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Gekisai means “attack and destroy”. These kata were created around 1940 by Chojun Miyagi and Nagamine Shoshin as beginners’ kata, to introduce the basic forms of karate (kihon) to middle school students in Okinawa, to help bring about the standardization of karate, and to teach a basic set of techniques for self-defense. Gekisai kata were strongly influenced by the Shuri-te techniques that Master Miyagi learned from Master Anko Itosu.
Students first learn gekisai dai ichi and then gekisai dai ni. The main difference between dai ichi and dai ni is that dai ni introduces open handed techniques and new stances. It is in gekesai dai ni that students are introduced to the neiko ashi dachi stance, and to the wheel block (Tomai Uke).