top of page
Shotokan Karate Academy


The Pinan (平安) kata are a series of five empty hand forms taught in many karate styles. The Pinan kata were introduced into the school systems on Okinawa in the early 1900s and were subsequently adopted by many teachers and schools. The Pinan kata originated in Okinawa and were adapted by Yasutsune Itosu from older kata such as Kusanku (Kanku) and Channan into forms suitable for teaching karate to young students.


When Karate was adopted as a subject in secondary schools and colleges, the deadly art became a form of self defense or gymnastics. This was the beginning of new era.


Yasutsune Itosu was the leader and responsible for this change. He developed a form of gymnastics practiced in group instead of training in secret techniques of fighting. For this reason in Pinan (Heian) kata, techniques like Ippon-Nukite or Nihon-Nukite to the eyes and kicking to the groin we eliminated. For this reason, all Pinan (Heian) katas begin and end with Uke (block) expressing humbleness.


In 1905 Yasutsune Itosu formed 5 katas from the long Channan Kata to introduce and promote practice of basic techniques which he thought would be easier to learn. The 5 kata were Pinan Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, and Godan.


When Gichin Funakoshi brought karate to Japan, he renamed the kata to "Heian", which is translated as "peaceful and calm mind". Pinan is the Chinese Pinyin notation of 平安, which means also "peaceful and calm mind".


The Heians are taught to various beginner ranks according to their difficulty. The kata are all loosely based on an I-shaped "Embusen" (shape). These kata serve as the foundation to many of the advanced kata within Karate, as many of the techniques contained in these kata are contained in the higher grade katas as well.

Heian Shodan (平安初段)

Peaceful mind level one.

Embusen of Heian Shodan
Number of movements : 21

Heian Nidan (平安二段)

Peaceful mind level two.

Embusen of Heian Nidan
Number of movements : 21

Heian Sandan (平安三段)

Peaceful mind level three.

Embusen of Heian Sandan
Number of movements : 21

Heian Yondan (平安四段)

Peaceful mind level four.

Embusen of Heian Yondan
Number of movements : 21

Heian Godan (平安五段)

Peaceful mind level five.

Embusen of Heian Godan
Number of movements : 21
bottom of page