This is a very popular kata in competition. It is both very strong and extremely beautiful; a perfect combination for a winning competition kata. When performed correctly this kata flows wonderfully, using the effective contrast between fast and slow techniques, and when performed correctly you will appreciate its aesthetic appeal.
Formerly known as Useishi, this kata was originally refined by the Shito-Ryu style Master Mabuni. It was renamed Hotaku however by Master Funakoshi. The current name however Gojushiho can be translated to represent the 54 movements of the kata.
This kata is a beautiful and complex form that involves many interesting te movements. One such example is the combination involving the raise of the knee with the hand position representing the grasping of a head. This then follows with a hard stamp and a withdrawal of the hands to the hip.
This kata, when applied is also a perfect illustration of many self-defence movements. Within the kata we have many wrist disengages, followed by a strike. Another example is at the end of the kata, where someone comes behind you for a grab. After you strike them, you quickly shift into a zenkutsu-dachi, destroying their balance.
This kata is very powerful, and strong. It contains deep-rooted stances with heavy techniques. It is often described that Sho is heavy and Dai is light.