Tekki Shodan Shotokan Kata

Tekki Shodan, translates as “Iron Horse Riding, First Level”. there are three tekki kata, tekki shodan, tekki nidan and tekki sandan, with tekki shodan being the first. When Master Gichin Funakoshi took his karate to Japan, he renamed the kata from naihanchi to tekki.

In many shotokan karate dojo, tekki shodan is the required kata for 3rd kyu (brown belt). There are several slight variations from dojo to dojo, so please check your version with your karate sensei.

All three Tekki kata are performed entirely in kiba dachi (“Horse riding stance”). These karate kata develop strength and stability for the legs and with practice, also develop incredible explosive power in the legs. Tekki are an extremely important part of Shotokan karate and should be practiced often.

There are 29 karate moves in the first tekki kata, with fourteen of those techniques repeated on the opposite side. All three kata are performed in a straight line, as soon as the karateka drops into the first horse riding stance, they should remain at the same height throughout the kata, only rising after the last move.

The legs and hips control the whole form, karateka should try and use the legs and hips with every karate move. At first, it feels like it is just an arm exercise in a low stance and there is no movement in the legs and hips. Practice hard and you will soon find that the punches, blocks and strikes are all starting from the legs, with the power driving through the hips.


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