The first kata we teach in our Karate system is called Shi Ho No Ho, meaning Four Directions. A seemingly simple kata can actually be quite easy to make an error upon first glance. This Karate Kata is a great coordination exercise to practice the basics using both sides of the body, as well as opposite arms and legs.
I created a video using Stop Motion and a Gundam Toy when I was about 13 years old which demonstrates the Shihonoho Kata performance here.
We have created tutorial videos on How to learn Karate since the early 2000's and ShiHoNoHo remains a great choice as it encompasses many of the basic techniques in a short and easy to accomplish form. Hanshi Bill Woodard 9th Dan Shito Ryu performs Shi Ho No Ho Kata.
To begin, start in Yoi Stance the ready position and step your left leg forward into a deep Zen Kutsu Dachi or front stance. This allows you to swiftly deliver a low block that will hover about two fists above the knee of the left leg. Then, with your rear leg chamber the knee at belt height and snap a front kick making sure to recoil the chambered knee before replacing it into it's original position. This may require some practice to be able to balance while performing. Follow this technique with a right punch to the head height and then a left punch to the center body.
Next, pull the left leg back into it's original ready position and pivot left 90 degrees and step out again into a front stance. This time you'll perform a Jodan Uke, or high block, with the left arm. Follow this movement with the kick and two consecutive punches from the first segment again.
Following this section instead of returning the left foot, step your rear foot behind yourself about 2 feet in width, this will allow you to pivot 180 degrees to the right transitioning into a right facing front stance. It should be the same feeling and look as the first two segments found in the kata but now with the opposite side. With your right hand perform a Chudan Uke or middle block. Now you'll perform your front snap kick with the left leg and replace it, continuing with a high left punch and a center right punch.
Pull your right foot in to the center, pivot 90 degrees to the right so you are facing the rear of your start position and step outward into a deep right front stance as you have done in each section of the kata. This time perform a low cross block, making an x shape with your fists above the bent knee. Replace the fists at loaded positions on the hips and snap your left leg front kick, remembering to replace it. Now, perform a Wide U punch or YamaTsuki with the left hand to the head and right hand to the body. Load the right hand back to the hip and place the left hand on top, similar to a cup and saucer. Turn over the hands a perform another yamatsuki but this time with right hand on top.
Step across to face the front and finish the Kata.
Grab your Karate Gi and Practice Along with this Full Tutorial by myself here!
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About the Author:
Colton Woodard is a 7th Degree Black Belt in Kuniba Kai Karate Do and holds the title of Kyoshi as well. He loves to teach Karate, Kobudo, and Iaido and considers himself a lifetime student in pursuit of self improvement in both Martial Arts and in Character. Colton loves to visit Japan and speaks conversational Japanese and can write quite a few Kanji. He is a Karate competitor and coach and loves to exercise and make new memories with people all over the world.
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