Kaicho Tim Rodgers, Hanshi 10th Dan
Kata 型 (literally: “form”) is a Japanese word describing detailed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs. Katas serve as a way to pass on a body of knowledge from one generation to another and as models for the application of karate techniques in set patterns for the use of blocks, punches, grabs, joint locks, kicks, throws, and other basic fundamentals of karate application.
The Zentokukai teaches the Kata of Chotoku Kyan who was one of Okinawa’s greatest Karate masters and was never defeated during many confrontations. He was one of the first Karate masters to compile the Katas learned from many different teachers into a comprehensive system. In Okinawa his Katas are considered to be “old style”.
Advancement in rank is not dependent on the amount of Kata one knows but in the overall knowledge, skill level, and ability to effectively use the fighting techniques contained within a Kata. Chotoku Kyan did not did not include the Pinan katas (developted by Itosu) in his repertoire of kata, he felt they were not necessary when teaching private students.
The Zentokukai curriculum does not have basic (kihon) kata, all Kata are considered equal. What makes any Kata advanced is the skill and character of the person doing it.
Zentokukai Kata Empty Hand Forms
1- Seisan– 55 movements, by Sokon Matsumura
Kyan Sensei learned this Kata from the famous Sokon Matsumora. This was the first kata that Kyan Sensei taugth his disciples and they worked it for 3 years before learning any other kata.
2- Ananku– 33 movements, by Chotoku Kyan
Kyan Sensei is the creator of this Kata, he developed it as a shorter Kata to teach beginners during the time he began to teach publicly.
3- Wansu– 27 movements, by Saneida Maedaz
Kyan Sensei learned this Kata from the Tomari teacher Chiku Maeda Pechin.
4- Passai– 44 movements, by Kokan Oyadomari
Kyan Sensei learned this Kata from the Tomari teacher Kokan Oyadomari Pechin.
5- Gojushiho– 39 movements, by Sokon Matsumura
Kyan Sensei learned this Kata from the famous Sokon Matsumora.
6- Chinto– 42 movements, by Kosaku Matsumora
Kyan Sensei learned this Kata from the Tomari teacher Kosaku Matsumora.
7- Kusanku– 63 movements, by Pechin Yara
Kyan Sensei learned this Kata from Chatan Yara (Yara from the Chatan village) who was one of the forerunners of Shuri-te.
Kyan Sensei learned this Kata from the famous Sokon Matsumora but never taught it to Zenryo Shimabukuro. This version shown here is adopted by the Zentokukai and it is a standard method of Naihanchi used by other Shorin-ryu groups.