Nijushiho (Twenty-four Steps)
Alternative name: Niseshi.

The rather simple translation of this kata's name - 'twenty-four steps' - belies the depth and intricacy of the pattern. An advanced kata with a lot of stance manouvres and rhythm changes, as well as much to explore in angles of defence and attack. It has a uniquely characteristic opening, a mysterious hand slap technique and can look pretty impressive - after quite a few years practice!

awase zuki
tenchi haito uchi


Nijushiho was taught by Seisho Arakaki (1840-1918), but it is not clear if he originated the kata. It came into modern Shotokan after Gichin Funakoshi took Masatoshi Nakayama to the Shito Ryu master, Kenwa Mabuni, to learn it. Mabuni had leant the kata directly from Arakaki, however, the kata did exist in Funakoshi's teaching before then - he had also learnt from Arakaki, and the kata was certainly practised at Funakoshi's Keio University dojo in the early 1930s. ~ GE

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