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Shotokan Karate Academy


"Nijushi" means "24." “Ho” can mean "direction", "side", "part", "walk", and "step." Since there are exactly 24 steps within the kata, it is generally believed that Nijushiho was named for the number of steps in the kata. "Twenty-four Steps" is a good translation of "Nijushiho".


The original Okinawa name for Nijushiho is "Niseishi". "Nijushiho" is commonly referred to as an Arakaki kata. The Shito-Ryu "Niseishi" is virtually identical to the Shotokan version. Mabuni, son of the founder of Shito-Ryu, has said that his dad learned the kata from Kanryo Higaonna. Higaonna picked up the kata from Seisho Arakaki.


This is an advanced kata practiced in Shotokan, Shitoryu and Wadō-ryū karate. In introducing karate from Okinawa to Japan, Gichin Funakoshi changed the name of the kata from “Niseishi” to “Nijūshiho”. Both names mean "24 steps".


Change of kata

"Nijushiho" contains two side thrust kicks that modern kata experts are claiming are recent inventions.

In fact, when laying blame for the existence of these two kicks, fingers generally point to "Asai Tetsuhik"o, former Technical Director of the Japan Karate Association (JKA).


Films from the early 1950's and late 1940's show Obata Isao, one of the founding instructors of a large athletic association, performing "Nijushiho" without performing any side thrust kicks. He lifts his knee straight up without kicking (Fumikomi Geri).


It is interesting to note that there are no official documents about Shotokan in which instructors assume responsibility for deliberately modifying the kata. For example, nowhere in the "Best Karate" series does master Nakayama tell the story of how the Gojushiho kata changed names, and yet there is an interesting story there according to rumors. Likewise, Asai is not given credit for his modifications either. Given the Japanese propensity for accepting responsibility for their actions, it is surprising that no blame is laid at anyone's feet and no credit is ever given to anyone for having influenced the kata.



  • “Nijushiho” means: “24 steps”

  • Gichin Funakoshi changed the name of the kata from “Niseishi” to “Nijushiho”

  • “Nijushiho” is a kata practiced in Shotokan and Shito-Ryu and Wado-Ryu

  • "Nijushiho" root : "Naha-te" school of kata in Okinawa

  • Level: Advanced

Nijushiho (二十四步)

Embusen of Nijushiho
Number of movements : 24 
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