White belts (new students)

Fukyugata Ichi and Ni

Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan

Green belts (after six months to 1 year of training, total)

Pinan Shodan through Godan

Naihanchi Sandan

Brown Belts (after two to three years of training, total)

Wankan, Rohai, Passai,

Chinto, Kusanku

Black Belts

Ananku, Wanshu

Gojushiho I, Gojushiho II



Fukyugata Ichi and Fukyugata Ni were compose in the early 1940s, the former by Shoshin Nagamine and the other by Chojun Miyagi (the founder of Goju Ryu).


Yasutsune (Ankoh) Itosu (1830-1915), of the Shuri-te system, developed the Pinan, peaceful mind, series of five forms around 1905.


The origin of the Naihanchi series is unknown but it is among the oldest kata in the Shorin Ryu system


The exact origin of Ananku is unknown, but it is believed that Chotoku Kyan (1870-1945) brought back this form to the Tomari region from Taiwan in the year 1895.Ananku means peace or safety from the south. The kata was developed as part of the Tomari-Te system and during the 1900's, was further passed on by Shoshin Nagamine and the Matsubayashi Ryu style.


The exact origin of this kata is unknown, but it has been handed down through the Tomari-Te system.


Passai means to "thrust asunder" or "penetrate the fortress". The original composer of Passai is unknown though legend has it that Bushi Matsumura (1809-1899), a master of the shuri-te, brought the original form from China. Knife-hand techniques and speedy movements distinguish this kata from the others.


Rohai translates to "white heron" or "vision of a crane". This kata is also a Tomari-Te kata with a long history.


Wanshu is one of the most popular forms among Okinawan systems and has been used for many years, undergoing many modifications.


The Chinto kata was likely created by Bushi Matsumura (1809-1899), a master of shuri-te, and was based on the techniques he learned from a Chinese sailor named Chinto who became shipwrecked on the Ryuku Islands.


Gojushiho, which means 54 steps, contains a series of complex movements which are said to resemble a drunken man. One of several "numbered" kata, including sanchin ("three steps"), seisan ("thirteen"), san-seiru ("thirty-six"), gojushiho ("fifty-four") and suparempai ("one hundred and eight"), it represents a style of karate more closely linked to the Chinese mainland.


Kusanku kata was brought to Okinawa by a Chinese martial artist, either named or titled Ku Shanku, around 1756-1761.