The third step in learning the kata

The enbusing of Heian sandan is very simple, but the kata demands a lot from the practitioner.

The karateka who is about to learn this kata has already been confronted with double techniques in Heian nidan. Here, however, the stakes are greater: the double techniques become even more complex because they are either executed from a position that is not very stable (in Heisoku dachi, at the beginning of the kata) or (at the end) are used to counterattack an opponent who is behind the defender. The execution of these techniques while maintaining due stable stances undoubtedly requires coordinative skills and muscular strength in the legs that should not be underestimated.
Another unusual aspect is the use of kiba dachi. At an advanced level, Heian sandan here requires the use of the power of the hips, from whose rotations strong techniques must spring without compromising correct form.

Double blocks

Even the two double blocks at the beginning (nos. 2+3 and 5+6) are more demanding than a normal defensive technique.
In practice, these double defense techniques are often not sufficiently executed, so that the combined technique is not executed cleanly. It is important to note that the two defensive techniques (Uchi uke and Gedan barai) must first be executed correctly, and only then must they be executed forward, in the direction of the attacker.

Kata uke

The lateral position Kiba dachi appears for the first time. In this position the shoulder defense technique "Kata uke" appears three times, which can be very useful in close combat. Kata uke should be executed not only with the arm, but also with the support of a pronounced hip rotation. Care should be taken to keep Kiba dachi unchanged.


One must not forget the technique that comes before it: the stomp kick (Fumikomi, nos. 12 and 14). In order to be able to execute this strongly enough, the knee is consciously and clearly pulled up in the preparation. Alternatively, mikazuki geri is also used in these three places.

Tate uraken Uchi

By now the karate student has learned quite a bit of coordination, so he is now asked to practice an attack technique without counter-movement: tate uraken uchi (between nos. 12 + 13 and 13 + 14). To be effective, this technique is executed with a lot of force. Also, countering with the arm that has deflected (rarely occurs, but is certainly very helpful in special defensive situations) is an unfamiliar movement that should be practiced intensively in order to be executed with effectiveness.

Demanding double technique

The double techniques No. 2 and 3 as well as No. 5 and 6 turn out to be very instructive in application.
As mentioned above, in practice, people often fail to lunge properly in order to execute the movements very quickly. This clearly shows that one has not dealt with their application sufficiently. This deficiency can be remedied by extensive bunkai training.
The application of technique No. 5 (Uchi uke - Gedan barai) is deliberately shown separately here in order to offer an alternative to the defense shown before it in mirror image.

Two important aspects

With the techniques no. 19 and 20 the Heian sandan shows two important aspects of karate. One is the effectiveness of a quick change of step and position, and the other is the penetration of the opponent's guard to create a situation that is completely unexpected for him.

Defense with double technique

The last two techniques, nos. 20 and 21, represent a dangerous situation because the opponent cannot be observed.
For this reason, the defense consists of a double technique each. If one technique does not hit correctly, the second one will find its target.
With the two Zuki to the rear (No. 20 and 21) the other arm counters in each case at the same time with an elbow strike (Ushiro empi uchi). The opponent attacking from behind (who is attempting a clinch and is therefore close to the defender) is thus countered with two techniques simultaneously. Accordingly, the elbow strike should be executed with the required intensity.
In such situations, however, it is always advisable, after a lightning-fast first counterattack, to turn quickly out of the opponent's reach in order to escape the disadvantageous position and possibly counterattack again.

Duration: about 40 seconds

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