As mentioned in Kanku Dai, under the WKF rules is one of the compulsory kata in competition, usually being performed in either the first or second round. This kata is popular both for its fundamental significance and because of its symbolic implication, with the Yoi position being a profound symbolic gesture.
The origin of this kata is a topic of much debate. One theory of its origin describes its development in a Chinese Buddhist Temple called ‘Jion’, with the kata taking its name from the temple. Others believe it could very well have been developed by someone deeply connected with the temple Jion. These are just two theories of many, but this kata today, both for its philosophical and fundamental reasons, is a very important kata in the syllabus, and one of only two that have kept the same name since its origin.
Although the techniques are fairly basic and simple, and only taking approximately one minute to perform, this is a kata favoured by many instructors, for it teaches the student so much, which is evident since it is also practiced in Wado-ryu.
As already mentioned, this kata is central to many controversial arguments. One such argument concerns the origins of the kata. Another argument has also arisen over the actual performance of the kata. Many rules, for example under the WKF, have introduced a ‘Standard’ way of performing the kata, which in itself has caused a great deal of discussion. Many claim that such standardisation removes the personality of the performer from the kata. Nevertheless, there are several ways of performing this kata, and all of value. This kata should be performed calmly, but with a deep fighting spirit and attitude, making it an explosively powerful kata.