Kanji for Kata

Three characters make up the kanji for "kata". The kanji in the upper left means shape, the kanji in the upper right means cut, and the kanji on the bottom means ground. Taken together, the word kata means "shape" that cuts the ground".

Enbusen and Seichusen

Enbusen refers to the performance line of the kata. Enbu means performance and in this case, sen means line. Therefore enbusen refers to the line a karateka follows as a kata is executed.

Seichusen refers to the line that the technique follows as it goes toward the opponent. This, also, is the line that the defender must defend against because the attack is coming through this line. In kumite it is important to remember that your seichusen is an ever-changing center that must be defended and from which technique is executed. In kata as you move along the enbusen you defend and attack through the seichusen. Correct practice of kata is essential in developing effective technique!

Therefore your seichusen is an evolving center that must be defended. In ikita kata, enbusen and seichusen are one. As you move along the enbusen you defend and attack through the seichusen.

Six Principles of Kata - No Roku Gensoku

  1. Iki ta kata - kata must be alive and done with feeling and purpose
  2. I nen - kata must be executed with spirit coming from the seika tande
  3. Chikara no kyojaku - kata must demonstrate energy inherent in both hard and soft techniques
  4. Waza no kankyu - kata must demonstrate variations in timing
  5. Kisoku no donto - kata must be done with proper breathing to develop power and stamina
  6. Baransu - kata must be executed with physical, mental and spiritual balance


Examples of Numeric Kata

Suparinpei (108)

Gojushi-ho (54)

Sanshiru (36)

Nipaipo (28)

Niseishi/Nijushi-ho (24)

Seipai (18)

Seishan/Seisan (13)


Three Divisions of Kata