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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Heian Sandan is the third of the ‘Heian’ series, and again develops on the fundamental principles taught in the previous katas.

Among many students, this is the most unpopular of the Heian Kata, but an essential one all the same. Without training in this kata, with the spinning movements, the use of the foot and leg as a block, and strong attention to Kiba-Dachi, kata like Kanku Dai, Tekki and Bassai Sho would not be performed with as much grace and efficiency.

This kata introduces many new techniques, the most complex being the disengage of the arm followed by the spinning tetsui. Although very difficult to the beginning student, the principles this kata teach are vital. Just through studying this technique, you learn to control your centre of balance, you learn to spin quickly and efficiently and you learn to generate power through moving your body’s mass.

Although these concepts may at times be lost on the beginner, when it comes to studying the later kata, this introduction to these concepts builds the vital foundation for the rest of their kata study.