Unsu Kata Step By Step Part 1

In this live class recording, Amos Sensei presents part 1 of black belt kata Unsu.

Unsu (雲手,’cloud hands’), is regarded as a 3rd to 4th Dan advanced karate kata in many Shotokan Dojo. Unsu is very advanced containing many dificult turns, spins, hand techniques, kicks and an extremely difficult jump.

Unsu is a favourite competition kata and is recognised by all karateka because of the athletic jump and the ippon-nukite (one finger strike) in the opening sequence.

As with many karate kata, the history has a few versions, but many shotokan karateka believ Unsu was created by Seisho Arakaki. The original Unshu has changed significantly, as with all the Shotokan kata, Shotokan’s Unsu has been ‘stretched’ and is more athletic and dynamic. Older Shotokan karateka should also study and practice the Shito Ryu version of this kata, Unshu.

Senior Shotokan Sensei understand that a full understanding of Shotokan fundementals is needed before practicing Unsu regularily. A karateka must have a strong grasp of the fundamentals to be able to understand fully the intricate karate moves within Unsu.

Unsu has soft flowing techniques, fast repetetive techniques, changes of direction which includes going to ground and the famous jump.

Here are see some more great Unsu performances.


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