Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Kata analysis - Tekki Shodan - bunkai and oyo

Time for another bunkai blog!!!!!
This time we will be going over Tekki Shodan kata. This is actually one of my favourite katas purely due to the bunkai and the close range fighting system it (along with its over Tekki kata counterparts) creates.
This kata is part of a trio of kata (the others being tekki shodan and tekki sandan). Tekki is often translated as "horse riding" or "iron horse" due to the use of kiba dachi (horse riding stance). The shodan, nidan and sandan parts of the name simply means level 1,2 or 3 and suggests that each kata should be more advanced in nature than the last.
All 3 of these kata are based on the original version called Naihanchi meaning "internal divided conflict".

First off here is the complete bunkai video for quick reference.
Next we shall break the kata down into sections for discussion.                                    
Section 1.
This opening section of the kata is repeated on each side with minor alterations. The basic techniques involved are back hand block (haishu uke) and the side elbow strike (yoko enpi). There is also the leg or knee raise (depending on styles) but the bunkai we have shown does not make use of this technique.
For the first bunkai we use a straight stepping punch attack to the head (jodan oi zuki). We then make a slight change to the embusen of the kata and step away from the punch and block with the haishu uke. I hope to go in to more detail about kata embusens and directions etc in the near future but for now I will try and clarify this change in technique by suggesting that a kata gives us a basic idea for defence and counter and it should be up to the karate practitioner to use skill, knowledge and common sense to alter technique, stances and distance to accommodate these techniques in a fight situation. Anyway, after blocking the on coming punch we use the blocking hand to grab the opponent to aid our elbow strike counter.
The next scenario is a single hand grab to the shoulder or a push to the chest. Again we make the change to the kata and step away from our opponent. The haishu hand can then be used either as a strike to the face or go straight for the arm lock. We use the haishu to go over the opponents arm and wrap under the elbow to help restrain and control their movement. We then counter with the elbow strike as before.     

Section 2.
This is a quite simple downward block (gedan barai) that travels across the body to the blockers side followed by a hook punch (kage zuki). The obvious application for the downward block is to parry a kick from the side or alternatively to step back away from the attack to turn your body side on into the kiba dachi stance as shown in the video. This has disadvantages as turning your body side on to the attack effectively gives you a blind side to the attacker. Regardless of the techniques disadvantages sometimes a situation calls for a reaction and a response and if turning your body sie on to the attack is the response then we should be able to deal with that effectively and still counter with purpose. The counter is a very simple hook punch into the attackers solar plexus.
The 2nd scenario we used was for the attacker to grab the chest or throat. In this application we can make good use of the step back and body turn to off balance the opponent. Also by holding the opponents grabbing hand and turning away we re-create the hikite position shown in the kata. The downward block then can be used as a strike to the attackers arm. If the strike is directed towards the elbow joint then there is a good chance of limb breakage but should the strike meet a solid area of the limb the attacker should still be forced downwards allowing the hook punch to be directed to the kidney or head.          

Section 3.
This section is technically identical to a section in Tekki Nidan. The bunkai will also remain the same.
The first bunkai whilst being rather un realistic, is a good drill for learning the specific components within the technique. We are defending against 3 punches from the attacker. We use our uchi uke to block a straight jodan punch. The nagashi uke then blocks another jodan punch and we simultaneously counter with the kizami zuki to the face. The final block is the kizami zuki withdrawing to a pressing block whilst countering with the uraken.  The next bunkai is again defending the common lapel grab and punch attack. We will use the uchi uke as a strike to the grabbing arm to prevent us being pulled off balance or restrained further. We may then chose to use our kiba dachi stance for many of the same reasons as we have in the previous sections of the kata. Our nagashi uke then will block the on coming punch from our opponent. The technique we have previously considered as a kizami zuki we then use as a grab behind the head to give us some propreoception for our back fist strike or forearm strike to the head. We could of course use the kizami zuki as a punch like in the alternative bunkai.

Section 4.
This bizarre looking section is actually one of my favourite pieces of bunkai. I feel it symbolises the way the kata shows good close quarters fighting techniques and using techniques of a kata when needed rather than in the order displayed.
The section starts with  a double nami ashi (I have seen this translated as many things such as succeeding foot and snapping leg wave but regardless of translations it really only makes sense as a foot sweep or lower leg strike) interlinked with 2 sokomen morote uke (assisted side block) and finished with a double punch to the side. In my mind this is all about defending yourself against an attack from the front so the first clip is against a double lapel grab attack. The side step and drop down into kiba dachi together with the morote uke (which is used here as a forearm push to the inside of the attackers grab) should pull the opponent off balance and expose a knee for a vulnerable counter. The nami ashi can then be used (by either leg) to strike the attackers knee or ankle. This then brings us to the "double" punch. I see no reason at all for punching with both hands at the same time. There can be no possible benefit to it and in fact I would suggest that an attempted double punch would cause a drop in power to both punches. My take on this technique is that one hand is being used as a grab to secure the head for a single punch counter.
The next clip shows slight variations on the first bunkai but of course techniques should be interchanged with the first clip if the situation needs it. For this bunkai we used a single hand lapel grab. We then use the same theory of dropping into the kiba dachi and the forearm push to the attackers arm to off balance the opponent. Next we show the second sokomen morote uke as a forearm strike to the opponents head. We then use the nami ashi in identical fashion to the first clip and strike the opponents knee. And finally the double punch! Used here as 2 separate punches, one after the other.

As usual these videos feature myself and my friend Phil Culley and were filmed across a couple of our weekly training meet ups at the Martial Arts Centre of Excellence in Milton Keynes. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to comment directly via the blog or email me gareth@shinrikarateschools.com.
Thanks for watching and reading. 


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