Heian Yondan Kata Moves 9 to 12

Heian Yondan kata moves 9 to 12 in detail.

Starting from move 8 in heian yondan, turn to your right and have the right leg in front, zenkutsu dachi (front stance), left elbow striking mawashi empi into the right open hand.

Jodan open hand block and shuto uchi (knife hand strike).

There are many different ways to execute these kata techniques, this is just the way I practice this combination.

Heian Yondan kata moves

Move 9

I initiate the first movement with a little pull back with the left hip. So my left hip goes out very slightly. Then as i strike down shuto uchi with the left arm my hip drives forward into the shomen square position. At the same time as i strike down shuto uchi, i lift and prepare the right arm for shuto uchi. The right back of the hand lifts up close to the forehead.

As i strike down shuto uchi, I drive off from the back left leg. This is a very small movement which needs to be generated internally, so it’s hardly visible to someone looking on.

An application for this small initial movement could be someone grabbing you from behind and you had space to strike to the groin. Shoot the left hip forward as you strike back with the left open hand or fist.

Really work on trying to generate powerful techniques over a very short distance, as we practice in tekki shodan.

Heian Yondan kata moves

Move 10

From here, I drive off from the front right leg, as I rotate the body, my left arm rises and rolls up in front of forehead with the back of the hand facing you and the hand forming the shuto uke position, fingers straight, thumb bent tightly at the side. At the same time i strike shuto uchi jodan with my right arm, targeting either the neck, jaw line or temple.

As I drive, my weight must move from the right leg to the left leg. Many karateka do this and their body weight stays in the centre. Make sure the body weight is over the left leg on the completion of move 10 in Heian Yondan.

For move 10 in Heian Yondan you must really work on driving off from the right leg to generate a dynamic strike.

Heian Yondan kata moves

Move 11

Keeping the arm positions from move 10, kick mae geri Jodan (front kick to the head).

Heian Yondan kata moves

Move 12

As you snap the front kick back, sharply block down with left hand osae uke (pressing block), whilst preparing the right fist behind the right side of the neck, with the palm of the right fist facing the neck.

Try and time the snap back of the mae geri (front kick) with the pressing block and uraken uchi (backfist strike) preparation.

Now drive off the left supporting leg, try and make a front stance and a half distance with the step.

You then strike uraken uchi (backfist strike) with the right arm in kosa dachi (crossed leg stance), with the back straight. This is also the first kiai in Heian Yondan.

In most shotokan karate dojo, they practice two ways to strike. Either strike with the front foot, so as the right foot lands, you strike uraken uchi, which is what we did for many years, or you can strike as your back foot completes the kosa dachi (crossed leg stance).

You can strike with the front foot or as the back foot comes to kosa dachi, either one’s fine. I now strike as the back foot comes up. So as my back foot comes up, my uraken uchi lands.

Many years ago, we were taught to stamp hard and heavy. I now realise, that was not a good thing to do.

I’m thinking about my body a bit more, especially now I’m over 30 🙂

So when you land, you’re just going to land naturally, shizentai (natural position). Wherever your body lands, it lands. It’s not square, it’s not shomen and it’s not hanmi.

With kosa dachi (crossed leg stance), your back foot is on the outside of your supporting foots heel and on the ball of the foot.

In this position you want to lock your knees and thighs together. Also push the front of your lower left shin, against the back of your lower right calf and visa versa, push the back of your lower right calf, against the front of your lower left shin.

As you land and strike, try and shoot the left leg up into kosa dachi. We use the left leg coming forward as a knee attack, so this would be a low hisa geri (knee strike) into the outside thigh of someone in self-defense.

So that’s how we practice Heian Yondan kata moves 9 to 12.

Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle