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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Heian Godan is a very visually exciting kata. Being the most athletic of the Heian series, this kata employs movements, techniques and concepts that stretch the skills of the beginning student.

Here, not only must the karateka further develop the vital contrast between fast and slow, but must also effectively execute a jump with speed, balance and grace. Through effectively developing this kata, the karateka will be able to develop not only the skills introduced and fine-tuned in the previous kata, but incorporate such skills as stance transition.

Although appearing simple to an advanced student, to a beginner, the shift of weight and balance from zenkutsu-dachi to kokutsu-dachi can be very difficult. Through many repetitions of this within the kata, along with other transitions through stances, this kata is essential in the development of understanding how to generate power and how to use the body to its maximum potential.

This kata introduces many techniques such as manji-game-uke, and teisho (although many styles don’t necessarily use the technique in this manner) along with this kata using the first jump in the Shotokan Syllabus.