Okinawan Goju Ryu Kata

Gekisai Dai Ichi

To destroy introduction number one

This kata was created by Miyagi Sensei in 1940 out of his desire to popularise Goju Ryu within the high school system in Okinawa. It is interesting to note that this kata finishes with a step forwards. Japan was at war at the time of this katas creation and according to Higaonna Sensei's book The History of Karate-Do, Miyagi Sensei included the forward step as an analogy to the country moving forward.


Gekisai Dai Ni

To destroy introduction number two

This kata was created at the same time as Gekisai Dai Ichi. It introduces open hand techniques and Neko Ashi movements, an important feature of many advanced Goju Ryu kata.



To destroy by pounding / pulverising

Saifa utilises tai-sabaki (body shifting) and many escape techniques.



Grasping, pulling, unbalancing 

Seiyunchin is unusual in that it does not employ any kicking techniques. It contains several escape techniques.



To destroy in four directions

This kata is said to have been the favourite of Miyagi Sensei in his later years. The kata employs joint locking and close quarter fighting techniques.



36 Hands or movements

Sanseru employs many entry, joint attacks and defences against kicking attacks.



18 Hands or movements

Sepai uses many movements that require co-ordination between the hips and hands. It contains many varied techniques.



Holding on long and striking suddenly

Kururunfa employs a great deal of Neko Ashi movements and in-fighting techniques.



13 Hands or movements

Sesan contains many unusual techniques and demonstrates the difference between Go (Hard) and Ju (Soft) A different version is practised in Shotokan (Hangetsu) and in Wado Ryu (Seishan). Sesan was the favourite kata of Shinzato Jin'an Sensei.



108 Hands or movements

The most advanced and intricate kata of the Goju Ryu system. Sometimes known by an old name of Pitchurrin.



3 Battles / conflicts

The name Sanchin or 3 battles refers to the conflict between mind, body and spirit during the practice of this kata. 
There are two versions of Sanchin, Higaonna Kanyro Sanchin and the version developed by Miyagi Sensei.



Rotating palms

Miyagi Sensei developed this kata from his research in Fuzhou, southern China during the period 1917 to 1921. 
It is also known as Rokkishu.

© Karate Dojo 2014