Before the Heian katas.
Do you teach them?
In almost every Shotokan dojo that I have ever visited over the years, when it comes to teaching kata to new students the starting point always seemed to be Heian Shodan. There is of course nothing wrong with this. After all Heian Shodan is the first kata on the list of the twenty-six Shotokan katas. But what about an alternative? How about the three katas that Master Funakoshi refers to in Karate-do Kyohan prior to discussing the Heian katas? I am of course referring to Taikyoku Shodan, Taikyoku Nidan, and Taikyoku Sandan.
For a great many years I too started new students off with Heian Shodan. However, eventually I came to find great value, benefit, and purpose, in practicing the three Taikyoku katas. As such not only have they become the first three katas I teach, they have also became part of my own personal training schedule.
In the title of this article I asked, "Are you one of the few?"
And then I asked, "Do you teach them?"
Let me know, as I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject - email@example.com .
Remember: "It is not where you start that matters. It is how far you go."