The Gojushiho Kata comprise of 2 Kata, namely

Gojushiho Dai – greater version

Gojushiho Sho – lesser version


54 steps

Also known as Useishi/Hotaku.


There are about 7 variations of this kata and is one of the older Shurite kata with roots stretching back to Matsumura’s time. Most derive from Itosu or Kyan, though some come directly from Matsumura. It may well be derived ultimately from Fujian, China. There is a pictograph in the Fujian Bubishi showing the “Black Tiger Style of the 54 steps” as a counter to White Crane techniques. Useishi may also hark back to he mysterious assertion that the Tiger and Lion Schools were actually taught on Okinawa in the early 17th century. Funakoshi named it Hotaku (woodpecker) for a while. In JKA styled Shotokan several versions of Useishi have been coalesced into the two kata we practice today, the “Sho” version being derived from Mabuni Kenwa’s Useishi. The very oldest versions start with a movement similar to the start of enpi kata.