TAIKYOKU NIDAN - Second Cause
Taikyoku Nidan is the second of the three kata in this series. As previously mentioned the Taikyoku series of katas are an entirely separate introductory group from the 26 primary katas in the Shotokan Karate-Do system. This kata is also used as a means of teaching beginners the most fundamental aspects of kata.
Once again, many Shotokan dojos today do not bother teaching this kata, or either of the two katas in this series to their students. Personally, I consider this to be the second kata a beginner should learn. Taikyoku Nidan is used to introduce students for the first time a new hand technique, jodan-oi-zuki (upper level lunge punch), while still retaining the zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), and the gedan-barai (lower level down block) they were taught in the previous kata.
This kata contains 20 movements and should take the student approximately 35 seconds to complete. The correct performance of this kata is required in order to advance in rank from 10th kyu (white belt) to 9th kyu (yellow belt). Only after having first trained for some time in both Taikyoku Shodan and Taikyoku Nidan will a student then be ready to move on and learn the last kata in this series, Taikyoku Sandan.
The embusen here is the same as in Taikyoku Shodan, but all of the punches in this kata are jodan-oi-zuki (upper level lunge punch). There are two kiai points found in Taikyoku Nidan. The first one occurs on the last jodan-oi-zuki (upper level lunge punch) at the top of the embusen (line of attack). The second one occurs on the last jodan-oi-zuki (upper level lunge punch) at the bottom of the embusen (line of attack).
To return to a ready position after the last movement of the kata leave your right foot in place and withdraw your left 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.