Heian Nidan, the second of the Heian Kata series is a very popular kata among new students. This kata is a very powerful kata, which builds upon the fundamentals introduced in Heian Shodan, while also using new techniques.
The representative movements of this kata, like most, are the opening techniques Haiwan uke, the double block followed by the punch. This develops a strong use of the hips, while developing the ability to execute more than one technique from one position, while generating impressive amounts of power.
With 26 movements, this kata should approximately take about 50-60 seconds to perform, and is more physically demanding, both athletically and fundamentally than Heian Shodan, acting as a useful stepping-stone.
As mentioned in Heian Shodan, the Heian Kata are representative of Karate-Do, and represents the attitude that must accompany the karate training. The word Heian is also used in Japanese history to describe the period between 794-1192, a time of unprecedented peace and security throughout the land, under the rule of the Heian dynasty.
When you then think about the symbolic significance of the word ‘Heian’, a deeper respect and appreciation for the kata will follow.