Taikyoku Sandan -

The third and last kata in this series is Taikyoku Sandan. Once again, many Shotokan dojos today do not bother teaching this kata to their students, but I consider this to be the third kata a beginner should learn. Only after having first trained for some time in Taikyoku Shodan, Taikyoku Nidan, and Taikyoku Sandan will a student then be ready to move on, and learn the more complex hand techniques, stances, and combination movements that will be taught in the upcoming Heian series of katas.

Taikyoku Sandan introduces the beginner for the first time to a new hand technique, chudan-uchi-uke (inside outward block), and to a new basic stance, kokutsu-dachi (back stance). At the same time this kata maintains the use of chudan-oi-zuki (middle level lunge punch), jodan-oi-zuki (upper level lunge punch), gedan-barai (downward sweeping block) and zenkutsu-dachi (front stance) found in the previous two katas.

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).

The embusen (pattern) is the same as in Taikyoku Shodan except, the movements along both directions on line #1 and #3 the of embusen are chudan-uchi-uke (inside outward block) in kokutsu-dachi (back stance), followed by jodan-oi-zuki (upper level lunge punch) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance). The movements both up and down the center line are chudan-oi-zuki (middle level lunge punch) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance). There are two kiai points found in Taikyoku Sandan. The first one occurs on the last chudan-oi-zuki (middle level lunge punch) at the top of the embusen (line of attack). The second one occurs on the last chudan-oi-zuki (middle level lunge punch) at the bottom of the embusen (line of attack).

Return to a ready position after the last movement of the kata. Leaving your right foot in place withdraw your left foot to stand up once again facing forward in hachiji-dachi (natural stance). You must now formally end the kata. Bring 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 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). 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.