Heian Sandan - Peaceful Mind Number Three
Heian Sandan is the third of the five katas in this series. Popular with many junior students this kata is noted for the introduction of a very strong side stance known as kiba-dachi (horse riding stance). Also, introduced for the first time is the student’s requirement to perform a simultaneous two-handed combination block, in this case a gedan-barai (lower level down block) and a chudan-uchi-uke (inside outward block) both of which are performed on the second, and fourth movements of this kata. Other new hand techniques introduced are, chudan-haishu-uke (middle level back hand block), and jodan-mawashi-zuki (upper level hook punch).
It is important to remember that after the first kiai, it is a slow count of about four seconds to turn around before coming back down the embusen (line of attack). Here the student is required to perform a series of movements in kiba-dachi (horse riding stance) while blocking and striking. This kata contains 20 movements and should take the student approximately 30 seconds to complete. The correct performance of this kata is required in order to advance in rank from 8th kyu (orange belt) to 7th kyu (red belt).
There are two kiai points in Heian Sandan. The first one occurs on the chudan-oi-zuki (middle level lunge punch) at the top of the embusen (line of attack). The second one occurs on the last movement of the kata jodan-mawashi-zuki (upper level hook punch).
To return to a ready position after the last movement of the kata leave your left foot in place and withdraw your right 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.