Heian Yondan

“Peaceful Mind Number Four”

You will find this to be the longest kata taught to date. Having learned forwards power, defensive movements and strength in the previous kata, Heian Yondan now brings all of these aspects together. In addition, more emphasis is placed on kicks. There are three chudan-mae-geris (middle level front kicks), and two yoko-geri-keages (side snapping kicks).

New hand techniques introduced are gedan-juji-uke (downward X block), chudan-empi-zuki (middle level elbow strike) and kake-wake-uke (reverse wedge block).  A one new stance that is not usually featured in Kihon or Kumite is also required, kosa-dachi (cross legged stance).

This kata also introduces the student to the “leaping step”, this is where the student is required to follow up a technique, in this case a jodan-mae-geri (upper level front kick), with a “leap” forward into a kosa-dachi (cross legged stance).  The distance travelled will usually be equal to one full length zenkutsu-dachi (front stance) in distance.

The second new concept is that of teaching the student to shift from one stance to another without moving their feet from the present embusen (line of attack), from a kokutsu-dachi (back stance) to a zenkutsu-dachi (front stance).  It is very important to remember that the dynamics of this movement are done entirely without stepping off line. Many dojos, however, make the mistake of allowing their students to move their left (front) foot over from the kokutsu-dachi (back stance), into a full width zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), but since the whole point of the lesson at this point in their training is for the student to learn to “shift” from once stance to another, allowing the student to “step” defeats the whole purpose of the lesson and so it must be avoided.

This kata contains 27 movements and should take the student approximately 45 seconds to complete.