Gojushiho Sho and Gojushiho Dai are two of the most advanced kata in the Shotokan Syllabus. However, there is much disagreement concerning which kata should be titled Dai or Sho. Such confusion extends to certain techniques in the kata, which also are practiced differently between different schools of Shotokan.
Gojushiho Sho has a dominance of kokutsu-dachi, kiba-dachi and zenkutsu-dachi. This kata however places a great deal of emphasis on neko-ashi-dachi. As a complete kata, the general ‘feel’ of this kata is far snappier and lighter.
This kata employs many interesting hand techniques such as the eagle-hand strike washide. In actual fact, the original name for this kata was ‘Hotaku’ (woodpecker), because of the reminiscence of the woodpecker technique. But for reasons, widely unknow, this kata used the name Gojushiho meaning 54 steps.