Tekki Shodan Step By Step Tutorial

Tekki Shodan (鉄騎初段) Highly Detailed Tutorial

Tekki Shodan (鉄騎初段)

Welcome to this Tekki Shodan step by step tutorial. Tekki shodan is the first of three tekki kata and they’re all performed and practiced in kiba dachi.

The original name for the tekki kata is naihanchi, which many karate Dojo still use today. Naihanchi translates as ‘internal divided conflict’.

It is believed that the Naihanchi was created from an older kata called Nifanchin, which was brought at some point to Okinawa via Fuzhou, China. Some karate historians believe it was split into three new kata, possibly by Anko Itosu, Tokumine Pechin, or Motobu Choki and renamed naihanchi.

The three naihanchi kata are performed entirely in Kiba dachi (“Horse stance”). The name Tekki and the original Nifanchin both translate to “Iron Horse.”

Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate, renamed the Naihanchi kata to Tekki (Iron Horse).

Tekki Shodan (鉄騎初段), means “Iron Horse Riding, First Level”. In many Shotokan karate Dojo, Tekki Shodan is the required kata when testing for 3rd kyu brown belt.

Tekki Nidan and Tekki sandan are classed as black belt kata in many Shotokan Dojo.

Motobu Choki, famous for his fighting, placed incredible importance on the Naihanchi kata. Motobu Choki stated that the Naihanchi kata contains everything a karateka needs to know to become a very good fighter.

My Sensei was a real stickler for the tekki kata, especially Tekki Shodan.

We used to practice Tekki Shodan thousands of times, all three tekki kata are great for generating power over short distance. There’s lots of techniques in Tekki Shodan, where you’re in kiba dachi and have no wind up or build up to the technique. You have to generate power from a very short distance. With Tekki Shodan, you have to use the legs and hips to generate the power.

All the tekki kata are excellent for generating power and speed over short distances.

A lot of emphasise should be placed on using the hips and legs correctly when practicing the Tekki kata. We cover the legs and hips in this Tekki Shodan step by step tutorial, because that really is the most important part of the Tekki kata series.

A lot of karateka just use the arms and upper body, so we’re going to go into a lot of detail in this kata tutorial.

Tekki Shodan is a real shotokan karate foundation builder as you work towards black belt, so work hard on this kata and try and use the hips and legs as best you can.

Tekki shodan’s embusen (pattern of kata) is a straight line and when stepping across, try and keep the toes of the stepping leg back as far as possible, or you will travel forward and to the side.

All three tekki kata are symmetrical and relatively short karate kata.

There are a few unusual techniques like Nami-Ashi (returning wave kick), but the majority of techniques have been practiced before in the heian kata series. The difference being the techniques are practiced over a very short distance.

The Tekki kata are brilliant at helping karateka develop close distance powerful strikes, you have to generate speed and power over a very short distance, this encourages you to really use the hips and legs on every strike.

Years of correct practice of the tekki kata, not only develops powerful close in strikes, but also develops strong legs because of the kiba dachi training involved.

Make sure you are not pushing the knees out whilst practicing tekki shodan, the knees should bend naturally, then use the leg muscles to control the stance.


Tekki Shodan Step By Step

Moves Broken Down In Detail

Tekki Shodan moves 1 and 2

Tekki Shodan moves 3,4,5 and 6

November 3, 2023

Tekki Shodan Moves 3 To 6 Step By Step

November 2, 2023

Tekki Shodan Moves 1 and 2 Step By Step

Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle