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 Itosu primarily for ease of teaching. Master Gichin Funakoshi then changed the name of this particular series of kata from Naihanchi, its Okinawa name to Tekki, when he introduced the art of karate to Japan. Likely 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 rise up and down. Instead remain level in a low kiba dachi (horse riding stance). 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). The other occurs on the last movement of the kata a second 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.