Southwest Academy of Kyokushinkai Karate
The word Kata means "shape" or "form". Below is a list of the Kata practised within the Southwest Academy of Kyokushinkai Karate in alphabetical order.
Gekisai Dai Ichi
Taikyoku is literally translated as "grand ultimate", and in Chinese, the kanji characters are pronounced Tai Chi. The word Taikyoku can also mean overview or the whole point – seeing the whole rather than focusing on the individual parts, and keeping an open mind or beginner's mind. The beginner's mind is what is strived for during training and in life. The beginner's mind does not hold prejudice and does not cling to a narrow view. The beginner's mind is open to endless possibilities.
Pinan is the Okinawan pronunciation of the kanji characters for peace and relaxation (pronounced Heian in Japanese). Though the physical moves of kata involve techniques used for fighting, the purpose of kata is to develop a calm, peaceful mind and harmony between the mind and body.
Sanchin literally means "three battles" or "three conflicts". It is the principal kata in certain Okinawan karate styles, such as Goju Ryu and Uechi Ryu, and it is likely one of the oldest kata. Certain legends attribute the creation of Sanchin to Bodhidharma in the early sixth century. Sanchin kata seeks to develop three elements at the same time:
Gekisai means conquer and occupy. The name is derived from the characters Geki, meaning attack or conquer, and Sai, meaning fortress or stronghold (literally translated as "closed", "shut" or "covered"). The word Gekisai can also mean demolish, destroy or pulverize. The katas teach strength through fluidity of motion, mobility and the utilization of various techniques. Flexibility of attack and response will always be superior to rigid and inflexible strength.
Yansu is derived from the characters Yan, meaning safe, and Su, meaning three. The name is attributed to that of a Chinese military attaché to Okinawa in the 19th Century. The word yansu also means to keep pure, striving to maintain the purity of principles and ideals rather than compromising for expediency.
Tensho means rolling or fluid hand, literally translated as "rotating palms". Tensho is the soft and circular (yin) counterpart to the hard and linear (yang) Sanchin kata. Not only was Tensho one of Mas Oyama's favorite kata, he considered it to be the most indispensable of the advanced kata:
Saiha means extreme destruction, smashing or tearing. The word Saiha can also mean great wave, the source of the IFK logo. No matter how large a problem is encountered, with patience, determination and perseverance (Osu) one can rise above and overcome it, or smash through and get beyond it.
Kanku means sky gazing. Literally translated, Kan means "view", and Ku means "universe", "air", "emptiness" or "void" (the same character as Kara in karate). The first move of the kata is the formation of an opening with the hands above the head, through which one gazes at the universe and rising sun. The significance is that no matter what problems are faced, each day is new and the universe is waiting. Nothing is so terrible that it affects the basic reality of existence.
Seienchin means conqueror and subdue over a distance, or attack the rebellious outpost. In feudal Japan, Samurai warriors would often go on expeditions lasting many months, and they needed to maintain their strength and spirit over a long period of time. This kata is long and slow, with many techniques performed from kiba dachi (horseback stance). The legs usually become very tired in this kata, and a strong spirit is needed to persevere, instead of giving up. The word Seienchin can also mean to pull in battle.
Sushiho means 54 steps. Sushiho is derived from the words Useshi, the Okinawan pronunciation of the kanji characters for 54 (pronounced Go Ju Shi in Japanese), and Ho, meaning walk or step. Other karate styles call this advanced kata Gojushiho.
Seipai is the Okinawan pronunciation of the kanji characters for 18 (pronounced Ju Hachi in Japanese). In other karate styles, this kata is sometimes called Seipaite, or eighteen hands. The number 18 is derived from the Buddhist concept of 6 x 3, where six represents color, voice, taste, smell, touch and justice and three represents good, bad and peace.
Original source unknown
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