top of page
Shotokan Karate Academy

Hangetsu (Seisan)

Hangetsu (半月) (Japanese: "Half Moon") “Han” means “Half” and “Getsu” means “Moon” or “month”.


The stance that is utilized within it is the "Half Moon Stance", named after the kata: "Hangetsu Dachi"


"Hangetsu" is an advanced kata practiced in Shotokan karate. It originates from the Naha-te school of Okinawa. The first part is executed slowly with strong breathing, stressing the development of the hara or simply “energy center”. “Hara” in Japanese means “belly” and it is considered the physical center of gravity of the human body and is the seat of one's internal energy (ki).


Due to the shared principles of expansion and contraction, Gichin Funakoshi substituted “Hangetsu” in the Shotokan curriculum.

"Hangetsu" contains many slow, tensed motions requiring breathing exercise of the performer. The idea is to create isometric contractions in the muscles during the movements. This was thought to harden the body against a blow, as well as strengthen any techniques that might be thrown. The idea is also to bring the muscles to contraction so that relaxation which naturally follows is more dramatic. It teaches the value of gradual tension and relaxation and the breathing patterns that accompany them. It also gives you a valuable tool for reducing shoulder tension. When you maximize muscle tension and then relax, your body usually ends up more relaxed than before you tensed.


Mastery of this kata rests on mastery of Hangetsu Dachi" (half-moon stance). The kata consists of 32 movements. The older Okinawan version of this kata is known as “Seisan” or “Seishan”. “Seisan” means "13" and is pronounced “Jusan” on the mainland of Japan.



  • "Hangetsu" means: “Half moon” or "Half month”

  • The older version of "Hangetsu" is known as “Seisan” and means “13”

  • "Hangetsu" is one of the slowest kata in Shotokan

  • Practicing this kata will help development of the "Hara" or simply “energy center”

  • Hangetsu root: “Naha-Te” school of kata in Okinawa

  • Level: Advanced

Hangetsu (半月)

Embusen of Hangetsu
Number of movements : 32
bottom of page