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  • Writer's pictureroderickmartin

Heishugata & Kaishugata

Credit to Shihan Paul Coleman.

Heishugata: Sanchin (Miyagi Sensei version) Sanchin (Higaonna Sensei version) Tensho Kaishugata: Gekisai Dai Ichi Gekisai Dai Ni Saifa Seiyunchin Shisochin Sanseru Sepai Kururunfa Sesan Suparinpei

Kata in Goju Ryu play a very important role in the essence of the ryuha (system). In the times of the Goju Ryu founder, Chojun Miyagi Sensei, kata were not taught in a specific order as is done in modern days. Kata were taught primarily considering the personal physical conditions and natural abilities of the students. The majority of the Okinawan Goju Ryu kata practiced nowadays originated in China. Unfortunately, the name of the persons responsible in formulating the kata, and the exact dates of their creation are untraceable. All of these kata were brought from China to Okinawa by Kanryo Higaonna Sensei who learned them from Ryu Ryu Ko Sensei in Fuchou. Miyagi Sensei's contribution to the Goju Ryu kata includes the creation of Gekisai Dai Ichi, Gekisai Dai Ni, Tensho and Sanchin (straight version).

Goju Ryu kata are divided in two main groups: Heishugata and Kaishugata. Heishugata translates literally into 'close-hand kata', but what it really intends to say is the continued state of tension maintained throughout the execution or performance of the kata by contracting the muscles. Sanchin and Tensho kata are the typical explanation of Heishugata.

Kaishugata in contrast with Heishugata translates literally into 'open-hand kata'. This type of kata refers to the concept where the practitioner's body remains 'open' or relaxed during most of the kata, and powerful or tensed at the moment of the execution of the respective techniques.

The Goju Ryu kata are listed above in the order they are taught at the majority of Goju dojos.

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