Guest Columnists - Pinan Kata

The Pinan Kata series demonstrates aspects of individual concepts that many may not be aware of.

If we take Ku-Shanku and break it down we can then identify these elements and recognise and understand them into the Kata of their own. Although all Kata generally demonstrate a 'dropping movement' at the start, we can also take each Pinan and dissect certain elements from them and form individual concepts from each of them. The more advanced the Pinan, the closer to Ku-Shanku we get with the more advanced principles of motion and technique. For example:

Pinan Nidan: This demonstrates the fundamentals of Junzuki, where the same hand is being used with the leading foot. All fundamental Karate movement derives from Junzuki and is delivered from these initial principles.

Pinan Shodan: This Kata introduces the practitioner to Gyakuzuki. However, a more important, and very often overlooked principle, are the concepts of 'contradicting forces' of the striking/blocking movements. These principles are apparent in our Kihon-gumite where the body shifts one way and the contradicting energy is used in the technique.

Pinan Sandan: This Kata forms the basis of the 'complimentary forces', where the body twists and the striking/blocking technique follows the flow of the body movement.

Pinan Yodan: This Kata utilises forward 'double movement', whereby the double blocks are used in harmony in an up and down (Ten-Chi) motion. Additionally, we can also see the demonstration of motion as demonstrated in Pinan Shodan and Pinan Sandan.

Pinan Godan: The Kata utilises double handed techniques demonstrating both 'complimentary forces' and 'contradicting forces'. Additionally, we also see demonstration of other two handed tactics and elements not already obvious in the previous Pinan Kata but are contained in the Ku-Shanku Kata. For example, jumping, rising and dropping movements, etc. Pinan Godan could also be considered an introduction to some of the elements and principles contained within Chinto Kata.

Gary E Swift, 8th Dan.
Chief Instructor to the British Wadokai Karate-do. British Wadokai

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