The Kata of Shorin Ryu Shorinkan
Kihon: "Basic Kata" ; Fukyu: "Fundamental"

The Kihon Kata are basic form drills done in a straight line pattern moving forward on offense and backward on defense.

Kihon Ippon

Kihon Nihon

Kihon Sanbon

Fukyu no Kata

Naihanchi Kata:
"Defending your ground" or "Staying (standing) and Fighting"

It is known that the three katas were practiced as one single kata by Master Sokon (Bushi) Matsumura around 1825. It was handed down to him from earlier times. This kata was the favorite of Master Itosu (1830-1915). He is said to have modified Shodan and Nidan and developed Naihanchi Sandan.

Naihanchi Shodan

Naihanchi Nidan

Naihanchi Sandan

Pinan Kata:
"Peaceful Mind"

The second word in each kata name denotes which Pinan it is. They were developed by the great Shuri Te master Anko Itosu. Itosu developed these forms for school children. He found that kids could benefit greatly from karate but had to break it down into a simpler form.

There is some debate over which kata influenced the Pinans the most. It is widely accepted that the forms Kusanku (Kanku Dai) and Channan were the true source. Kusanku is still widely practiced but Channan has been lost to history.

Pinan Shodan ("first pinan")

Pinan Nidan ("second pinan")

Pinan Sandan ("third pinan")

Pinan Yondan ("fourth pinan")

Pinan Godan ("fifth pinan")

Passai Kata:
"Entering / Penetrating the fortress"

Sokon Matsumura taught Anko Itosu Passai Kata. It is believed that Matsumura was taught Passai by his instructor Master Sakugawa and that Master Sakugawato learned the Passai Kata in China. The floating hand techniques are very similar to the movements of Tai Chi Chuan. There are other similarities in the shifting of body weight in light stances. Passai was a favorite kata of the Tomari-Te masters.Today there are two major versions of Passai that exist and they are called Passai Sho which is ltosu Passai and Passai Dai which is Matsumura Passai.

Passai Sho

Passai Dai

Kusanku Kata
"Named in honour of Kusanku"

In 1756 a Chinese military envoy named Kusanku was sent to Okinawa. He was a skilled Kempo master famous for his fighting skills. Although Kusanku never taught this kata, his best techniques were combined into this kata by his followers. There are two main lineages for the kata called Chatan Yara No Kusanku and Sakugawa No Kusanku. Sakugawa No Kusanku was developed by Master Sakugawa based on his instruction from Kusanku. Sakugawa taught this version to Soken “Bushi” Matsumura. This lineage was further divided into two other forms of the kata, Kusanku Dai and Kusanku Sho.

Kusanku Sho

Kusanku Dai

"5 rings"

To commemorate the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, Nakazato Shugoro, Hanshi created the Gorin kata, which was performed by members of the Rengokai from Shorin-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu and Isshin-Ryu.

"Fighting towards the east"

The history of this kata is vague - legend says that this kata was brought to Okinawa by Chinto, a shipwrecked Chinese sailor. The kata was likely created by Bushi Matsumura (1797-1884) and was based on the techniques he learned from Chinto.

"Fifty four movements"

Gojushiho is of Chinese origin. Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura (1797-1889) is credited with the version now practiced in Shorin-ryu Karate. Gojushiho translates as "54 Steps" - implying that fifty-four techniques are involved in the kata.