Shotokan Katas and Their Meaning

TAIKYO KYU = First Cause

HEIAN SHODAN = Peaceful Mind First Level
HEIAN NIDAN = Peaceful Mind Second Level
HEIAN SANDAN = Peaceful Mind Third Level
HEIAN YONDAN = Peaceful Mind Fourth Level
HEIAN GODAN = Peaceful Mind Fifth Level

From Heian Ante meaning peace and calmness, taken from the city of Heian


TEKKI SHODAN = Horse Riding First Level
TEKKI NIDAN = Horse Riding Second Level
TEKKI SANDAN = Horse Riding Third Level

BASSAI DAI = To penetrate a fortress Major*
BASSAI SHO = To penetrate a fortress Minor*

KANKU DAI = Viewing the Sky Major*
KANKU SHO = Viewing the Sky Minor*

HANGETSU = Half Moon**

EMPI = Flying Swallow

GANKAKU = Crane on a Rock

JITTE = Ten Hands(sometimes spelt JUTTE)

JI-ON = From the temple of Jion

JI-IN = Temple grounds

CHINTE = Strange Hands

MEIKYO = Polished Mirror

NIJUSHIHO = Twenty Four Steps

SOCHIN = Immovable in the face of danger

WANKAN = A proper name, King's Crown

UNSU = Hands in the cloud

GOJUSHIHO SHO = Fifty Four Steps Minor*

GOJUSHIHO DAI = Fifty Four Steps Major*

* Different associations have Sho and Dai reversed.
** You may also see this as Hungestsu.