Heian Kata tipsPublished 21/12/2013
Here are some (of many) key Kata Competence points of interest I strive for during my own training. They relate to the performance of the solo versions of the Shotokan Heian Kata as I practice them. I appreciate that there are other practiced versions and have a good understanding of where and how they differ. The points below are from my kata perspective:

Heian Shodan: Keeping the hips down whilst executing the three upper blocks will ensure a consistent stepping pattern throughout the kata. The tendency is to allow the hips to rise and the blocking arms rise.

Heian Nidan: This is the kata that includes a kick for the first time. The side snap kick will be optimised if the supporting leg is fully loaded in a bent position during the preparatory motion.

Heian Sandan: Movements 7-10 feature three consecutive and separate stances. Each stances must be fully finished before moving onto the next. This also features slow movements for the first time. They must be executed such that they look like a fast movement that has is viewed in 'slow motion' as if the whole body is contributing to the technique.

Heian Yondan: This kata requires lots of twisting and turning of body as well as 6 kicks. The twisting motions must be strong and fast by driving from the ground upwards. Every kick is enabled and strengthened though the positioning and drive of the supporting leg respectively.

Heian Godan: Being a very diverse and busy kata, there are many points on which to focus. The last section after the jump requires that each and every stance be it front, back and standing are fully completed with such emphasis that the corresponding arm movements are also strong and sharp.

I hope these are useful in your Heian Kata practice.

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