The kata Unsu is part of the styles Shōtōkan, Shōrin-ryū and Shitō-ryū.

The name "hand in the clouds" refers to the techniques "Morote tate shuto uke" at the beginning of the kata and towards the end of the first half: after deflecting upwards, the attacking arm is pushed to the side. But also the structure of this kata, which seems light and fast due to its technical versatility, contributes to the fact that one thinks conceptually of the lightness of the clouds.

The first arm movement, changing from Hachi ji dachi to Heisoku dachi, is executed in a circular and slow manner. The execution of this first movement can be done quietly in different (slow) rhythms. In this way, the kata gains in sovereignty. The same is repeated at the end to conclude the kata elegantly.

The steps in Neko ashi dachi to begin the kata are performed in a circular fashion, as they are interpreted as foot sweeps in the application. This is a very challenging movement because while the body moves in a circular motion below the hips (to support the sweeping technique), everything above the belt remains motionless. In doing so, the opponent is still countered while falling.

The highlight of Unsu is undoubtedly the jump. This requires strong leg muscles and a very good technical level to jump so high that two foot techniques can still be executed during the 360° turn.

Such diverse and extraordinary techniques as close combat, evasive maneuvers, the combined jump and feint, make Unsu the most highly developed kata in Shōtōkan- Karate. Before learning Unsu, one should have practiced many other kata. In addition, a few years of karate experience is certainly the necessary foundation to attain the technical level required by this master kata.

Duration: about 100 seconds

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