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Ending Direction of Kata

I recently wrote about kata assumptions and mentioned that kata usually begin and end facing in the same direction (usually the front).

I should have added that I tend to violate this generalization when I perform Gojushiho (54 Steps). I was asked to demonstrate the kata once at the dojo of my friend, Sensei Hisae Ishii-Chang, and sure enough, I ended the kata facing the back! Luckily, my friend teaches Shotokan so perhaps the students thought that our Shorin-Ryu version ends differently than theirs.

But really, does it matter? In Karate -- and all martial arts for that matter -- we have to be able to move in all directions.

Well, Gojushiho is a Naha-Di kata anyway (it is a number kata, which is indicative of Naha-Di kata), so that explains why it confuses me so much!


Charles C. Goodin