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Tau's picture
Pinan/Heian Godan Opening Sequence

This technique was filmed after class this morning but was put together as the opening of my session for the recent Bunkai Bash. My theme for my Bash session was rotational armlocks, picking examples from several kata. This was a good place to start since we considered the reality of attacks.

Marc's picture

Nice one, thanks for sharing!  

Scott McCallum
Scott McCallum's picture

Thank you for this. The style of Karate that I practice follows on from the initial moves of Pinan Godan with a position where one arm is brought to the kamae position and the other arm is held horizontally across the chest in a 'set' position that looks very much like a neck crank. This would follow on very nicely from your first application and I will now be adding that to my bunkai library. Thank you again for a fresh insight Scott McCallum

css1971's picture

If you continue the uchi-uke from chudan level up to more of a jodan position and rotate it a bit further from vertical to horizontal (doesn't have to go all the way), you have something very similar to an application of moves 13-17 in Pinan Yondan.


Uke is facing away, his arm is locked against your chest. You can now kick out his knee from behind, (dropping into kosa-dachi as he goes down) and then use the "uraken-uchi" movement of the kata to tear his elbow joint, which some variants do with kiai.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Here’s a relatively recent video showing my take on the sequence, with some alternative follow ups.

All the best,


JWT's picture

Great videos Tau and Iain, thanks for sharing. I really like seeing other people's 'takes' on these movements as they illustrate the versitility of approach (freedom rather than constraint) provided by the kata.

I filmed one of my applications for this sequence a few weeks back for part of a series of short videos. 

This 65 second video illustrates a slow run through of the opening sequence of Pinan / Heian Godan on the premise that the initial intent on escape was to control rather than strike (the same movements can be utilised as a series of strikes as I will also show in Volume 4 of the Pinan Flow System). The movements shown indicate distraction striking redundancies for a control failure (the other person moving before it is secured or it not being secured properly). As such the control is never actually 'on' in this video. For the control to be 'on' the person needs to shift topositions (again with redundancies) that I train through Pinan / Heian Sandan drills.

All the best