Naihanchi Shodan Kata

This Kata is widely practiced by a great many other martial arts styles. It is relatively short, but full of both subtle and powerful combination movements. If you view videos for this Kata you may notice that some styles begin by moving to angle three first, while other styles begin moving to angle four first. Since the Kata is symmetrical on both sides you will end up doing both sides either way, so it really does not matter on which side you begin. In Tensoku Ryu we usually begin by moving toward angle four first, but if you want to change things up and move to angle three first, be our guest.

The movements at steps Nana and Ju Go vary greatly among different martial arts styles. A great many styles perform the following sequence:

  1. Migi Ura Chudan Uke, Hidari Chamber
  2. Migi Gedan Barai, Hidari Ura Chudan Uke
  3. Hidari Morote Ura Chudan Uke

Sometimes you will see a practitioner of these styles use an Ura Tsuki instead of a Ura Chudan Uke, but the general sequence of the movements is the same.

Other styles include some clearly defined strikes in these movements. For example, some styles use the following sequence:

  1. Migi Ura Chudan Uke, Hidari Chamber
  2. Migi Gedan Barai, Hidari Chamber
  3. Hidari Age Empi Uchi, Migi Chamber
  4. Hidari Morote Ura Tsuki

There are a great many other variations in the specific sequences used in different styles. For example, many styles do not utilize the Nami Gaeshi Uke, while others use it more frequently in this and other Naihanchi Kata. Overall, however, the general movements and transitions remain remarkably consistent between different styles.

The Naihanchi Dachi is used in some styles where they are blocking or striking directly toward angle 1. This is done to overcome the inherent weakness of a Kiba Dachi when facing an opponent directly in front of you. You are encouraged to experiment with this stance in these Kata to see where the stance may prove beneficial. You may use Naihanchi Dachi instead of Sochin Dachi wherever you feel it is beneficial, just keep in mind where your opponent would be located when using Naihanchi Dachi instead of Sochin Dachi. The stance you utilize will depend greatly on the particular Bunkai you are considering.

The procedure below relies on Octagon abbreviations for clarity and brevity. Please refer to the Octagon article at the bottom of this page if you are unfamiliar with these abbreviations.

Naihanchi Shodan Procedure

StepMovement
IchiPerform the traditional opening salutation and then adopt Heisoku Dachi F1. Open both hands and place them, fingers down, in front of your lower abdomen. The left hand should be on top.
NiLook to A3. Look to A1. Look to A4. Step L4 by moving the left leg in front of the right leg to establish a momentary Hidari Juji Dachi. Fold your arms inward at the elbows so that your hands rise to Chudan level as you shift your weight onto the left leg and step R4 to establish a Migi Sochin Dachi F7.
SanAs you transition into the Migi Sochin Dachi deliver a Migi Ura Chudan Kake Uke T7. The opposite hand moves to a guard or set position on your left side.
YonRaise your right hand slightly and pull it inward slightly as you deliver a Hidari Empi Uchi T7. The Empi Uchi should be focused into the palm of your right hand. Close both hands and position them in a hidden hands posture against your ribs on your right side.
GoLook to A5 and then deliver a Hidari Gedan Barai T5. Strike with Migi Chudan Ken Tsuki T5 as the left hand returns to guard or set position on the left side.
RokuWhile keeping the right arm extended, look T5 and then step to R3 to establish a transitional Migi Juji Dachi. The right leg should be forward of the left leg.
NanaTransition your weight onto your right leg and issue Hidari Nami Gaeshi Uke. At the completion of the block step L3 to establish Hidari Sochin Dachi F5. Upon establishing this stance perform the following sequence of actions T5:
1. Migi Tate (Hana) Uraken Tsuki, Hidari Guard or Chamber
2. Migi Chudan Uke, Hidari Gedan Tate Ken Tsuki
3. Migi Gedan Barai, Hidari Jodan Haiwan Nagashi Uke
4. Hidari Morote Tettsui Uchi
HachiLook to angle 1 and deliver a Hidari Ashi Kubi Kake Uke and then return the foot T3. Drive a reinforced Hidari Soto Tettsui Uchi T5. Look to A1 as you block with Migi Ashi Kubi Kake Uke then return the foot T4. Strike with a reinforced Hidari Tettsui Uchi T7.
KuPlace both hands in a hidden hands posture near your right ribs as you continue looking T7.
JuStrike concurrently with Hidari Chudan Ken Tsuki and Migi Chudan Ken Tsuki T5. The left hand should be higher than the right hand and both hands should project along your center line.
Ju IchiRotate CW to F1 as the closed right hand crosses over the opening left hand. Now immediately rotate CCW and deliver Hidari Ura Chudan Kake Uke T5 as the closed right hand moves to guard or set position on your right side.
Ju NiRaise your left hand slightly and pull it inward slightly as you deliver a Migi Empi Uchi T5. The Empi Uchi should be focused into the palm of your left hand. Close both hands and position them in a hidden hands posture on your left side.
Ju SanLook to A7 and then deliver a Migi Gedan Barai T7. Strike with Hidari Chudan Ken Tsuki T7 as the right hand returns to guard or set position on the right side.
Ju YonWhile keeping the left arm extended, look T7 and then step to R4 to establish a transitional Hidari Juji Dachi. The left leg should be forward of the right leg.
Ju GoTransition your weight onto your left leg and then issue Migi Nami Gaeshi Uke. At the completion of the block step R4 to establish Migi Sochin Dachi F7. Upon establishing this stance perform the following sequence of actions T7:
1. Hidari Tate (Hana) Uraken Tsuki, Migi Guard or Chamber
2. Hidari Chudan Uke, Migi Gedan Tate Ken Tsuki
3. Hidari Gedan Barai, Migi Jodan Haiwan Nagashi Uke
4. Migi Morote Tettsui Uchi
Ju RokuLook to angle 1 and deliver a Migi Ashi Kubi Kake Uke and then return the foot T4. Drive a reinforced Migi Soto Tettsui Uchi T7. Look to A1 as you block with Hidari Ashi Kubi Kake Uke then return the foot T3. Strike with a reinforced Hidari Tettsui Uchi T5.
Ju NanaPlace both hands in a hidden hands posture near your left ribs as you continue looking T5.
Ju HachiStrike concurrently with Hidari Chudan Ken Tsuki and Migi Chudan Ken Tsuki T7. The right hand should be higher than the left hand and both hands should project along your center line.
Ju KuBring the right leg adjacent to your left leg to form Heisoku Dachi and perform the closing salutation. Yoi. Yame.

See Also

The Octagon

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