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Gekisai Kata Meaning

Also, called H Kata 4 in English, Geki translates to fight attack or strike while Sai means to smash or break. Chojun Miyagi introduced this new training kata into the Goju Ryu curriculum during the 1940’s for school children and adolescents. Shorin-ryu systems such as ours adopted this Goju-ryu kata to compliment it’s integral kata foundation. The name reflects the period in history when they were created i.e. World War II and its inference was 'attack and smash the enemy', i.e. the American soldiers. (1) The original upper punch taught was higher than head height, reflecting the height difference between the Okinawans and the Americans. In post war years many Goju schools have changed the opening punches to standard upper and middle punches. After World War II other Okinawa systems adopted this system as part of their Kata repertoire. This type of kata is not traditional Goju-ryu kata and means "promotional kata" or "common kata for the all styles of karate". The purpose of Fukyugata was to unify all karate styles in one so to make Karate as a general and more standardized Japanese-like art for the sake of popularization as was done with Kendo and Judo. (1) The first Gekisai was developed as a Fukyu kata to be practiced by Goju-ryu and other Ryu (notably, Shorin-Ryu).

This Fukyu Kata (Gekisai-dai-ichi, the first) was created by Miyagi Chojun after 1936 as Fukyugata Ni, while another Fukyu Kata, not practiced by Goju-Ryu nowadays, was developed by Nagamine Shoshin (Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu) as Fukyugata Ichi. Miyagi created also Gekisai-dai-ni, richer in Goju-Ryu stances and techniques that was intended by him to become common kata Fukyugata San. However, WWII put all revisions on hold and works were not resumed after the war was over.

The Gekisai kata [Gekisai Ichi and Gekisai Ni] are usually first taught at hachikyu or rokukyu levels (yellow to green belt). Gekisai kata integrates kicking with blocks, strikes, and punches. It introduces the use of tensho technique, how to move in 8 directions, side-stepping, back-stepping, and the use of the cat stance (Gekisai-dai-ni, the second). It comes close to the idea of irimi, or "entering" techniques, used in Aikido. It should be noted that there are now in some schools three versions of this Kata, Gekisai Dai Ichi, Gekisai Dai Ni and Gekisai Dai San. Gekisai Dai Ni incorporates slightly "softer" techniques, although it follows a similar pattern to that of Gekisai Dai Ichi. Gekisai Dai Ni involves the use of techniques of higher difficulty (especially open-handed techniques), thus making it applicable to only blue, brown and black belts in some schools.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C5%8Dj%C5%AB-ry%C5%AB