New Version of Kata Performed by Sensei M. Tanaka JKA
Here the Kata more obviously begins to assume the characteristics of the traditional Kata from which it was drawn. It gives practice in the varieties of rhythm inherent in karate, the slow increase in tension on the one hand and the explosive release of powerful technique on the other. Some of the more dangerous techniques of the traditional Kata are re-introduced, Hiza-geri to the opponent's face for example.
Comprising 27 movements, this Kata should take approximately 50 seconds to perform.
The old name for the Heian Kata was Pinan. These Kata were developed by Yatasune Itosu as intermediate Kata to the much longer main Kata of Shorin-Ryu. He did not make them up however, they were based on much older training forms called Channan, which had their origin in China.
Master Funakoshi considered Pinan Shodan too difficult for an introductory Kata so he changed Pinan Nidan to Heian Shodan and Pinan Shodan to Heian Nidan.
For beginners, a somewhat simplified version of Heian Shodan was introduced, which is called Taikyoku Shodan. This is most often used for 9th Kyu gradings as a "stepping-stone" to Heian Shodan.