Tag Archives for " JKA Kata "

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December 31, 2012

Tekki Keypoint 3

What I am doing here is not an instruction. Or the answering board to your questions. I am providing this space so that the readers can exchange the ideas. I only wish to provide you the basic concepts from which you need to build your understanding.

We have already established that there are several levels of interpretation and applications. If the application works then basically that bunkai can be considered as "applicable" or "realistic". If it does not work then it means either the interpretation or application is incorrect or you do not know how to apply it.

There are two fundamental concepts we must know about Tekki bunkai.
#1: It teaches many short distance fighting techniques such as tsukami uke, kagi zuki, ashi uke or knee kicks (blocking with knee or leg) with nami gaeshi, unpi uchi, jodan nagashi uke, tate uraken uchi, hold breaks (first move of Nidan), throws (kagi zuki in Shodan, 2nd and 3rd moves of Nidan), gedan zuki, joint attacks and arm twisting waza, etc.

#2: Fundamentally, your imaginary opponent is in front of you and not necessarily to your side. This does not mean that you are to fight using kiba dachi exposing your front (groin and mid section) to your opponent which is unwise and unrealistic. Look at Funakoshi photo in my earlier posting where he is doing morote ude uke to his right side but in a beautiful kiba dachi. Scroll the photo so that his lower body below the belt is hidden and see only his upper body above the belt. Doesn't it look like he would be in his right zenkutsu dachi? In bunkai you will do this technique in zenkutsu, but in Tekki kata you practice from kiba dachi (for the purposes I had described). My opinion is that this kata was not designed as a fighting method with your back against the wall or in a narrow corridor. It was designed to teach a fight method with the limited hip rotation that means short distance fighting. How clever those Okinawan masters were!!


December 30, 2012

Tekki add-on

I must add one more point from the training purpose of Tekki Shodan. As you can see in the photo, Master Funakoshi is beautifully demonstrating the flexibility of his hips. A student must learn to rotate the upper body in 180 degrees in this particular combinations without deforming perfect kiba dachi. Unless your hips and mid section are flexible it will be extremely difficult to rotate the upper body as shown below. This the excellent example of a solid and unmovable stance with a flexible upper body movements.
December 30, 2012

Tekki Keypoint 2

I do not have much time today so I will put down the summary of the point here. There are two good reasons why Tekki is based only on Kibadachi and the body movement is sideways. The first one is obvious and everyone knows. Kiba dachi is an excellent stance to train your stance and strengthen your legs. The second one has been a mystery: why only moving sideways? I have heard a few ideas. One was that this kata was created to fight with the wall behind you. Another was to learn the fighting method in a narrow corridor. I will talk about bunkai in Key point #3 so I will not go into this.Let me present my understanding from this unique kata. I have already mentioned about the body shifting in my previous post.
Okinawan masters wanted the beginners (this was the very first kata before Heian was invented in late 19th century) to learn how to body shift sideways before they learned how to body shift forward. Why sideways first? It is because it is physically easier to body shift that direction. I know many people do not agree with this as you feel more comfortable moving forward and moving sideways feels un-natural. But please experiment. Stand up in heisoku dachi and lean forward. You have the leg muscles to prevent the falling. Then try to lean sideways, it is a lot harder to prevent falling sideways. Believe it or not, ninja of medieval Japan found this running method useful. Regardless, by "falling" to the side one learned how to body shift quickly. Once it is learned, the students went on to Bassai Dai that has the forward body falling in its first move. I must say this old time curriculum of learning the fast body shifting is amazing.In fact there is another reason for kiba dachi which is not too emphasized in the most dojo. Kiba dachi is classified as one of the outside tension stance. However, by moving sideways one learns how to tense the inner muscles of upper legs. This again helps in fast body shifting.I will cover the key point of bunkai in #3, hopefully tomorrow.

December 28, 2012

Tekki Keypoint 1

Kamae of Tekki Shodan is heisoku dachi. Interestingly the next kata you learn, Bassai Dai's kamae is also heisoku dachi. In Tekki you learn to body shift side ways while in Bassai you learn to go forward. I see the wisdom and I am truly impressed with the deep understanding by the Okinawan master who developed the kata syllabus. The students learn to shift side ways first because that is easier to show how to shift the body weight between left and right feet. In other words, at kamae of heisoku dachi, your body weight is put evenly between left and right feet. With the first move, you cross your legs (kosa dachi). What happens here is that your weight on your left leg becomes zero as you lift it to step over and the weight distribution on the right foot becomes 100%. Of course, at kosa dachi there will be a small weight distribution (maybe 10% or so) but at the next instance it will receive 100% as your right foot is lifted up high for fumikomi. Then you will end in kiba dachi (back to 50/50). This change of weight distribution from 50/50 to 0/100 (or 10/90) and to 100/0 and finally to 50/50 is the biggest learning lesson in Tekki. Every time you step aside and go to a next kiba dachi through kosa dachi, you learn how to body shift quickly and strongly. Once you learn how to move sideways then the Okinawa masters believed the students can start learning how to body shift forward. I agree with them totally. The value of this technique has been lost, as far as I can see in Shotokan, and it is not taught that way any more. Thus, many students miss learning this key point. They mistakenly believe Tekki is a strange and unimportant kata you go through before you become a brown belt so you can tackle more important kata like Bassai. It is a big shame and I wish many people study this kata again and find the true value of this amazing kata.