Thursday 1 July 2021

鉄騎三段 (Tekki Sandan): Part Two

Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei performing Tekki Sandan Kata (Jitsugi Karate, 1978).

As you will know if you read my last post, I wrote a little about the Tekki kata, and concluded with a generic listing of all 36 movements in Tekki Sandan; hence, the title of the article. Today, as ‘Part Two’, I’d like to offer a handful of points about this kata.


Point One:

The first combination of movements one 左中段内受 and two 右中段内受同時に左下段受 is the same as Heian Sandan kata. Allegedly Itosu Sensei extracted this from Naifanchi for the Pinan (Heian) series. The application of these waza is defense in the chambering and impacting with the uke. Note the use of gravity and simultaneous evasiveness in movement one, in the movement leading to forming the kiba-dachi, and maximize these points.


Point Two:

In the third movement 左前腕中段押え受同時に右前腕中段内落し impact and/or trap with the forearm and elbow. The palm of the right fist should ideally be facing upwards and diagonally to the right (but most people can't do this, so the palm facing towards the body is the norm); furthermore, the right elbow should be touching the top of the left forearm and centralized  (the left arm is formed like kagi-zuki / hidari suigetsu-gamae). This waza, as I wrote in Japanese above, is in fact a simultaneous action of hidari zenwan chudan osae-uke and migi zenwan chudan uchiotoshi.


Point Three:

In movement eight 顔右向同時に右前腕ひねり(Kao migi muke doji ni migi zenwan hineri) do not use muscular force; thus, do not draw the arm but rather twist/rotate the joint naturally. Please also consider this in relation to the physical mechanics of Kanku Sho kata. However, unlike the basic release of Kanku Sho, this waza has two specific ‘classical tegumi applications’ both are which are highly effective: the first an arm lock and the second a strangulation.

Point Four:

Movement 11 is 右前腕右側面下段振捨 (Migi zenwan migi sokumen gedan-furisute). This requires a large circular action. In fact, this should be a `muchiken-waza’. The bunkai (analysis)—when learning the kata—is against a kick. This is great “…to perfect the correct action and positioning's when learning Tekki Sandan (like other ‘bunkai’)”. This is what Nakayama Masatoshi Sensei taught to help people do the movements correctly. Nevertheless, like all the other kata, the bunkai is not the real application; that is, not the ‘OYO’. The ‘oyo’ of this waza is consistent with ‘Point Three’ functioning as a variation of the arm lock and choke, which can be alternatively applied if the first waza (singular or plural) fail(s).

Point Five:

Keep in mind what fumikomi into kiba-dachi always represents! You are attacking with 足刀 (Sokuto)—the sword foot. This is why in kiba-dachi we must not only aim to have both feet parallel but, rather, inverted. Just as when we make a yoko-geri keage or yoko-geri kekomi (the foot is not straight as we have the heel higher than the toes of the kicking foot). While this is a very basic point, it is essential to understand and apply this when doing fumikomi into kiba-dachi.


 It’s always great to go back to the basics so 'Point Five' makes for a nice conclusion for today. Indeed, application is critical in Budo/Bujutsu-Karate; however—without sufficient precision, speed and power in the kihonwaza—one will be unable to apply their techniques irrespective of 'application knowledge' against strong opponents. This brings to mind the need for ‘balance in training’! Osu and greetings from Oita Prefecture – AB.

                                     © André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2021).

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