The two Gojū shi ho are the highest kata of the Shuri te. Gojū shi ho dai is also practiced in the Shōrin-ryū and Shitō-ryū styles.

The often repeated sequences of the three ippon nukite, which are executed in quick succession, are reminiscent of a woodpecker tapping its beak against a tree.
For this reason, Funakoshi named the kata "Hotaku", which means woodpecker knocking.

The current name (Gojū shi ho dai = 54 steps, large) indicates the number of steps in the kata.

The first circular movement is an attack from above. The left fist can be interpreted either as a downward defense against a fist strike or simply as support or cover.

The three Ippon-nukite techniques are to be executed as follows: the first nukite is executed in a straight line from above, the other two are executed in small semi-circular movements. The left hand is brought forward and down over the right. The right hand is simultaneously pulled back so that it rests against the left forearm.

The same movement is done the other way around again. Although these are small and very fast movements, it should still be noted that the three Ippon nukite should be executed according to the Sanbon principle.

The two defensive techniques Tate shutō uke at the beginning of the kata are shown here in Zenkutsu dachi. An equally common variation of this provides for the execution of these two techniques in the Fudō dachi position.

It is important to mention that in the Gojū shi ho dai one finds a very complex enbusen. One should practice very carefully and study intensively the various shuri-ashi movements to end up at the same point where one started executing the kata.

Although this kata can be called static, it acquires a fluid character through the many neko ashi dachi and the slow turns that follow.
Very demanding are the 270° turns before the two sokumen
gedan haitō uke. They are executed at lightning speed and with an exact kime to emphasize the character of the Gojū shi ho dai (steadiness/body control). If the center of the body is not maintained in the process, fast execution of the turns is not possible. Furthermore, arriving at a clean kiba dachi promotes practice and precision.

In addition, this kata is characterized both by the strengthening of the leg muscles and by dynamically short technique sequences.

Furthermore, in this kata, as in its "sister" Gojū shi ho shō, the exact eye turns are to be noted, as these additionally shape the character of both Gojū-shi-ho kata, especially in the first third.

Duration: about 100 seconds

Here you will find all information about the techniques in the video