Sunday 5 September 2010

The Most Important Shotokan Kata

I was recently asked “What are the most important Shotokan kata?” To respond optimally, I thought I’d once again quote my teacher, Tetsuhiko Asai Sensei’s instructor, Masatoshi Nakayama. To supplement this, pictured here is Asai Sensei performing his tokui-kata `Nijushiho’, which ironically is not amongst the core shotokan-ryu formal exercises.

So what are the most important Shotokan kata? According to Nakayama Sensei “The basic Heian and Tekki kata and the free kata from Bassai to Jion are all the essential Shoto-kan kata. In 1948, disciples from Keio, Waseda and Takushoku universities met with Master Funakoshi at Waseda University. Their purpose was to form a viewpoint for the unification of the kata, which in the period after the war were subject to varied individual and subjective interpretations. The kata as presented in Best Karate embody the criteria for standardization established at that time.” (Nakayama, M. `Best Karate’. Kodansha International Ltd.).

© André Bertel. New Zealand, 2010.

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