Current kata for Saturday classes: Tekki Sandan

TekkisandanWe are now studying Tekki Sandan (鉄騎三段) in our Saturday classes.

As with the Heian kata, the Tekki kata came to Japan from Okinawa, based on the Naihanchi kata. Tekki means “iron horse,” referring to the characteristic kibadachi (literally “horse-riding stance”). There are three Tekki kata, which may have all been one kata at one time.

The Tekki kata focus on one stance and combine a solid foundation in the lower body with quick, smaller upper body techniques. One of the biggest challenges is to develop power in these smaller movements without breaking the foundation of the stance.

It’s easy to see the applications in Tekki to close-in defense. And it’s not hard to imagine that the movement along the straight-line embusen of the kata is actually body turning to generate power.

You can see a very good example of Imura Sensei doing the kata here.

We usually learn Tekki Sandan at black belt but students are not expected to achieve a high level of proficiency in it until senior black belt level. Because of its contrast with so many other kata and the challenge in making power in small techniques, it is important to keep coming back to the Tekki kata.

Even if we’re beyond the kata you’re practicing, it’s great to begin to learn how techniques can be combined, and the practice in applying techniques is indispensable.

See you Saturday!