Chinto (In Shotokan, Gankaku is an advanced kata practiced in many styles of Karate. According to legend, it is named after a Chinese sailor, sometimes referred to as Annan, whose ship crashed on the Okinawan coast. To survive, Chinto stole from the crops of the local people. Matsumura Sokon, a Karate master and chief bodyguard to the Okinawan king, was sent to defeat Chinto. In the ensuing fight, however, Matsumura found himself equally matched by the stranger, and consequently sought to learn his techniques.
It is known that the kata Chinto was well-known to the early Tomari-te and Shuri-te schools of Karate. Matsumura Sokon was an early practitioner of the Shuri-te style. When Gichin Funakoshi brought Karate to Japan, he renamed Chinto (meaning approximately “fighter to the east”) to Gankaku (meaning “crane on a rock”), possibly to avoid anti-Chinese sentiment of the time. He also modified the actual pattern of movement, or embusen, to a more linear layout, similar to the other Shotokan kata.
The kata is very dynamic, employing a diverse number of stances (including the uncommon crane stance), unusual strikes of rapidly varying height, and a rare one-footed pivot.
It is often said that Chinto should be performed while facing eastwards.
Today, Chinto is practiced in Wado-ryu, Shukokai, Isshin-ryu, Chito-ryu;, Shorin-ryu, Shorinji-ryu, Shito-ryu, Shotokan, Gensei-ryu, Koei-Kan and Yuhokukai.
Nijushiho (Japanese: Twenty four steps) is an advanced kata practiced in Shotokan, Shitoryu and Wadoryu karate.
The origin of Nijushiho is unknown, but it is presumed that it originates from the Aragaki group like Sochin and others. this is shown through the similarity to Unsu. In introducing karate from Okinawa to Japan, Gichin Funakoshi changed the name of the kata from Niseishi to Nijushiho. Both names mean “24 steps.”
This kata is also practiced in Tang Soo Do and is called E Sip Sa Bo in Korean. Due to its difficulty, this kata is often reserved for advanced black belt level students. Like its Japanese and Okinawan counterparts E Sip Sa Bo also translates to “24 steps.”
Gojushiho lit. 54 steps?) is a kata practiced in karate. In some styles of karate, there are two versions of this kata – Gojushiho Sho and Gojushiho Dai. An advantage of the two versions of the kata is to better master the difficult techniques presented therein, but not without facing some confusion, for many sequences are the same and others only slightly different. The embusen of both Gojushiho Sho and Gojushiho Dai are nearly identical. Gojushiho Sho begins straight off with a wide variety of advanced techniques and, as such, is highly recommended for study. Gojushiho Dai consists of many advanced open-handed techniques and attacks to the collar-bone.
Gojushiho Sho and Gojushiho Dai are two versions in Shotokan of the same, single Shorin-ryu kata called Useishi (54) or Gojushiho. Originally, the names were reversed so that Dai was called Sho, and Sho was called Dai. The name change seems to have happened sometime in the 1960s or 1970s when a high-ranking JKA instructor announced ‘Gojushiho Dai’ and then performed Gojushiho Sho at the All-Japan Karate Championships. Due to his high rank, nobody dared question him about this hence why all Shotokan Karate Schools who originate from the JKA use the reversed names.
Within the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation of Kanazawa Hirokazu, the “Dai” and “Sho” forms are kept to their original names to coincide with ‘Dai’ meaning ‘Major’ and ‘Sho’ meaning Minor. This was also because master Kanazawa is a higher ranked instructor and refuses to change the original names. This kata is also practiced in Tang Soo Do and is called O Sip Sa Bo in Korean. Due to its difficulty, this kata is often reserved for advanced students, usually for those who are 6th degree black belts and above.