Gekisai Dai Ichi is a Hookiyugata designed by Miyagi Chojun Sensei at around 1940 due to the request of the governor of Okinawa. Subsequently Chojun Sensei developed Gekisai Dai Ni and incorporated both kata into the Goju-Ryu System.

Prior to 1940 karate beginners started their syllabus by training in Sanchin Kata, as well as in body-conditioning and strengthening exercises. This initial phase of training lasted for anywhere between 2 to 3 years. When Karate was taught in schools where most students had about three to five years to train in karate before they completed their academic studies, the long period of initial training meant that many students would barely have begun to learn the intermediate syllabus and the Kaishu Kata before they completed their schooling.

In order to expose students to more technical training earlier on, karate pioneers of the day changed their syllabus and training methods in various ways. Many pioneers chose to alter and simplify their kata, removing complicated techniques in the process. By doing so they could incorporated more kata into the beginner’s syllabus.

Miyagi Chojun Sensei chose to leave the Goju-Ryu Kata more or less unchanged. Instead he incorporated these two simplified kata which incorporated techniques from throughout the 8 Goju-Ryu Kaishu Kata, and used them as an introductory syllabus. After 1940 Miyagi Chojun Sensei taught these two kata, the Gekisai Dai Ichi and Gekisai Dai Ni kata to beginners.

Gekisai Dai Ichi

Reproduced with the permission of Adeyto and Rex Lucent

Gekisai Dai Ichi is a brief and powerful kata. Its movements were mainly choosen from Goju-Ryu’s 8 Kaishu Kata to demonstrate to the beginner some vital elements of karate training such as body mechanics.

Gekisai Dai Ichi includes Jodon (Face Level), Chudan (Middle Level), Gedan (Lower level) defensive and offensive techniques as well as movements in four directions (Left, Right, Front, Back). It also demonstrates the body mechanics for Oi-Tsuki, Gyaku Tsuki, and the body mechanics for two punches done in quick succession (or done simultaneously as in the kata, using the same body mechanics). It also demonstrates various ways of using body mass to increase the power of an attack.

Gekisai Dai Ni

Reproduced with the permission of Adeyto and Rex Lucent

The first half of Gekisai Dai Ni is similar to Gekisai Dai Ichi. In the second half of the kata, Miyagi Chojun Sensei introduced the Kake-uke (掛受け) and Tora-guchi, (Mawashi-Uke, 回し受け) into the hand techniques. He also incorporated sliding movements that rely on the manipulation and control of one’s center-of-gravity to generate momentum, thus making it a slightly more complicated kata than Gekisai Dai Ichi.

Understanding the principles behind the Gekisai Dai Ichi and Gekisai Dai Ni kata is fundamental first step to understanding the rest of the Kaishu Kata of the Goju-Ryu System.