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Taikyoku Shodan

I always start and finish my katas formally. While the bow and the motion into second position is not part of the kata, it should always be there. These motions signify courtesy and respect. These two traits will win any battle. Thus, they are included in this kata.



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Taikyoku Shodan
Pinan Shodan
Pinan Godan
Naihanchi Shodan

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taikyoku

1. I open Taikyoku with a striking action that protects high, middle, and low. The idea is that you cannot predict where an attacker will strike. So, learn to protect yourself on all levels. To do this, I drop all my weight into my right leg while my right arm strikes middle and the left, high. Notice how my left leg comes in to protect my lower body. Now, the next move in the kata is a downward strike to the left, but my body position suggests a kick and/or movement in any direction.

taikyoku

2. The next motion is a downward strike (90 ° turn) to the left. Notice that my hips are back 45 ° , my left arm is parallel with the left thigh, my right arm is tucked just under my ribs, my right leg is straight (well almost...), and my spine is verticle.

taikyoku

3. Continue forward with a step-in (lunge) punch with the right hand. Here (and on all punches in Taikyoku) the hips are forward and the punches are mid-level.

taikyoku

4. This next move is a downward strike executed with a 180 ° turn. This move starts just like the fist move except it is the right leg that pulls to the left and the right arm that strikes high. The right foot must continue past the left until it is about two feet behind you and one foot to the left. Don't lean forward and don't loose your balance. Although this in-between stance is ackward, you should be set to do a downward strike. Just squeeze your thighs together but don't allow your feet to come closer. Instead, use the squeeze to rotate on the balls of your feet. Use the rotation to power your downward striking arm. You should end in the same stance as move 2 except on the opposite side of the body.

taikyoku

5. Step in punch with the left hand.

taikyoku

6. This move is a 90 ° turn to the left with a downward strike. It is the same as move 1 and 2. However, you are starting from front stance instead of second position.

taikyoku

7. Now do three step-in punches. The timing is: punch, pause, punch, punch. There is a spirit yell on the third (mine is silent).

taikyoku

8. This is the first of two downward strikes with a 270 ° turn. It is can be difficult to do and extremely difficult to do well. The best way I have found to execute this move is to break it into two sequential turns. That is, I do a 90 ° turn and then a 180 ° turn with a downward strike. The first turn should be performed similar to move 1 except that you allow yourself to turn left 90 ° when you pull your legs together. This is possible when you pull the left leg up to your right leg. The right leg should pivot counterclockwise on the ball of the foot while the left foot is pulled along the ground up to it. Then, slide the left leg about two feet behind you and one foot to the right. Squeeze the legs and allow yourself to pivot 180 ° on the balls of your feet while you strike downward.

taikyoku

9. Step forward - punch right.

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1 0 . This is 180 ° turn with a downward strike. It is perform similar to move 4.

taikyoku

1 1 . Step forward - punch left.

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1 2 . This is another 90 ° turn to the left with a downward strike. It is performed like move 6.

taikyoku

1 3 . Now do three step-in punches. The timing is: punch, pause, punch, punch. There is a spirit yell on the third (mine is silent).

taikyoku

1 4 . This is the second of two downward strikes with a 270 ° turn. It is can be difficult to do and extremely difficult to do well. The best way I have found to execute this move is to break it into two sequential turns. That is, I do a 90 ° turn and then a 180 ° turn with a downward strike. The first turn should be performed similar to move 1 except that you allow yourself to turn left 90 ° when you pull your legs together. This is possible when you pull the left leg up to your right leg. The right leg should pivot counterclockwise on the ball of the foot while the left foot is pulled along the ground up to it. Then, slide the left leg about two feet behind you and one foot to the right. Squeeze the legs and allow yourself to pivot 180 ° on the balls of your feet while you strike downward.

taikyoku

1 5 . Now, finish the kata with step-in punch right, 180 ° downward strike left, step-in punch left.

Copyright © 2005, Robert Walsh, All Rights reserved.