HEIAN NIDAN - Peaceful Mind Number Two
Heian Nidan is the second of the five kata in this series. This kata requires the student for the first time to include a kick in their kata. In this instance there are two of them, a front chudan-yoko-geri-keage (middle level side snapping kick) here it is important to remember to bring your back leg up a half step so as to keep alinement with your attacker, and chudan-mae-geri-keage (middle level front snapping kick). In addition, several new hand techniques are also introduced for the first time. They are, chudan-uraken-uke (back fist), chudan-nukite-zuki (middle level spear hand strike), chudan-gyaku-zuki (middle level reverse punch), gyaku-hanme-uchi-uke (reverse inside middle block), here it is important to remember to bring your front foot back at the same time as you make the second block, but, never the first one, and morote-chudan-uchi-uke (supported middle level inside outward block). This kata contains 26 movements and should also take the student approximately 35 seconds to complete. The correct performance of this kata is required in order to advance in rank from 9th kyu (yellow belt) to 8th kyu (orange belt).
As previously mentioned Heian Nidan was originally taught by the Okinawan's as the first kata in the Pinan series, but Master Gichin Funakoshi, the Founder of Shotokan Karate reversed the original order of Pinan Shodan and Pinan Nidan when he first introduced karate to Japan. It was also at this time that he changed the name of this particular series of katas from Okinawan pronunciation of Pinan, to the Japanese pronunciation of, Heian, or (Peaceful Mind) to as to have these katas more readily accepted by Japanese society.
There are two kiai points in Heian Nidan. The first one occurs on the chudan-nukite-zuki (middle level spear hand) at the top of the embusen (line of attack). The second one occurs on the very last movement of the kata which is a jodan-age-uke (upper level rising block).
To return to a ready position after the last movement of the kata leave your right foot in place and withdraw your left foot so as to stand up once again facing forward in hachiji-dachi (natural stance). You must now formally end the kata. You do this by bringing your left foot half way in towards your right foot and your right foot half way in towards your left foot so that you are now standing with your feet together. At the same time as you bring your feet together also bring your hands to your sides so you are again standing in heisoku-dachi (attention stance). Now rei (bow). After bowing, step out with your left foot and then your right foot and once again stand in hachiji-dachi (natural stance) while at the same time bringing your hands from your sides and hold them in a ready position in front of you with your fists closed.