TEKKI SHODAN - Iron Horse Number One

Tekki Shodan is the first of three kata in this series. It is widely believed that the three Tekki katas we know and practice today within the Shotokan system were once linked together and taught as one single continuous kata. It is thought that this kata was ultimately broken down into the three parts by Master Gichin Funakoshi's own teacher, Master Itosu, primarily for ease of teaching. Master Gichin Funakoshi then changed the name of this particular series of kata from Naihanchi, to Tekki, when he introduced the art of karate to Japan in order to have this series of katas more readily accepted by Japanese society.

It is very important that when you move from side to side that you do not come up and down, but, instead remain level and in a low kiba dachi (horse riding stance). The kata in this series were originally known by their Okinawan name, Naihanchi, a name that is still commonly used today for this series of kata in several other styles of karate. Thought to be Chinese in origin this kata is known for the introduction of several unique kicks, hidari-ashi mani-gaeshi and migi-ashi mani-gaeshi (left and right inward kicks), commonly known as "wave kicks". This kata contains 29 movements and should take the student approximately 30 seconds to complete. The correct performance of this kata is required in order to advance in rank from 5th kyu (violet belt) to 4th kyu (blue belt).

There are two kiai points in Tekki Shodan. The first one occurs to the left on the first ni-yoko-chudan zuki (double middle level side punch). This occurs half way through the kata at the extreme left-hand end of the embusen (line of attack). The second one occurs on extreme right side of the embusen (line of attack) on the last movement of the kata, ni-yoko-chudan-zuki (double middle level side punch).

To return to a ready position after the last movement of the kata leave your left foot in place and withdraw your right foot so as to stand up once again facing forward in hachiji-dachi (natural stance). You must now formally end the kata. You do this by bringing your left foot half way in towards your right foot and your right foot half way in towards your left foot so that you are now standing with your feet together. At the same time as you bring your feet together also bring your hands to your sides so you are again standing in heisoku-dachi (attention stance). Now rei (bow). After bowing, step out with your left foot and then your right foot and once again stand in hachiji-dachi (natural stance) while at the same time bringing your hands from your sides and hold them in a ready position in front of you with your fists closed.