The World Karate Federation recognizes the following styles of karate in its kata list

  • Shotokan
  • Shitō-ryū
  • Gōjū-ryū
  • Wadō-ryū

Shitoryu Kata list

Basic Katas

Junino Kata (十二の形) (糸東流) or Daichi Dosa or Tai Kyoku

Ten no Kata (点の形) (糸東流)

Chi no kata (地の形) (糸東流)

Daini Dosa

Daisan Dosa

Daiyon Dosa

Heian Shodan (pinan sho-dan) Peacful Mind, Tranquility 1

Heien Nidan (pinan ni-dan) Peacful Mind, Tranquility 2

Heian Sandan (pinan san-dan) Peacful Mind, Tranquility 3

Heien Yondan (pinan yon-dan) Peacful Mind, Tranquility 4

Heian Godan (pinan go-dan) Peacful Mind, Tranquility 5

Myojo (Pure Brightness) (空手道糸東流)

Aoyagi Geen Willow

Juroku (Sixteen) (空手道糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version

Naihanchi shodan Sideway Fighting, or Surreptitious Steps 1

Naihanchi nidan Sideway Fighting, or Surreptitious Steps 2

Naihanchi sandan Sideway Fighting, or Surreptitious Steps 3

Sanchin (Three Battles) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version

Tensho (Rokushu) (Rotating Palms, Elagant Hands) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version

1st Dan

Bassai sho – video is Hayashi-Ha Version
Bassai dai
Niseishi (Twenty four Steps ) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version

2nd Dan

Seienchin Lull in the Storm
Seisan (Thirteen Hands) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version
Matsukaze (Pine Tree Wind) (空手道糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version

3rd Dan

Seipai (Eighteen Hands) (糸東流)
Kosokun sho (公相君小) (糸東流)
Kosokun dai (Four Directions of Kosokun) (糸東流)
Shiho Kosokun (Four Directions of Kosokun) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version

4th Dan

Chintei (Curious Hands) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version
Soochin (壮鎮 ) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version
Chinto (Fighting to the East, or where the sun comes up) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version
Sanseiru (Thirty Six Hands ) (糸東流) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version
Tomari no Wanshu (The name of Chinese Envoy) – video is Hayashi-Ha Version

5th Dan

Shisoochin Warrior’s Grand Calmness
Unshu or Unsu (Cloud Hand, Hand in the Cloud) (糸東流)
Kururunfa Seventeen, Holding Your Ground
Tomari no Bassai

6th Dan

Gojushiho (Fifty Four Steps) (糸東流)
Nipaipo (Twenty Eight Steps) (糸東流) (WSKF Versión)
Nipaipo (Twenty Eight Steps) (糸東流) (Firts Versión)
Haffa White Swan, One Hundred Bird
Papuren (Other Link) Eight Steps, Eight Steps at a time – video is Hayashi-Ha Version
Suparimpei One Hundred Hands, One hundred Steps
Chatanyara no Kusanku (北谷屋良公相君) (糸東流)

shotokan kata list

The following is a list of all 26 katas, number of moves, meaning and a demonstration video.
KataNo. of movesKata meaning
Heian Shodan21“Peacefull Mind One”
Heian Nidan26“Peacefull Mind Two”
Heian Sandan20“Peacefull Mind Three”
Heian Yondan27“Peacefull Mind Four”
Heian Godan23“Peacefull Mind Five Universe”
Tekki Shodan23“Iron Horse One”
Tekki Nidan24“Iron Horse Two”
Tekki Sandan26“Iron Horse Three”
Bassai Dai42“Penetrating the Fortress-Big”
Bassai Sho27“Penetrating the Fortress – Small”
Kanku Dai65“To look at the Sky – Big”
Kanku Sho48“To look at the Sky – Small”
Enpi37“Flying Swallow”
Jion47“Love (and) Goodness”
Gankaku42“Crane on the Rock”
Hangetsu41“Half Moon”
Jitte24“Ten Hands”
Chinte32“Incredible Hands”
Sochin41“Preserve Peace”
Meikyo33“Mirror of the soul”
Jiin38“Named after the Saint”
Gojushiho Dai67“54 Steps – Big”
Gojushiho Sho65“54 Steps – Small”
Nijushiho24“24 Steps”
Wankan24“Crown of a king”
Unsu48“Cloud Hands”

Gojuryu kata list

Kihon Dai Ichi (Basic Number 1)

Originally called fukyugata ichi, this kata was developed by Nagamine Shoshin, a member of the Karate-Do Special Committee assembled in 1940. The goal of the commitee was to create a series of Okinawan kata to teach both physical education and very basic Okinawan independent style martial arts to school children. Their goal was not to create a standardized karate as the Japaneses had been doing with kendo and Judo for the sake of popularization. This type of kata is not traditional Goju Ryu kata; instead, it was developed as “promotional kata”, independent of the sensei’s style.
Using basic steps, hand technques and tai sabaki (body evasion), Kihon Dai Ichi is a simple drill-styled kata which introduces kata to beginners. This kata was taught to Sensei Ravey by Sensei Morio Higaonna in Yoyogi Dojo, Japan.

Kihon Dai Ni (Basic Number 2)

Almost identical to Kihon Dai Ichi, with the introduction of kicks. 

Gekisai Dai Ichi 撃砕第一 (Introduction To Destroy Number 1)

Also a member of the Karate-Do Special Committee, Miyagi Sensei developed fukyugata ni in 1940, which is part of current Goju Ryu syllabus under the name Gekisai Dai Ichi. This kata finishes with a forward step that symbolises the moving forward of the country during the war in Japan at the time. The kata involves ‘attack’ and ‘smash’ techniques to pulverise the opponent.

Gekisai Dai Ni 撃砕第二 (Introduction To Destroy Number 2)

This Kata was created at the same time as Gekasai Dai Ichi. Both of these Kata were created by Sensei Chojun Miyagi as a means to strengthen and prepare the body for future rigorous training. It also introduces open hand techniques and the Neko Ashi Dachi movements that are very important in many advanced Goju Ryu kata. 

Saifa 碎破 (To Destroy By Pounding/Pulverising)

To tear and destroy, also known as ‘To Move Like The Wind’. Saifa is the first of the traditional kata of Chinese origin taught in Goju Ryu.  Kanryo Higaonna Sensei was taught this kata, along with the other kata of Goju Ryu, while he studied in China from 1863-1881 under the direction of Ryu Ryu Ko (Xie Zhong Xiang) and others. Saifa makes use of many escape techniques and body shifting skills. 

Seiunchin 制引戦 (To Control and Pull In Battle)

Derivative of a very old chinese kata, probably originally from the Hsing-I system. Seiunchin implies the use of techniques to off balance, throw and grapple when grabbed around the collar and wrist area. It is this understanding that imparts the original intentions of the kata of Naha-te before the sport alignment of modern karate (ie – grappling instead of stand up punching). The subtleness of ashi barai represents foot sweeps, parrys and traps.

Shisochin 四向戦 (Four Directional Battle)

Also called to ‘Destroy In Four Directions’, taught to Kanryo Higaonna by Ryu Ryu Ko. Shisochin was one of Chojun Miyagi’s favourite kata in his later years. It emphasises joint manipulation and locking techniques. This kata is believed to have deeper philosophical meanings represented in Chinese medicine for example wood, fire, metal, and water, with man representing earth.

Sanseru 三十六手 (36 Hands/Techniques)

This kata makes use of joint attacks and defence against kicking attacks. The name refers to a systematic method of certain groupings of vital acupressure points. Feng Yiquan, who lived during the Ming Dynasty (1522-67) developed this particular method of using variations of “36” forbidden points to defeat his opponents. Sanseru is found in Crane, Tiger, and Dog Boxing styles.

Sepai 十八手 (18 Hands/Techniques)

The most apparent and meaningful suggestion in the naming of Sepai is again from the martial arts development and the use of attacking pressure points.18 is one half of 36 suggesting that perhaps an alternative set of attacks and defenses of preferred techniques and strategies from the original Sanseru 36. This kata uses many movements that require co-ordination between hips and hands. Sepai is found in Monk Boxing. 

Of Praying Mantis style, this kata uses many Neko Ashi movements and also refers to ‘destroy with ancient mantis techniques’. Taught to Kanryo Higaonna by Ryu Ryu Ko in China. Stance transitions are quick and explosive while the hands techniques are employed using “muchimi” or a heavy, sticky movement. 

Sesan 十三手 (13 Hands/Techniques)

The basic form of this kata contains 8 defensive and 5 attacking techniques. Thirteen is also a number representing good luck and prosperity in chinese numerology. Sesan is thought to be one of the oldest of all Okinawan Goju Ryu kata. It symbolises the difference between Go (hard) and Ju (soft). Sesan is practiced in the following styles of Chinese Boxing: Dragon, Lion and Monk Fist.

Combining the elements represented in the meanings of sanseru and sepai, the number “108” is suggested to have origins in Buddhism and can represent the “108 sins of man”. On the Chinese New Year, temple bells are rung 108 times to “drive away the evils of man”. This is the most advanced Kata in Goju Ryu also known as Master Kata, containing the greatest number of techniques and variations. Suparinpei is found in the styles of Chinese Boxing: Dragon, Tiger and Monk Fist. 

Tensho 転掌 (Rotating Palms)

‘Turning or Flowing Hands’, Tensho is uniquely Okinawan. Miyagi Sensei developed Tensho to further complete his Goju Ryu where Sanchin left off, including more intricate concepts of techniques. These concepts come alive in kakie, which in advanced training, breathes life into the bunkai of Goju Ryu kata.

Sanchin 三戦 (3 Battles - mind, body and spirit)

The fundamental kata of Goju Ryu using muscle contraction and ibuki style breathing. The kata symbolises the conflict between mind, body and spirit. Sanchin develops discipline, determination, focus, perseverance and other mental attributes.
The original Sanchin was performed with open hands and less emphasis on muscle contraction and “energetic” breathing. It was changed from open hands to closed fists as the martial meaning was no longer emphasized. Later the kata was altered in pattern alone.

wadoryu kata list

* Ten-No: basic drills first invented by Gigō Funakoshi (son of Gichin Funakoshi).

* Taikyoku series: developed by Gichin Funakoshi as a preliminary exercise before the Pinan series; many Wadō-ryū schools teach these basic kata, particularly Taikyoku Shodan (太極初段).

* Pinan kata: created by Ankō Itosu, and consisting of Pinan Shodan (平安初段), Pinan Nidan (平安二段), Pinan Sandan (平安三段), Pinan Yodan (平安四段), and Pinan Godan (平安五段).

* Kushanku: “Sky Viewing”. Kūsankū was the Okinawan name for Kwang Shang Fu, a Sapposhi (emissary of China’s ruling class) sent to Okinawa in the 18th century. This kata uses stances and attacks comprising of the five previous Pinan kata.

* Naihanchi (内畔戦; also known as Naifanchi): this was the original name for the three Tekki kata, but was changed by Funakoshi. This is a lateral kata learned from Chōki Motobu. Wadō-ryū practices only the first Naihanchi kata.

* Seishan: the name means “13 hands.” This kata was named after a well-known Chinese martial artist who lived in or near Shuri c. 1700. The movements are repeated in sets of three, and has pivots and turning of the head.

* Passai (披塞; also known as Bassai): a Tomari-te kata that uses dynamic stances and hip rotation.

* Chintō: formulated by Matsumura Sōkon from the teachings of a sailor or pirate named Chintō (or Annan, depending on the source). Crane stance occurs many times, and the flying kicks differentiate Chintō from other kata.

* Rōhai: Rōhai has three variation invented by Itosu. Wadō-ryū practices Rōhai Shodan.

* Niseishi (二十四步): the name means “24 steps.” Transmitted by Ankichi Aragaki, this kata is also known in Japanese as Nijūshiho.

* Wanshu: the name means “flying swallow.” This is a Tomari-te kata based on movements brought to Okinawa in 1683 by a Chinese envoy of the same name. The metaphorical name, “Flying Swallows,” comes from the soft blocking sequences near the end of this kata.

* Jion: A Tomari-te kata; part of the Jion kata group.

* Jitte: another Tomari-te kata of the Jion kata group; the name means “10 hands.”

* Suparinpei: known as “108 hands,” representing the 108 evil spirits of man. This kata is also said to have represented a band of 108 warriors that travelled the Chinese countryside in the 17th century, performing ‘Robin Hood’-type tasks of doing good deeds, giving to the poor, and so on. It is also known by its Chinese name of Pechurrin, and occasionally referred to as Haiku Hachi Ho (a name given by Funakoshi). Suparinpei was originally listed as a Wadō-ryū kata with the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai by Hironori Ōtsuka, but he eventually discarded it. Some Wadō-ryū instructors and schools still teach this kata.

In addition to the solo kata listed above, many Wadō-ryū schools also practice paired kata, which reflects its jujutsu heritage. These paired kata are performed by two people (one as the attacker and one as the defender), demonstrating a range of self-defense techniques. The paired kata of Wadō-ryū often vary from one organization from another, because Ōtsuka did not standardize them. The paired kata are:

* Yakusoku Kihon Kumite: consists of 10 fundamental techniques of attack against combination attacks (combinations of kicks and punches), influenced by jujutsu body movements.

* Kumite Gata: consists of 10 – 24 varietal techniques (depending on the organization) of attack emphasizing Katamae (pinning) and Kuzushi (breaking balance) and multiple strikes.

* Ohyo Kumite: consists of various techniques of attack, incorporating Karate blocks, kicks and strikes with jujutsu throws and body movements. This is a specialty of Tatsuo Suzuki Hanshi’s W.I.K.F organization.

* Idori no Kata: consists of 5–10 techniques (depending on the organization) of seated self-defense, influenced by jujutsu throwing and joint-locking techniques.

* Tantodori no Kata: consists of 7–10 techniques (depending on the organization) of defenses against knife attacks, influenced by jujutsu body movements, throwing, and joint-locking techniques.

* Shinken Shirahadori (真剣白刃取り): consists of 5-10 (depending on organization) techniques of defenses against sword attacks, influenced by jujutsu body movements, throwing, and joint-locking techniques.

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