Level 2
- Heian Sandan – Peaceful mind, Level 3
- Heian Yondan – Peaceful mind, Level 4
- Heian Godan – Peaceful mind, Level 5
- Tekki Shodan – Iron horse or horse riding, Level 1. Named because the kata uses the Kiba Dachi or Horse Stance.
- Tekki Nidan – Iron horse or horse riding, Level 2. Named because the kata uses the Kiba Dachi or Horse Stance.
- Tekki Sandan – Iron horse or horse riding, Level 3. Named because the kata uses the Kiba Dachi or Horse Stance.
- Bassai Dai - To storm a fortress or castle, Big (dai)
- Bassai Sho - To storm a fortress or castle, Small (sho)
- Kanku Dai - To look at or watch the sky, Big (dai)
- Kanku Sho - To look at or watch the sky, Small (sho)
- Enpi - Flying swallow
- Jion - Love and goodness, mercy, etc. Named after the Jion temple in China.
- Gankaku - Crane on rock
- Hangetsu - Half moon
- Jitte - Ten hands
- Chinte - Amazing or incredible hands
- Sochin - To maintain or preserve peace
- Meikyo - Bright mirror, mirror of the soul, etc.
- Jiin - Love of truth, inverted mercy, etc. Thought to be one of the Jion temple-based kata.
- Gojushiho Dai - 54 steps, Big (dai)
- Gojushiho Sho - 54 steps, Small (sho)
- Nijushiho - 24 steps
- Wankan - Emperor's crown, king's crown, etc.
- Unsu - Cloud hands, hands in the cloud, etc.
Wiki Recommendations by Google
Black Belt Wiki Community
- Please visit the wiki community to read all of our members posts & replies. However, we have listed below some of the recent posts & top-rated topics added by our members to the wiki's social community. FYI - These are not wiki pages but rather are fantastic member generated questions & answers focused on martial arts topics. We hope you become a member.
Highly Rated Posts on the Wiki Community
Recent Wiki Community Posts
- New member Hi Everyone I am really happy to join this group and get to know you all.
- How to Condition Shins for Muay Thai I have been working on a wiki page regarding shin blocks - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/muay-thai-shin-block One element is how Muay Thai fighters must work on conditioning their shins in order to manage any pain associated with a shin block (or shin ...
- New Shodan!!! Hello BBW community, I would just like to let you know that I passed my shodan test last night. I will try to get a pic or two up. I made mistakes but they just made me more focused when they happened. As some may have read my last post, the political...
At no extra cost to you, Black Belt Wiki makes a small commission if you buy products via these Amazon links. Your purchase helps keep this wiki free for all visitors. Thank you for your support!
If you spot a typo, non-working video or missing information, please tell us & we will fix immediately!
Also help beginners & add your knowledge to this free wiki.
Material on this wiki may not be copied or reproduced without the written approval of Black Belt Wiki.
All rights reserved. For other terms & conditions, please read our legal disclaimer. This site is for informational purposes only. All martial arts techniques and fitness exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting or continuing any martial arts and/or physical fitness program.
Search Wiki for Martial Arts Techniques & Topics
Martial Arts Products
- Books - Most Popular Martial Arts Books
- Grappling - BJJ, Judo, MMA, etc.
- DVDs - Best Instructional DVDs
- Gloves - Boxing, MMA, etc.
- Heavy Bags, Kicking Pads & Shields
- Kata & Forms
- Kids - Books, Gift Ideas, etc.
- Party Ideas
- Rash Guards
- Shoes - Karate, Taekwondo, Wrestling, Boxing, etc.
- Sparring Gear
- Strength - Hojo Undo, Makiwara, etc.
- Stretching & Flexibility
- Training - Iron Palm, Punching Mitts, etc.
- Uniforms & Gi
- Wiki Reviews