Perspective on H. Nidan (P. Shodan)

Applications of Heian Nidan (Pinan Shodan) by Bruce Clayton.
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Perspective on H. Nidan (P. Shodan)

Postby HanshiClayton » Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:50 pm

Heian Nidan was Itosu's choice for the first kata of the Pinan series, so you'll find it as "Pinan Shodan" in other styles. Shotokan seems to be the only style that has switched Shodan with Nidan in this fashion. The only explanation I have heard is that H. Shodan is simpler and easier for beginners.

There are marked differences between the Heian Nidan of Shotokan and the related Pinan Shodan katas of other styles. Some of them may be clues to applications, so it is good to be aware of them. There are also some small differences in the katas performed by different branches of Shotokan. Again, traditional Shotokan senseis become agitated if you do the kata as it is taught by their rivals. (See Standard Lie #3.)

Step 1-6: Opening "double-block" cluster. Allowing for stylistic differences such as using cat stance instead of back stance, almost everybody does this cluster the same way:

The exception is the shotokai group, which turns step 3 and step 6 into oi-zuki by shifting forward in an extended front stance:

Step 7-8: Side-snap kick and uraken-uchi. Only Shotokan does the side-snap kick and uraken-uchi. (For this discussion, Robukai and Shotokai are treated as branches of Shotokan.)

Non-Shotokan styles all do a front-snap kick instead of side-snap kick, and extend the arm in what looks like a hammerfist or even a downblock:

Except for Wado Ryu and Shito Ryu, which have the front-snap kick combined with an inside block:

Step 9, 10, 12-15: Knife-hand strikes with hiki-te over the solar plexus (like modern Shotokan):

Knife-hand strikes using old-style two-hand swing (no hiki-te):

Step 11: Nukite, pressing block (typical Shotokan):

Nukite, but no pressing block:

It looks like the pressing block has been added to the Shotokan branch. Other groups don't do it.

Step 16: Extend arm to right, then swing horizontally across body and return as reverse-hip uchi ude uke:

Full 360 arm swing (exaggerated circular swing compared to most modern Shotokan):

No arm swing, just minimal stackup before reverse-hip uchi ude uke:

Left inside block, normal hip position, right gyaku zuki:

Step 16-21: Block/kick/punch clusters with reverse hip position (typical Shotokan):

No block, reverse punch, front kick:

Step 22: Reinforced block

Downblock instead of reinforced block:

Step 23-26: Downblock/shuto upblock/age uke clusters (typical Shotokan):

Downblock, no shuto block, step in and upblock:

It is pretty clear that from step 16, Seito Shorin Ryu's Pinan Nidan has been substantially revised.
Bruce D. Clayton, Ph.D.
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