Taikyoku Shodan

The Taikyoku series is a series of kata in use in several types of karate. The name Taikyoku (太極) refers to the Chinese philosophical concept of Taiji. The Taikyoku kata were introduced by Gichin Funakoshi as a way to simplify the principles of the already simplified Pinan/Heian series. The embusen, or pattern of the kata’s movements, are the same as in Heian shodan. Students of karate systems that use the Taikyoku kata series are often introduced to them first, as a preparation for the Pinan/Heian kata. Gōjū Kai developed five of its own Taikyoku kata, based on the Shotokan katas and retaining the I-shaped embusen.

The embusen (pathway) of all the Taikyoku kata is simple (here, the # represents the starting and ending point):

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!–#–!

On each turn, a block is executed, followed by a step and a strike. Up and back the middle, there are three punches.

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