Originated in China, the name Seisan means '13'. Seisan is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese "Shi San" (thirteen). The kata emphasises strength and speed, both combined and in isolation. Due to its difficulty, this kata is often reserved for advanced students.

Seisan is thought to be one of the oldest kata quite spread amongst other Nahate schools.

Shito-ryu has its own version and different versions are now practised even in Shurite derivatives like Shotokan (called Hangetsu) and in Wado-ryu (called Seishan). Isshin-ryū also adopted this kata. This kata is also practiced in Korean styles such as Tang Soo Do and Soo Bahk Do and is called Sei-Shan or Seishan in Korean. 

 

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