Heian Godan (Peaceful form, fifth level)
Original name: Pinan Godan (peaceful form/safe from harm, fifth level)

With Heian Godan the sequences and techniques take on a more advanced nature in preparation for the brown and bleck belt kata. The form includes a jump into kosa dachi, a test of athleticism and balance that can be interpreted as a throw in Shotokan kata. The final moves include the manji kamae, another Shotokan trademark, adapted from its Shorin Ryu roots.

koho zuki age
gedan shuto

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. ~ GE

The second move is gyaku tsuki (reverse punch) rather than kage tsuki (hook punch). Be sure to remain in a strong kokutsu-dachi while striking.

The preparation for the gedan juji-uke (lower cross-arm block) sees both fists come to the right hip from the previous morote-uke, rather than one fist at either side (as you would do if the technique were done on its own or as it is done in Jion).