The Pinan Series
The Pinan katas were developed by Anko Itosu in the early 1900s. Itosu learned the kata “Chiang Nan” from a Chinese martial artist who lived in Okinawa, and later remodelled this into five simpler katas, calling them Pinan because he found the Chinese “Chiang Nan” too difficult to pronounce. These katas also contain many techniques drawn from the katas being practiced in the Shuri region of Okinawa at that time. Pinan means “peaceful mind”. The name is taken to mean that once the five kata and their bunkai (application) are mastered, the karateka will be able to defend themselves adequately in most situations. Ohtsuka was taught these katas by Gichin Funakoshi and Kenwa Mabuni.