I came across Wankan recently, a Shotokan kata that I’ve never heard mentioned in class or the few books I’ve read.
It’s considered an advanced kata regardless of its brevity. This would be in part due to the stances being more difficult to master.
The kata is slow and deliberate. It has only 16 counts, but many of these are combination-counts. One example of this is the reverse hand block followed by double punch. So far I’ve seen that this kata is intended to fend off one attacker at a time.
My favourite part of the kata is, at the surface, the most mundane part of it: the double forearm block with the three steps and the reverse sword-hand block. When I was practicing this for the first time, an application came to me instantly. If the three steps were shorter than in the actual kata, then the defender could move in a little toward the attacker, step slightly behind them to the attacker’s right (with the defender’s right foot) and throw the attacker down with the left hand. The next move is then ready for a kick.
I’ll try finding a video that shows this application, or make one.
Its another short / relatively straightforward looking kata that has complex undertones. The first one being getting the stance done properly. This is another video by Kanazawa-sama, and is slightly different to the version we practice.