Sentei refers to “selection”. Shotokan karate is exemplified by four “selection kata.” They are believed to be strong yet humble kata. This is usually taught at the brown belt level, and a 1st kyu brown belt needs to opt for a tokui kata from these four kata for the black belt exam. It is the tokui kata that is chosen as one’s favorite or best kata. It is also important that the black belts should be aware of the four Sentei kata for tournaments as these kata are used while they are on the elimination round. The Sentei kata predate the Heian and Tekki kata though the former kata is taught after the latter. Heian kata was developed in order to make the learning of Sentei kata simple and easy.

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