pinan shodan ,heian shodan

Bob Hubbard

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Pinana forms are a series of 5 katas: Pinan Shodan, Pinan Nidan, Pinan Sandan, Pinan Yodan,Pinan Godan :The katas review: hand, open-hand and elbow strikes, wrist locks, arm locks, sweeps, and kicks.Pinan is thought to be a derivative of the Chinese Chiang Nan (Changed to Heian by Funakoshi)

The Pinan Katas (Ping 'An in Chinese) are very important. The name Pinan means "Peaceful Mind." This name seems to be inspired by the Bubishi.
In article 1 on the History and Philosophy of White Crane. It says, "Immeasurable self-conquests are made possible through a peaceful mind and inner harmony. The strength and resiliency gained from martial art training fosters an inner force with which one can overcome any opponent and conquer worldly delusion and misery." Pinan Shodan and Nidan were created by Bushi Matsumura, and were originally called Channan Sho and Dai. They were based on kata taught at Fukien Shaolin in the Five Elder style. The Chinese reading for this name is "Chiag Nan." Chiag Nan was the name of a Chinese Diplomat who resided Shuri. It is possible that Bushi got the techniques from him. Itosu created Pinan Sandan, Yondan, and Godan and added them to his own system. Some sources say he took them from other Chinese kata also called Chiag Nan that he got from a Chinese master, who may have also been Chaig Nan himself
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"It was Anko Itosu who developed the Pinan / Heian katas. Itosu was born in the Shuri Region of Okinawa in the 1830s. In Gichin Funakoshi's book, ' Karate-do Nyumon ', Anko Itosu is described as being of average height with a huge chest that gave him 'the silhouette of a barrel.' Funakoshi goes on to say that despite Itosu's long flowing beard he had the face of an innocent child. It is also said that Itosu possessed great physical strength - in particular his grip strength was said to be exceptional - and that he was a very able martial artist.
The word 'Pinan' is made up of two ideograms. The original Okinawan pronunciation of the first ideogram is 'pin', whereas the Japanese pronounce it 'hei.' Wado-Ryu & Shito-Ryu practitioners tend to favour the Okinawan pronunciation of 'Pinan', whereas Shotokan stylists favour the Japanese pronunciation of 'Heian'. Regardless of favoured pronunciation, the word 'Pinan' means, 'peaceful mind'.
In 'Karate-Do Kyohan' Gichin Funakoshi, who was a student of Itosu's, said that the name 'Pinan' was chosen for the series because once these katas have been mastered, the karateka can be confident in their ability to defend themselves in most situations. If this is true, it would mean that the Pinan series would need to include techniques for uses at all ranges of fighting. In addition to the familiar strikes, they would also need to include throws, takedowns, holds, chokes, locks etc. It is my understanding that the Pinan series does indeed include all these methods; however, it would be fair to say that these methods are not widely practised."

there's four more parts to this on Iain's site.