Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Kata analysis - Tekki Nidan - bunkai and oyo

In this blog post we will look at the kata Tekki Nidan.
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".
In the Shinri karate schools syllabus this kata is placed at 2nd dan grading level.
In these bunkai videos I have again tried to include some more basic applications that keep true to the original kata form as well as some slightly more realistic and modern interpretations.
In this kata there is a lot of repetition of technique and it is possible to break the kata into 4 "quarters" that are repeated hidari and migi (left and right sides).
In my years of studying this and the other Tekki katas I have been "taught" a lot of rubbish and useless bunkai and historical "fact", such as the idea that this kata was designed for fighting on a Japanese narrow boat!!!!!!!! I was just this month in fact horrified when a friend of mine (a Wado Ryu instructor) recounted to me about a very senior Japanese instructor teaching just that on a seminar. I think the less said about that, the better!
My take on this (and the other Tekki kata) is that you have multiple drills for training some good close quarters fighting techniques. The kata should teach you many different ways of breaking free from grabs and holds and many options for counter attacks.
The performance of the kata and the use of the Kiba Dachi (horse riding stance) is there to practice fighting from positions where moving forwards or backwards is not always possible. Many of the techniques will actually work better when performed in a forward stance or just standing in a neutral position, this is sometimes reflected in the videos. When fighting, stances should become natural and you should be able to move to react to your opponents movements so no stance should be set in stone when performing bunkai, the kata is merely giving us a suggestion and some way of training.
So, on to the videos.
We have broken this kata down in to 4 sections. The first video shows all 4 sections all the way through. Remember, in this kata each section is performed from both the hidari and migi sides but for easier understanding we have just included one side in each section. Sometimes we performed the opposing side to give the camera a better view (we don't have the luxury of a moveable camera - in fact its just an iPad on a chair!)
Section 1 - The first bunkai shown is preventing a lapel grab and headbutt. Its quite basic in its nature in that we use the double back fists as strikes to the opponents grabs and quickly bring the elbows together and the fists up in between the opponents forearms as he headbutts. Also by side stepping into our kiba dachi we hope to pull our opponent off balance and give ourselves greater stability for any future counters. For this bunkai the raising knee performed in the kata becomes redundant and so is left out.
The second section again makes use of the sideways step into kiba dachi to give stability and also to create a deep drop to lower the opponent into. This time we use the dropping right arm to push the opponents grabbing arm at the elbow and hopefully over power his attack and create space for a counter.
The final bunkai uses a few alterations in the timing of certain techniques. We are attempting to counter a lapel grab and punch scenario for the attacker. We use the 2 rising back fists slightly staggered. The first to weaken and strike the opponents grab, the 2nd is raised up to cover and block the on coming punch. The next technique in the kata is the double forearm "block" covering the face. We use this technique to grab behind the attackers head to control it ready for our counter. We could use both our hands to hold the head and bring them to the rising knee strike but we have made a slight change to make the bunkai slightly more practical and kept the blocking hand in control of the attackers arm to prevent any further attacks from the opponent.

Section 2 - Our first bunkai again is defending a lapel grab and punch from the attacker. We use our double hikite to trap and restrain the opponents grabbing arm. We also make use of the kiba dachi side step to pull our opponent off balance. The haiwan uke then becomes a good assisted forearm strike to the head and leaves both our hands handy to grab the head to bring it down or hold it still for the knee strike. We have changed the katas leg raise to a knee strike due to the close quarters involved (I believe some variations of the kata perform a knee raise here anyway) we could use a low kick between the legs or to the knee if the opportunity for a knee to the head does not present itself. We then finish with the mawashi empi. This technique could either be an absolute finishing move to the scenario or an alternative to the knee strike if controlling the opponents head isn't possible.
The next bunkai uses a one handed cross grab for the attacker. By pulling to my body with both hands I should be able to gain some control over the situation. The morote haiwan uke is just used as an opportunity to raise and twist the opponents arm, I then use the left elbow to pull the opponents forearm towards my torso, bringing his head forward in the process and opening him up for the mawashi empi strike. This section may seem a little confusing at first but if we think of the kata without the usual kime (tension) points and the traditional counts we often use in the dojo it makes much more sense (sometimes bunkai has a habit of doing that!)

Section 3 - This is quite a straight forward bunkai. The first piece simply uses the tate shuto uke to block a punch. One option would be to make the attacker step in from the side with his punch but the ranges at play here are extremely unrealistic. We have given the bunkai a little more realism by making the attack come from the front. We then step back into our kiba dachi to try and place us out of range and create an easier block. We then counter using the hook punch.
The second piece of bunkai defends against a lapel grab again. The tate shuto then can become a slap to the face or knife hand strike to the throat to stun the opponent. This hopefully could buy us some time to perform an armlock on the opponents grabbing arm and pull him closer in for our hook punch counter attack.

Section 4 - This section of the kata is technically identical to a section from Tekki Shodan kata and so the bunkai will remain the same also. 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.

As always 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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