Contents Blogs Introduction Fisher One Page Contacts Links



By Charles Rhodes, P. Eng., Ph.D.

Heian Shodan is a basic kata of Shotokan karate. The original foot work for the commencement and execution of this kata and the similar kata Taikyoku Shodan was set out in Japanese in the second edition of “Karate-Do Kyohan, the Master Text” by Gichin Funakoshi in 1956. This text was published in English in 1973. Amongst karateka there has been some discussion that the design of this foot work may have been influenced by a physical impediment of Gichin Funakoshi.

The Heian Shodan foot work described by Gichin Funakoshi was adopted by the Japan Karate Association and was detailed in English in the text “Karate Kata Heian 1 Tekki 1 Official Manual of the Japan Karate Association” by M. Nakayama in 1970. This footwork is herein referred to as the JKA Method. This foot work has been taught at Brad Jones Karate-Do since 1976.

In order to clarify direction descriptions on this web site a horizontal clock face reference system is used. Twelve o'clock indicates the initial forward direction also known as the main embusen axis. Nine o'clock indicates the direction 90 degrees Counter Clockwise (CCW) from the main embusen axis. Three o'clock indicates the direction 90 degrees Clockwise (CW) from the main embusen axis.

The first four turns of the kata Heian Shodan each merit careful study. The first turn commences at shizen-tai and goes 90 degrees Counter Clockwise (CCW) from 12:00 o'clock to 9:00 o'clock. The second turn goes 180 degrees Clockwise (CW) from 9:00 o'clock to 3:00 o'clock. The third turn goes 90 degrees CCW from 3:00 o'clock to 12:00 o'clock. The fourth turn goes 270 degrees CCW from 12:00 o'clock to 3:00 o'clock.

During late 2008 Sensei Malcolm Fisher demonstrated at Brad Jones Karate-Do application of Fisher Shotokan to execution of Heian Shodan. Fisher Shotokan has very fast turns that are executed with an erect unified body. Each block/attack delivers the maximum possible amount of energy. The kata bunkai in Fisher Shotokan takes into consideration the initial center of momentum (CM) positions of both the karate-ka and his opponents and the lateral displacements of the CMs with turns and steps. This website has web pages that detail the Fisher Shotokan implementation of the first four turns of Heian Shodan.

Each person has his or her own interpretation of kata bunkai. Click here to find C. Rhodes personal interpretation of the bunkai of Heian Shodan. This bunkai is substantially influenced by the principles of Fisher Shotokan.

This web page last updated March 19, 2011.

Contents Blogs Introduction Fisher One Page Contacts Links