In the #47 issue (May ’96) of Shotokan Karate Magazine, late Steve Cattle wrote an article on this kata, Hangetsu. It was a needed and educational article. The title was “Hangetsu the neglected kata” where he pointed out that this kata was most unpopular. He claimed, “I feel it is a very neglected kata, generally because of the difficulty in performing the turns, the stance and its lack of beauty”. He concluded that the biggest reason why this kata is unpopular to the difficulty of turns and its stance, Hangetsu dachi. “The difficulty is in the turn, which is why I think it is neglected in competition as well as the actual stance difficulty”. I agree with most of his claims but I am afraid he has missed some key points. If you investigate the origin of this kata, you will discover the hidden history and the deep mysteries behind this unique kata.
Even though Shuri-te and Naha-te do not share the same kata, Hangetsu (Seisan/Seishan) is one exception. This kata is found in almost all styles including Wado, Shito, Goju, Uechi, Shorin, Ryuei, etc. I will attempt to put the facts together and make necessary comparisons to come up with the answers to many questions. By sharing those findings, I hope the readers will come to a new appreciation and understanding when he/she performs this unique and valuable kata.
There is another article that is definitely worth reading is found in the issue #49 (Nov ‘96). The title is “Inside Tension Stances” and the sub title, “Sanchin-dachi, Neko-ashi-dachi, Hangetsu-dachi” by John Cheetham, the chief editor of this magazine. It is a 3 page article explaining whata those inside tension stances are and how they are constructed. It touches the subject that is not frequently touched and I recommend all Shotokan practitioners to read it if they have not. Unfortunately, the detailed information of Hangetsu dachi and it s very uniqueness were not mentioned or described in this article. However, I can not blame the author at all. He probably has a set of all karate textbooks such as Dynamic Karate, Karate-do Kyohan and Best Karate, but he can find only the steps of Hangetsu kata and not much else. In fact, we can find very little information on how to do this kata properly or on the details of Hangetsu dachi. The author wrote, “ – hangetsu dachi is described in most books and by most instructors as a longer version of sanchin dachi with all the same points as sanchin.” That is how it skips the detailed description of Hangetsu dachi. I will attempt to bring out the hidden facts from the history and the comparison of this kata with the other Ryuha (styles) to fill the gap in this article. (read more...)
Shihan Yokota has published numerous articles and books: