1.    Seisan (Sei-10 San-3 = 13,this is a Chinese mandarin name, also sometimes known as Half Moon) This is one of the most know kata’s in Karate.  Seisan Kata is named after Master Seisan, a great master from the Pangai Noon Style of Kung Fu (Southern Chinese Boxing).  He lived in Okinawa from 1588 to 1600, before the Japanese invasion.  He was sent to Okinawa to teach Chinese Boxing to the people of Okinawa.  This Kata is also practiced in Shotokan where it is called Hangetsu.

2.    Seiuchin (lull in the storm.  This developed as a fight on the beach)
This kata is named after Master Seiuchin who lived in the 15th or 16th Century.  This is another Chinese Kata, which was brought to Okinawa by Kanryo Higashionna (studied under Master Woo-lin- Chin).  Kanryo Higashionna developed Naha-te or Shorei-ryu.  His top Student was Chojun Miyagi who also studied in China.  Together they developed Goju-Ryu.

3.    Naihanchi (named after the city/district Naha) Iron Horse
This Kata is also called Tekki 3, it is also practiced in Kempo, Tae-Kwon-Do, Shotokan and Shuri-Ryu.  This Kata is believed to have been brought to Okinawa by Master Sakagawa.  Master Sagawa studied under Master Ku San for six years in a small Chinese village near Naha.  Sagawa later went to China to study under Ku San Ku’s Teachers.

4.    Wansu (Flying Swallow)
This is also known as Empi.  This kata is named after Master Wansu (birdman).  Wansu’s Art became known as Tomari Te.  The kata comes from the Shorin-Ryu System.

5.    Chinto /Gankaku (Shorin-ryu )  (fighting toward the east, Crane on a Rock. This is also developed as a fight on a ship)
This kata is known as Gankaku in Shotokan. Chinto Kata is named after a shipwrecked Chinese sailor who hid from the natives and stole food at night.  Matsumura a great swordsman was sent to apprehend the thief, but during the battle, he was unable to.  He later became friends with Chinto in order to learn his techniques and helped Chinto return to China.

6.    Kusan Ku(Kanku Dai (Shotokan))-Means viewing the sky
This kata is named after Chinese Master Ku-San Ku who was in Okinawa somewhere around 1781-1786.  This Kata teaches one to fight in the dark.  This Kata teaches a person to fight by touch and sound in a dark environment.  It is believed that Master Sagawa and Kitani Yara taught directly or indirectly all of the Okinawan Masters. Both of these Masters trained under Ku San Ku.  It is not known if Ku San Ku made this kata or did his followers put it together.

8.  Sun Su
This Kata was developed by Master Tatsuo Shimabuku, and is composed of his favorite fighting techniques.  This Kata was first demonstrated on Jan 16th 1956.

9.  Sanchin
There are many Sanchin Katas and this is most likely the oldest of the Katas.  It is believed that Bodhidharma created this Kata.  It was also known as Bodhidharma Ju-Hachi-Rakau Shoukyu (18 Hand Techniques). This Kata teaches a person to control his breathing, mind and muscles.  This Kata is seen as breathing Kata in some systems.  It is also some times considered as a dangerous kata to those not in good health. This is due to the physical strain placed on the body.

Weapons(器械) Katas
10.    Tokomeni No Kun Dai
11.    Urashi Bo
12.    Bo Shishi No Kun Dai
13.    Kusan Ku Sai
14.    Chatan Yara No Sai
15.    Chiefa (tonfa)or Hama Higa
16.    Kama (sickle)
17.    Bo-Bo
18.    Bo-Sai