|Belt Requirements||Club Background||Kata||Sensei Bill|
This kata continues teaching reinforced blocks and double armed blocking and countering. Heian Godan, however, lacks the side snap kicking that is so challenging in Heian Yondan. Instead, there is a jumping maneuver that is fairly difficult to pull off if you are an older novice to karate. Heian Godan's jump is not the last seen in the kata, however. It is only the first time that the student of karate has been required to jump off of the floor in a kata.
Kata such as Enpi, Kanku-Sho, Unsu, and Meikyo require jumps that may reach high in the air, so the questionable skill of jumping is very important for those who aspire to be kata specialists. The mysterious techniques at the end of the kata, called the manji Uke postures, are generally interpreted as strikes followed by throws.
Throwing techniques throughout Shotokan Karate kata are likely encrypted into the structure of the kata. Why they are not more apparent is unclear. The last two techniques in Heian Godan, are samples of this coding of throws into the kata.
Many believe most of the jumping is believed to be a relatively recent development. Most of these techniques are thought to originate from simple stepping actions.
As I age I agree more and more with this view J
Video reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdTCs2S7Rwo&t=7s
1. Natural Position - Begin the kata with your hands relaxed at your sides in fists. Your feet should be about as far apart as your hips are wide.
2. Inside Block - Step out with the left foot into a back stance. Do not move the torso to the left. Instead, just lower the torso straight down as you bend the knees and move the left foot out into position. Fold for a left inside block as you step out, and then focus the block in time with the foot stepping down.
3. Reverse Punch - Stay in the back stance, and punch across your body to the left.This is a very difficult technique. It requires that you rotate the hips, you have to twist at the waist.Try your best to twist in the direction you need to in order to punch with a straight arm.
4. Hook Punch - Look to the right. Step slowly with the right foot up to the left. As you pull the right foot up, pivot the feet to face to the right 90° angle (the front of the room). Hook punch with the left fist. The punch should be slow and tense. Add tension and decelerate as you punch. The forearm of the punch should be angled slightly downward.Waterfall position The feet should come together in the closed feet stance. The knees should be relatively straight, not bent visibly.
5. Repeat - Perform this same sequence to the mirror side. Step out with the right foot into a back stance, punch with the left hand, and then step up slowly while hook punching with the right arm. The only difference: Look forward instead of to the left while hook punching.
6. Double Hand Block - Step forward with the right foot so that it becomes the front foot in a new back stance. Double hand block with the right arm and the left arm supporting. Fold for a double hand block by putting the right fist in front of the left shoulder and the left fist touching the right elbow. Block as the foot settles in as the front foot of a right side back stance.
7. Lower X-Block - Step forward into a front stance with the left foot. The left leg now becomes the front leg in a front stance. From the right shoulder upraised position, cross the wrists of the right and left arms, and then x-block downward powerfully from that position while rotating the shoulders to front.
8. Upper Level X-Block - Open the hands and stab upward without uncrossing the wrists. When you finish, your elbows should be at 90° angles and the center of the X should be above your forehead.
9. Pressing Side Block - Without changing the stance or the posture, stand in place and move the hands to the right side of the torso below the shoulder. To do this, unhook your hands during the motion so that they are no longer pressed together by the back of the hands. Press the palm heels together, and as you lower the hands to your right, your hands will spin. Finally, the right hand fingertips will point forward, and the left hand fingertips will point to the right. This is a pressing block
10. Straight Punch - Punch with the left fist from the pressing side block posture. We begin the next step as we execute this punch.
11. Stepping Punch - Step forward and punch middle level in a front stance. Kiai on this technique.
The timing of the entire kata up to this point is 1--2-----3--1--2-----3--4--5-6789.
12. Big Stomp and Down Block - Turn 180°, pivot to the left on your left foot, and then raise your right knee into the air. You should be facing squarely to the left when your knee is up in your chest like this. Leave your left arm where it was in physical space, not in relation to your body. When you pivot, move into it and collapse your shoulder inward. Reach over your left shoulder with your right fist and prepare a down block. All of the above happens simultaneously.
Now continue pivoting to your left and lower your foot strongly into the floor, stomping as you assume a horse riding stance facing to the left. During the entire turn, keep your eyes to the front. Sharply down block to your side, keeping all of these movements synchronized.
13. Back Hand Block -Turn your head sharply to the left 180°, then fold your arms so that your right arm and fist are reaching over your left arm and open hand. Fold before the block quickly and strongly. Quickly at first, then very slowly move your open hand, formed like a sword hand with the fingers straight, palm side following.
It is preferable to face the palm downward at first and then turn the wrist only at the last portion of the movement for drama
14. Crescent Moon Kick - Once you have reached the pinnacle of this motion, turn to your left and crescent kick into the palm of your hand with the sole of your right foot. Do not move the left arm while you do this - keep it in position relative to the room, not the body. Your left shoulder will close inward as you perform the kick and turn the body forward. Leave the right hand at the right hip. Keep it in position relative to the body. As you connect with the palm of your hand during the kick, you will continue turning and step down into another horse riding stance facing the opposite way from the last one.
15. Elbow Strike - As your foot makes contact with the floor, simultaneously strike the palm of your left hand with your right elbow. Turn your right fist so that your palm faced downward . Your left arm, as you were stepping through, eventually started to bend at the elbow to facilitate this move. Your arms should describe a perfect rectangle in front of your chest.
16. Double Hand Block - Look right 90°. From this position, move the left foot up to and behind the right so that you assume the crossed feet stance. Now Double hand block to your right with the right arm. The left arm is supporting.
17. Uppercut - Look 180° to the left. Immediately step out about 1 foot with the left foot so that you assume an L stance with the left foot as the front foot. Punch upward with the entire double hand block mechanism.
18. Jump and Lower X-Block - Bend the knees slightly. Move the hands lower as you pivot to face the left 90° angle. Leap off of the left foot and lift the right foot behind it. Tuck the feet and legs up against the body tightly. Pull both arms back in drawn positions. As you land, step down into the crossed leg stance with the right foot in front and the left behind. X-block to the lower level. Try to keep your back erect without bending over.
19. Double Hand Block - Step forward into a new front stance with the hips to the side. Fold for a double hand block by putting the right fist in front of the left shoulder and the left fist touching the right elbow. Block as the foot settles in as the front foot of a right side T stance Alternatively a zero width front stance. There is no width to this stance - the heel should be in line with each other or T stance heel lines up with arch .Either way is acceptable when Tstance is mentioned.
20. Manji Uke Blocks - Look over the left shoulder to the 180° angle. Shift the weight to the left leg so that it becomes the front leg in a new T stance. Straighten the back leg. At the same time, swing the right hand around and down in a lower level sword hand strike from the outside inward palm up. The left hand should be open as well with the palm facing inward. Execute a passing block with the left hand and finish beside the right side of the neck.
Shift the weight to the rear by straightening the front leg and bending the rear so that the stance moves from a front stance to a back stance without moving the feet.
Upper level inside block to the rear with the right hand. Down block to the front with the left hand. The inside block fist should pass over the head as it travels to its finishing position.
Pull the left foot to the right and stand up with the knees relatively straight. Pivot on the heels so that you face the opposite side. As you do this, use moderate speed and relaxed motion to trade the arms. The right arm should go to the down block position and the left arm should go to the upper level inside block to rear position
Step forward into an in-line T stance and strike with the open hands as before. Shift the weight back to a back stance and perform the Manji uke blocks again.
21. Finish - Lift and withdraw the right foot back to the left to stand in the natural position.