Peaceful Mind, Level 4

The fourth Kata of the Heian series

In Heian yondan the enbusen is very complex. In order to get the end point right, all the stances and turns should be executed with a great deal of care. Stylistically slow movements appear, which give the Kata an individual rhythm.


Kata as a fight

The first two defensive techniques (No. 1 and 2) are each performed without counter techniques. This requires the Karateka to interpret possible counterattacks. This challenge brings the didactic demand to recognize the Kata as a fighting situation. The confrontation with this topic is compellingly necessary, so that the Kata do not become a composition of different techniques, but remain fights against imaginary opponents! Already from the basic Kata the Karateka is required to include the fighting attitude in his understanding of the Kata.
After the first technique, the right leg is slowly pulled towards the center of gravity and then slides forward again so that the arm techniques and stance reach their end point at the same time (No. 2).

After the technique no. 6, Chūdan mae empi uchi, the left foot is set back by half a position. Only then follows the double technique "Jōdan uraken uchi - Jōdan yoko geri keage" (No. 7).

The lunge of the Uraken uchi (No. 12) is executed in different ways. However, it is always important to execute a stable end technique in Kōsa dachi. In doing so, the center of gravity is placed forward and downward. 
After the Mae geri, on the way to Kōsa dachi, care should be taken to keep the center of gravity constantly down.

Didactic aspect

As far as the self-defense aspect of the Kakiwake uke (Nos. 13 and 17) is concerned, the rule here is to act quickly before the opponent can take proper hold (free yourself from a griff of both hands on the collar, or - even better - you act before the griff happens). The Mae geri that comes afterwards can be replaced by a Hiza geri in bunkai exercises, so that the distance to the opponent is correct.

The two Zuki no. 15 and 16 are not pulled back to the hips, but stretched directly forward from the Kakiwake-uke posture. The challenge is that despite a shortened path to the target, the fist strike should be executed strongly. In a realistic situation there is not always the possibility to execute the techniques optimally. Thus, the didactic aspect of this execution is not to be neglected.

Deflect the attack when starting the technique

For the first time in a Kata the technique Jūji uke appears (No. 3). This sequence should definitely be practiced with a partner in order to be able to use the Gedan block at the right moment against a kick. If the opponent has already started to extend his leg, the technique is ineffective.

The most important learning objective here is to penetrate the opponent's guard to deflect the attack when starting the technique.

Expanding the repertoire

The demonstrated application of the technique no. 22 (Chūdan morote uke) is intended to make the Karateka think. With a slight modification, it can also be used as an attacking technique while allowing control over an opponent. The classic application of defense No. 25 is considered to be the two-handed pulling of the opponent's head into the knee strike.

In Heian yondan there are some new techniques, which should be practiced intensively, because they are rarely trained outside the Kata.

Duration: about 50 seconds

You can find the matching book here:
Shotokan kata up to black belt