Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Tekki Series: Tekki Shodan

Tekki (also Naihanchi or Naifanchi) is usually translated as "Iron Horseman." This is because, aside from crossing the feet in kosa position a few times, all movements in the three Tekki kata are performed in horse stance. The embusen for all Tekki kata is a lateral straight line (i.e. there are no forward or backward stepping motions). The idea when performing these kata is that you are defending against assailants with your back to a wall. The practice of Tekki is excellent for developing a strong horse stance, sharp hip vibration, and stealthy lateral movement. Sokon Matsumura is believed to have learned Tekki during his excursions to China. It was Yasutsune Itosu who modified and expanded this kata, creating Tekki Nidan and Tekki Sandan.

Tekky Shodan

Tekki Shodan is the first kata in the Tekki series and is also the first kata that does not start in the traditional yoi position. Having 29 counts, it is performed almost entirely in a horse stance. The embusen is simply a straight line. Since there is no forward or backward movement, all footwork is accomplished in a sideways manner using the crossing step, or kosa-ashi. The crossing step, also known as  "stealth step" (sashi-ashi), is characteristic of all Tekki kata. Another important trademark of the three Tekki kata is the haiwan-nagashi-uke/tate-uraken combo. New techniques learned in T1 include kagi-zukimorote-zuki, and the unique ashi-namigaeshi, a very effective technique that only occurs in this kata. For proper kata performance, obviously a strong horse stance is essential, but the student must also understand the difference between  hip rotation and hip vibration, similar but slightly distinct concepts. Often neglected but of great importance, head turns must be stressed in this kata. Head turns are regarded as a single count of the kata and must be performed sharply.

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