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Shotokan Karate Academy

Gojushiho (五十四歩) means "54 steps" and is a kata practiced in karate. In Shotokan there are two versions of this kata - "Gojushiho Dai" and "Gojushiho Sho".


Sometime in the 1960s or 1970s when a high-ranking JKA instructor announced "Gojushiho-Dai" and then performed "Gojushiho-Sho" at the All-Japan Karate Championships. After this event there was a name change then original “Gojushiho-Dai” name changed to “Gojushiho-Sho” and vice versa. The name change has affected J.K.A. (Japan Karate Association) kata and still they are using the changed name instead of the original one.


Within the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF) of Kanazawa Hirokazu, the "Dai" and "Sho" forms are kept to their original names to coincide with "Dai" meaning "Major" and "Sho" meaning "Minor". This was also because master Kanazawa was one of the highest ranked instructors and refused to change the original names.


At one time, Gichin Funakoshi even tried to change the name of the kata (Gojushiho-Sho) to Hotaku, meaning "woodpecker," due to the frequency of poking strikes found within the kata. Regardless, for reasons unknown, the name Hotaku was never really accepted, leaving both kata with the title Gojushiho


Gojushiho-Dai ("Sho" in JKA) begins straight off with a wide variety of advanced techniques and, as such, is highly recommended for study. Gojūshiho-Sho ("Dai" in JKA) consists of many advanced open-handed techniques and attacks to the collar-bone (Ippon Nukite).


The embusen of both "Gojushiho-Dai" and "Gojushiho-Sho" are nearly identical.



  • Gojūshiho mean "54 steps"

  • There are 2 versions of “Gojushiho” kata , "Gojushiho-Dai" and "Gojushiho-Sho"

  • The suffix -dai (大) means "large,major" and -sho (小) "small,minor"

  • They come from the "Shuri-te" school of kata in Okinawa

  • The Gojushiho (Dai, Sho) katas are usually classed as advanced kata

Gojushiho-dai (五十四歩大)

Embusen of Gojushiho-Dai
Number of movements : 54

Gojushiho-sho (五十四歩小)

Embusen of Gojushiho-Sho
Number of movements : 54
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