Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Kata we Practice: Pinan Shodan

First Technique in Pinan Shodan
Pinan Shodan is the first of the Pinan series of kata.  The 5 Pinan Kata were originally developed by Anko Itosu Sensei in the early 20th century as a way to teach  karate to  young students.  There is a good write-up on wikipedia about the Pinan Kata if you'd like to learn more history.

Of all the five Pinan kata, Pinan Shodan is my favorite.

Even though it's considered a "basic" kata, like most kata it can be as advanced as you want it to be.

As a teacher, it's a special treat to introduce students to Pinan Shodan for the first time. In our dojo, people learn Naihanchi Shodan, Fukyugata Ichi and Fukyugata Ni, before moving on to Pinan Shodan. This is because Pinan Shodan introduces Nekoashi Dachi (Cat Stance).  This is a very unusual way to stand and most beginners really have a hard time learning to do it.  Pinan Shodan also introduces Shuto Uke (Knifehand Block).  This technique is also one of my favorites, because it is so rich in practical application.

No comments: