unsu kata step by step


Shotokan Black Belt Kata

On this page we have a sample tutorial of Unsu. The many video tutorials we have are for our members. To check out our Dojo membership, Click Here, we would love to welcome you to our Dojo. Oss!

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

Unsu (雲手,’cloud hands’), is an advanced black belt karate kata in many Shotokan Dojo and requires a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals before commencing practice of this kata. Unsu is very complicated and advanced. When someone performs Unsu without a comprehensive understanding of Shotokan’s fundamentals, the weakness in each technique is obvious to see.

Because of it’s compexity, Unsu is a favourite competition kata and is recognised by all karateka because of the many open hand techniques and gymnastic jump. 

As with so many karate kata, there are many different versions all originally coming from one kata. Many people believe Unsu was created by Seisho Arakaki.

The original Unsu has changed dramatically, originally it was named unshu, which many karate dojo still refer to. As with all the Shotokan kata, Shotokan’s version of Unshu has been altered to be more athletic and dynamic.

I believe Shotokan karateka over 40 should also study and practice the Shito Ryu version of this kata, Unshu.

Shotokan Sensei should make sure karateka have a full understanding of Shotokan fundementals before starting with Unsu.

A karateka must have a complete and extensive understanding of the shotokan fundamentals in order to fully understand the advanced karate moves within Unsu.

Unsu has soft flowing techniques, fast repetetive techniques, sudden changes in speed, along with changes of direction, shooting down to the ground and the gymnastic jump.

Here are see some excellent 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