Godan

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Godan (“Fifth Level”) was the fifth kata created by Grandmaster Durant. This is an advanced form, which is reserved for black belts. Godan is the quintessential Goshin-Jutsu Karate kata, as it best exhibits the crisp techniques, fluid transitions, and inhuman brutality which define our art.

Directions

[video of Godan, performed fast and slow, viewed from cameras at #1, 3, 7, 5. Be sure that you take up the whole frame. A lot of our old kata videos are from too far away, and it hides some detail.]

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  1. Step your left foot to #2, entering a deep, left front stance facing #1, with a kakiwake uke (with shutō hands) and ibuki breathing.
  2. Shift into a deep right back stance facing #1 with a left outside shutō block.
  3. Execute a left grasping block, and then shift into a deep left front stance facing #1 with a reverse punch.
  4. Step your right foot to #8, entering a deep left back stance facing #1, with a rightoutside shutō block.
  5. Execute a right grasping block, then shift into a deep right front stance facing #1 with a reverse punch.
  6. Step your left foot to #2, entering a deep right back stancefacing #1 with a left outside shutō block.
  7. Execute a left grasping block, and then shift into a deep left front stance facing #1 with a reverse punch.
  8. Pull your left foot back into a right cat stance facing #1 with a left pressing block.
  9. Immediately step your left foot out to #2, entering a left front stance facing #1 with a right four-fingered spearhand strike (palm up) to the opponent’s groin. Grab the opponent’s testicles.
  10. Pull your left foot back into a right cat stance facing #1, sliding your left hand down your right arm, for a horizontal hassō-shutō to the opponent’s bladder.
  11. Step your left foot out to #2, entering a left [Front stance|front stance]] facing #1 with a right four-fingered spearhand strike to the opponent’s throat. Pull your open left hand into your right armpit, to guard your ribs.
  12. While ibuki breathing, pull your right leg up to a sanchin dachi facing #1, with your hands in a spearhand guard; with your right hand at throat-level, and your left hand at solar plexus level.

    Then switch your guard; lowering your right hand to solar plexus level, and raising your left hand to throat level.
  13. Step your left leg back to #4, entering a left back stance facing #1 with a right outside shutō block.
  14. Shift forward into a right front stance, slapping opponent’s arm down with your right hand. Reach over and grab the opponent’s wrist with a left grasping block. Immediately pull your left foot up to a right hook stance facing #3 pulling the opponent into a right rising palmheel strike to their chin.
  15. Slide your right foot to #1, entering a left full-side facing to #3, with a right scooping block-like groin grab to #1.
  16. Immediately snap up into a left sleeping crane stance, facing #3 with a right downward backfist strike to #1.
  17. Quickly look to #5. Step your right leg to #2, entering a right back stance facing #5 with a left naifu-kinniku.
  18. Step your right leg up to #7, entering a left hook stance facing #5 with a simultaneous (Kūsankū) left rising shutō block and a right tate-shutō to #5.
  19. Execute a right front kick. Upon re-chambering, slide your left shutō down your right arm, and pull your right hand to your right hip.
  20. Immediately step your right foot out to #4, entering a left front stance facing #5, with a right four-fingered spearhand strike to the opponent’s throat. Pull your open left hand into your right armpit, to guard your ribs.
  21. Left nami ashi, then slide your left foot out to #7, entering a horse stance facing #5. Raise your heels off the ground while executing a kakiwake uke (with shutō hands). Rotate both of your heels in an inside-to-outside circle, slamming them into the ground at the moment the block completes.
  22. Slide your right foot across your body to #7, with a right downward pressing block, covering your face with your open left hand. Execute a left grasping block.
  23. Slide your left foot out to #5, entering a right hook stance facing #7, with a right rising palmheel strike to the opponent’s chin, off-balancing them with your reciprocal action.
  24. Inhale sharply through the nose as you twist into a right cat stance facing #1, with your left hand on your left hip, and your right hand on your right shoulder. Both hands are open, and ready for palmheel strikes.
  25. With nogare breathing, shift forward into a left sanchin dachi, and catch an abdomen-level kick between your palms. (The right hand is on top.)
  26. Turn your hands 180° clockwise, then raise them to breast-level. Lift and point your right knee to #8 before delivering a stomp kick to #1.
  27. Step your right foot to #6, entering a right cat stance facing #2, and execute what starts out as a rising X-block, but turns into a double punch to the opponent’s head. Your left arm is higher and further extended than your right arm.
  28. Execute a left front kick. Upon rechambering, step your left foot out to #3, entering a left front stance facing #2. Wrap your hands behind the opponent’s head, pulling it down into a right knee kick.
  29. Twist clockwise, pulling your right foot into a left cat stance facing #8, and execute what starts out to be a rising X-block, but turns into a double punch to the opponent’s head. Your right arm is higher and further extended than your left arm.
  30. Execute a right front kick. Upon rechambering, step your right foot out to #7, entering a right front stance facing #8. Wrap your hands behind the opponent’s head, pulling it into a left knee kick.
  31. Immediately after completing the knee kick, set your left foot down at #2, entering a left back stance facing #3 with a right naifu-kinniku.
  32. Execute a right nami-ashi, with a left palmheel strike to the chest. Slide your right foot out to #6, entering a right front stance facing #7 with a right tate-shutō.
  33. Left nami-ashi, and slide your left foot out to #3, entering a horse stance facing #1, with a right side guard. Execute a right backfist strike to #7.
  34. Left nami-ashi, and slide your left foot out to #5, entering a horse stance facing #3, with a simultaneous (Kūsankū) left right pressing block and a right reverse elbow strike to #7.
  35. Shift into a left full-side-facing (with your torso turned towards #4) with a right ridgehand block to #3.
  36. Immediately shift into a right full-side-facing (with your torso turned towards #2) with a left tate-shutō to #3.
  37. Do not rechamber your left hand; leave it out. Shift into a horse stance facing #3 with a right inside ridgehand strike to #3. Wrap your hands behind the opponent’s neck, pulling their head down into a right knee kick.
  38. Immediately execute a right nami-ashi, and slide your left foot out to #7, entering a horse stance facing #1, with a left side guard. Execute a left backfist strike to #3.
  39. Execute a right nami-ashi, and slide your left foot out to #5, entering a horse stance with a simultaneous (Kūsankū) left pressing block and right rear elbow strike to #3.
  40. Execute a left nami-ashi, and slide your left foot out to #8, entering a left back stance facing #5, with a right naifu-kinniku.
  41. Execute a right nami-ashi with an inside palmheel strike to the opponent’s chest. Slide your right foot out to #4, entering a right front stance facing #5 with an inside hammerfist strike.
  42. Execute a right nami-ashi with a inside palmheel strike to the opponent’s chest. Slide your right foot out to #4, entering a right front stance facing #5 with an inside hammerfist strike.
  43. Execute a right nami-ashi with a inside palmheel strike to the opponent’s chest. Slide your right foot out to #4, entering a deep right front stance facing #5 with an inside hammerfist strike.
  44. Inhale sharply through the nose as you twist into a right cat stance facing #1, with your left hand on your left hip, and your right hand on your right shoulder. Both hands are open, and ready for palmheel strikes.
  45. Step your left foot out to #2, entering a transitional left front stance, reaching out to grab the opponent’s belt at their right hip with your left hand, and their left lapel with your right hand. Immediately pull your right foot up to #3, entering a left hook stance, and off-balancing the opponent with a hip check.
  46. Twist into a right cat stance facing #6 with a left groin-level front-foot punch to #6, to completing the hip toss.
  47. Jump into the air. Pull your knees up to your chest. Slide your left shutō down your right arm as you chamber your right arm with reciprocal motion. Land feet-first. Do not lock your knees. End by kneeling on your right knee facing #6, with a right reverse punch straight down.
  48. Quickly look to #7. While still kneeling on your right knee, turn to #7 with a left rising block. Execute a right rising block, and a left gyaku-sukuite.
  49. Quickly look to #3. Without standing up, twist clockwise to #3, until you are kneeling on your left knee, facing #3 with a right rising block. Execute a left gyaku-sukuite.
  50. Quickly look to #5. Rise up, sliding your right foot to #2, and entering a right back stance facing #5 with a left naifu-kinniku. Look left, then look right.
  51. Slide your right foot to #6, entering a right back stance to #1 with a left naifu-kinniku. Look left, then look right.
  52. Pull up into an attention stance. Goshin-Jutsu bow.

Notes

Bunkai

At opponent at #1 attacks you with a front choke or double lapel grab, but your break their hold (Movement 1). The opponent attacks with a right punch, which you evade, block (Movement 2), and counter by pulling them into a reverse punch to the solar plexus or floating ribs (Movement 3). The opponent throws a left punch as they back away, to keep you from rushing in, but you block (Movement 4) and counter this attack in the same way (Movement 5). The opponent repeats this same series on the right side, only to have it stopped the same way again (Movements 6-7). Seeing the need for change, the opponent throws a left punch, which you parry with a left pressing block (Movement 8), before shooting in to grab their testicles with your right hand (Movement 9) and pulling back as you strike their bladder horizontally with a left hassō-shutō (Movement 10). As the opponent leans forward in pain, step in and strike their throat with a four-fingered spearhand strike (Movement 11).

Since this opponent has proven to be unusually resilient, you cannot assume that they have been defeated. You advance slowly, tensing your body up with ibuki breathing to deal with any incoming blows, and assume a spearhand guard to prevent the opponent from rushing in (Movement 12). Sure enough, the opponent attacks with a right pursuit punch, which you evade and block (Movement 13). Then, use your right hand to deflect the opponent’s left arm downward, to create an opening. You immediately grab their hand as you close in, pulling them into a rising palmheel strike to their chin, to stun and off-balance them (Movement 14). Shifting in, you grab the opponent’s testicles with your right hand (Movement 15), and agonizingly yank on them; as the opponent reflexively leans forwards from the pain, deliver a downward backfist strike to the bridge of their nose (Movement 16).

Another attacker lunges in from #5 with a left punch, who you evade and block (Movement 17). The opponent immediately follows-up with a right punch, which you simultaneously parry with a rising block and counter with a tate-shutō; however, the opponent blocks your shutō strike and grabs your wrist with their left hand (Movement 18). Front kick the opponent in the groin, as an atemi, and break free of the opponent’s hold by simultaneously pulling your hand back and shutō striking the opponent’s wrist (Movement 19). Once you’ve freed your hand, immediately use it to crush their throat with a four-fingered spearhand strike (Movement 20). However, the opponent evades the strike, grabs your jacket, and tries to reap you. However, you avoid their reap with a nami-ashi, drop your center to regain stability, and break free of their hold (Movement 21). The opponent throws a right pursuit punch, but you off-balance them with a leg sweep and deflect their punch downward, guarding your head in case they follow-up with a left punch (Movement 22). Then, grab the opponent’s left lapel with your left hand and use your reciprocal action to pull them down into a right rising palmheel strike to their chin (Movement 23).

A new attacker sneaks up behind you from #1 and attacks with a front kick to your abdomen. Since you were taken by surprise, there was no time to evade (Movement 24), so you tense your abdominal muscles and drop into sanchin dachi to absorb the impact. By grabbing the opponent’s ankle, their balance is compromised and they cannot re-chamber their kick. (Movement 25) Twisting their ankle forces the opponent to flip or topple to escape injury. Since their leg is in the way, you must go around the opponent’s leg before breaking their spine with a stomp kick (Movement 26).

An opponent from #2 lunges in to grab you, but you break their hold with a kakiwake uke, sneaking in a quick front-foot punch in the process, as an atemi (Movement 27). Front kick the opponent in the groin, and as they reflexively lean forward from the pain, step in and pull their head down into a knee kick to the side of their jaw or their temple (Movement 28). This sequence is then mirrored when you are attacked again in a similar fashion from #8 (Movements 29-30).

Another opponent enters, delivering a left punch from #3, which you quickly block (Movement 31). The opponent tries to off-balance you with a left leg sweep, but you avoid this and off-balance them instead with a well-timed simultaneous nami-ashi and an inside palmheel strike to their chest. Enter while the opponent is trying to recover their balance, and counterattack with a right tate-shutō to the side of their neck (Movement 32). To prevent the broken and battered opponent from falling on top of you, quickly adopt a side-facing posture, and strike the bridge of the opponent’s nose with a backfist strike for good measure (Movement 33).

Another opponent approaches from #3, and as you turn to face them, you shrug the previous aside with a rear elbow strike (Movement 34). The opponent attacks with a left punch, but you evade and guard yourself with a ridgehand block (Movement 35) and counter by shifting in with a left tate-shutō to the side of their neck (Movement 36). You immediately strike the other side of their neck with an inside ridgehand strike, and wrap your hands around the back of their neck, to pull their head down into a knee kick to the side of their jaw or their temple (Movement 37). To prevent the broken and battered opponent from falling on top of you, quickly adopt a side-facing posture, and strike the bridge of the opponent’s nose with a backfist strike for good measure (Movement 38), before shrugging them off (Movement 39).

Another opponent enters, delivering a left punch from #3, which you quickly block (Movement 40). Simultaneously off-balance the opponent with inside palmheel strike to the chest, with a simultaneous nami-ashi, to give the opponent the false impression that they can push you over. This tricks the opponent into producing forward momentum, which augments your inside hammerfist strike to their temple or the side of their jaw (Movement 41). You then repeat this maneuver again (Movement 42) and again (Movement 43), dropping into a lower-than-normal front stance on the third and final strike, to give it some extra emphasis and authority.

Another opponent enters from #1, and you turn to face them (Movement 44). As they rush in, you lunge forward, grabbing their belt and lapel, and off-balancing them with a hip check (Movement 45), to set up a hip throw (Movement 46). Jump into the air, pull your knees to your chest, and chamber the punch-of-all-punches, crashing down in an animé-like fashion to crush the opponent’s throat, solar plexus or groin with all of the agony and finality of an apocalyptic asteroid (Movement 47).

Another opponent appears at #7, and tries to kick your head off of your shoulders. However, you quickly deflect their kick upward with a rising block, and incapacitate them with a gyaku-sukuite (Movement 48). This movement is mirrored when another opponent appears at #3, with similar intentions (Movement 49).

Quickly assume a guard posture, and scan the area for additional threats (Movements 50-51). Seeing none, the kata ends (Movement 52).