Heian Nidan (Peaceful form, second level)
Original name: Pinan Shodan (peaceful form/safe from harm, first level)

Heian Nidan is a great 'fighting kata' and introduces kicks for the first time in the shape of yoko geri and mae geri. In the original Pinan form, the yoko geri was a mae geri, yoko geri being characteristic of Shotokan kata (also with kokutsu dachi generally substituted for neko ashi dachi).

uchi haiwan uke / ude soete
osae uke / shihon nukite

History

The five Pinan kata (shodan to godan) were created in about 1904 by Yasutsune Itosu and formed the basis of karate as it was introduced into the school system on Okinawa, not long after the martial art emerged from being taught in secret.

It is not clear whether Itosu created the set from scratch, adapting some of the sequences from more advanced kata, or, as some traditions dictate, he took a longer and older kata, called Channan (or Chiang Nan), and broke it up into five shorter forms.

When Gichin Funakoshi introduced karate on to the Japanese mainland he changed the Chinese-sounding Pinan to the more Japanese Heian, from the phrase heiwa antei, meaning peace and calm, signifying that mastery of these kata would give the practitioner peace of mind if having to defend themselves. He also swapped the first two Pinans round, considering the original Pinan Nidan (now Heian Shodan) to be more basic in nature than Pinan Shodan (now Heian Nidan). ~ GE

Notes

Yoko geri to the rear: from the previous move, in kokutsu-dachi, the back foot moves to the centre and the front (kicking) foot goes straight into the kick - it does not step back to meet the other foot on the floor first.