Tekki Shodan (Iron Horse, first level)
Original name: Naihanchi or Naifuanchi, also known as Kiba Dachi Kata.

Tekki Shodan differentiates itself immediately from the Heian kata by being practiced all in one stance (kiba dachi) and moving sideways along a single line (the embusen). It is a powerful kata of grappling and bone-breaking applications and one of the strongest roots of Shotokan karate.

haishu uke
uraken uchi


The modern form of Naihanchi was developed by Yasutsune Itosu, though the kata is much older and is a standard of the Shuri-te styles; indeed, before the creation of the Pinan kata it was the first kata a student would learn, with years spent perfecting it. For the famed karate fighter Choki Motobu it was the core of his system, while for Yabu Kentsu it was the beginning and the end of kata, that should be practiced 10,000 times to make it your own.

There are several unproveable theories as to the kata's origins, with the strongest suggesting it is an old Chinese form that is no longer parctised there. There is also the suggestion it may be related to a form called Neixi, which is pronounced Nohanchi in the Fuzhou dialect, and includes the same technique of nami gashi, the 'returning wave kick'. ~ GE