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Ten-no-Kata: The Kata of the universe


Migi Chudan Oizuki in Ten-no-kata

Ten-no-kata, the Kata of the universe or the kata of heaven ...

is a very special kata and unfortunately very little practiced. Which is a shame because it is an excellent stepping stone to Kumite. He is sometimes called Kata Kata.

Ten-no-Kata contains most of Karate, it is very simple to memorize but yet very hard to achieve because we can not hide behind awesome techniques.

Ten-no-kata must reflect the purity both mental and technical.

Ten-no-kata was realized in the 1940 years by Master Gichin Funakoshihimself, and probably by his son Yoshitaka, considered a true "genius" of Karate.

Ten-no-kata is a very special kata because it can be practiced in two ways:

Either alonelike all the kata you already know, but also with a partner, and that's what makes this kata an essential step to Kumite.

Ten-no-Kata, the clear Kata!

The kata is composed of various simple techniques of attack or defense with each time a return in Yoi.

For each technique, there must be no call: You are in Yoi, as relaxed as possible, but the mind on alert and you explode literally in the technique.

The technique must be as direct as possible
she must be " loud and clear ! "

Ten-no-kata, is not a kata reserved for beginners, on the contrary, it is a kata which should be considered as an indispensable kata whatever the level of the practitioner.

You must always approach it with this feeling of incompleteness. That is to say that you will always have a margin of progress with Ten-no-kata.

Whatever your level, you can always search deep inside yourself the way to improve it and make it even purer, even more "clear and clean" 😉

Ten-no-Kata, Omote

This is the version in solitary Kata. You will play once the role of Tori (the one who makes the attack) then the role of Week (whoever gets the attack)

When you are Tori, you do 4 fist attacks, 1 times right (Migi) and 1 times left (Hidari) with return to Yoi every time.

  1. Yoi - Chudan Oi-Zuki right- Yoi
    Yoi - Chudan Oi-Zuki left- Yoi
  2. Yoi - Jodan Oi-Zuki right - Yoi
    Yoi - Jodan Oi-Zuki left - Yoi
  3. Yoi - Chudan Gyaku-Zuki right- Yoi
    Yoi - Chudan Gyaku-Zuki left- Yoi
  4. Yoi - Jodan Gyaku-Zuki right - Yoi
    Yoi - Jodan Gyaku-Zuki left - Yoi

Then you play the role of Week and you repeat the 6 chain defense + against following always 1 times right then left and always with a return to yoi after each chaining.

  1. Yoi - Gedan barai right -> Chudan Gyaku-Zuki left- Yoi
    Yoi - Gedan barai left -> Chudan Gyaku-Zuki right - Yoi
  2. Yoi - Chudan Uchi Uke right -> Chudan Gyaku-Zuki left- Yoi
    Yoi - Chudan Uchi Uke left -> Chudan Gyaku-Zuki right - Yoi
  3. Yoi - Chudan Shuto Uke right -> Chudan Tate Nukite left - Yoi
    Yoi - Chudan Shuto Uke left -> Chudan Tate Nukite right - Yoi
  4. Yoi - Jodan Shuto Barai right -> Jodan Gyaku-Zuki left - Yoi
    Yoi - Jodan Shuto Barai left -> Jodan Gyaku-Zuki right - Yoi
  5. Yoi - Jodan Age Uke right -> Chudan Gyaku-Zuki left - Yoi
    Yoi - Jodan Age Uke left -> Chudan Gyaku-Zukiright - Yoi
  6. Yoi - Jodan Uchi Komi right -> Chudan Gyaku-Zuki left - Yoi
    Yoi - Jodan Uchi Komi left -> Chudan Gyaku-Zuki right - Yoi

Between the defense and the counterattack, there is a strong advance of the hip with a push of the back leg to move from the position Hanmi (3 / 4 profile) at the position shomen (face) and especially in the sequence 3 and 4 where we go from Kokutsu Dachi à ZenKutsu Dachi.

From a certain level of expertise (Black Belt) all techniques and sequences can be studied in Fudo-Dachi.

Ten-no-Kata, Ura

This is the version with Kata partner. You play once the role of Tori is your opponent that of Week, then you change roles.

You go so far away that Tori can hit Uke as he steps forward.

After the salute, you take the position Yoi -> Tori move back the right foot and position to attack Chudan Oi Zuki right ->Week do the sequence 1 number above.

Week et Tori take the position Yoi -> then Tori move back the left leg for an attack Chudan Oi Zuki left ->Week repeat sequence number 1 above but on the other side.

And you continue so on for the 6 enchainements, without haste, always with this search of pure gesture, without appeal or parasitic movement.

Tori's attacks will be :

  1. Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi right -> Oi-Zuki Chudan right - Yoi
    Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi left -> Oi-Zuki Chudan left - Yoi
  2. Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi right -> Oi-Zuki Chudan right - Yoi (idem 1)
    Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi left -> Oi-Zuki Chudan left - Yoi (idem 1)
  3. Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi right -> Oi-Zuki Chudan right - Yoi (idem 2)
    Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi left -> Oi-Zuki Chudan left - Yoi (idem 2)
  4. Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi right -> Oi-Zuki Jodan right - Yoi
    Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachii left -> Oi-Zuki i Jodan left - Yoi
  5. Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi right -> Oi-Zuki Jodan right - Yoi (idem 4)
    Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi left -> Oi-Zuki Jodan left - Yoi (idem 4)
  6. Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi right -> Oi-Zuki Jodan right - Yoi (idem 5)
    Yoi - Zen Kutsu Dachi left -> Oi-Zuki Jodan left - Yoi (idem 5)

This version of the kata is a very good exercise to address then the work of Kihon Ippon Kumite.

In the same way as in the version Omote, the study can also be done in Fudo Dachi from the black belt level.

I hope you will enjoy my practice as much as I do Ten-No-Kata.

I made you a little video to get you up the Omote version of Ten-No-Kata.

I'll let you do that your warm up by following your guide: the ABC of warm-ups
then I'll find you on the video. See you soon !

>>> Download the video

For info, in the video, I use the book:

Karate Kata - The 30 Katas from Shotokan
from Roland Habersetzer

As you may have noticed, I did not Kiai, in the Kata and that's a mistake. In fact, it was mostly not to break your ears on the video 😉 But, there must be a KIAI every Kime, as in a Kihon Ipon Kumite.

Voila, I hope this video made you want to learn and work Ten-no-kata whether you are beginner or expert.

Now, tell me in the comments below what you think of Ten-no-kata and if you include it in your personal trainings.

See you soon,

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  1. Hello bruno,
    I have the ten no kata warm up
    at the beginning of the class, they love it
    I added a yori hachi on each counter attack, with back yoi back, then they are ready for kumite

  2. Ten no kata should be obligatory.Basic techniques, passage kokutsu / zenkutsu.But above all the attitude, the idea of ​​a single cartridge.Search for distance, attitude, sanchin ......
    In short, to work at all levels, despite its apparent ease.
    Important to let go take the position yoi to go into kokutsu, keeping the bust well vertical and the weight on the back leg.
    Lean on the same back leg to give the impetus to zenkutsu, being careful to keep the hips at the same height.

    In my club, for the ura version, tori attacks starting directly from yoi, and starts on the left (so uke executes his blockings starting on the same side as in omote). The 6 techniques are executed on each side before inverting. the roles.

    Small variants, the main thing is to work it again, again and again .......

  3. Hello Bruno,

    it's great your explanations and your demonstration, because my karate teacher, is just inculcating us this kata.
    I will, I think, make the most of it.
    See you soon

  4. Hi Bruno, I need a precision for 3 and 4 times. You say there is a passage kokutsu zenkutsu; kokutsu normally runs both feet on the same line while you keep them a little apart, how do you work when you're a beginner?

    Thank you


    • Hello Christopher,
      You are right to raise this problem. It is an error that I make on the video. You must always try to apply the basic rule and therefore in this case seek to align your front foot on the back heel.
      Beware of videos, I am not perfect and sometimes make mistakes. But it's good that you talk about it, at least everyone can correct.

  5. Hello Bruno.

    I fully agree with you. That's why there is not a week that I do not do Teno Kata. When I train outside the classes given by the Sensei, it also allows me to warm up.
    It's funny that you talk about Teno Kata because we were talking about it with my sensei and he just said we do not practice enough.


  6. Good evening Bruno!

    I liked your ten-no kata

    it is square aesthetic, energetic and casual at the same time, and determination, good image of a kata. thank you

  7. Being beginner with a beautiful white belt, I find this KATA very well.
    It allows me to perfect myself. Great. In my club, they do not do it.

  8. Hi Bruno I want to say thank you for the vidio of tano kata which improved the level of karateka on all the dubitans, reason why this kata it returns in the low of karate and he was gentle and pratque.

  9. frankly, I do not have the gouache today (training last night on the technique of kicking lol I have more hips) but your video gives too much to test it thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  10. Hi Bruno! In your text, in the 2 phase of Uke, is it two different blockages? (Uchi Uke and gedan barai?) ... I do not know this kata. I was just wondering because at each stage of Uke it's the same technique left and right ... I'm watching the video to make sure

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