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Tekki (Naihanchi)

Shotokan Karate Academy

Naihanchi or Naifanchi ,Tekki (鉄騎) is a karate Kata, performed in straddle stance (Naihanchi-Dachi or kiba-dachi (騎馬立ち)). It translates to 'internal divided conflict'


The embusen (kata pattern) is linear, moving side to side, the techniques can be applied against attackers at any angle (0-180 degree). The side to side movements in a low stance build up the necessary balance and strength for fast footwork and body shifting. The kata are complex strategies of attacking and defensive movement, done in the kiba dachi, for the purpose of conditioning the legs to develop explosive power.


This kata is performed entirely in kiba-dachi (horse-riding) and so mastering this stance is vital.

The Tekki kata is a series of three katas (Tekki Shodan, Tekki Nidan and Tekki Sandan). “Tekki” were originally known as “Naihanchi” and were renamed by master Funakoshi.



In his 1922 book titled To-te: Ryūkyū Kenpō Gichin Funakoshi called this series of forms "Naihanchi" and attributes the form to what he calls the "Shōrei-Ryu”. Similarly, Motobu Chōki spells the name of this form "Naihanchi" in his 1926 Okinawa Kenpō To-te Jutsu.

 By 1936, in his “Karate-do Kyohan” Funakoshi had started referring to this form as “Kibadachi “ or “Cavalry Horse Stance,” while still referencing the original “Naihanchi” name. In the 1973 "Karate-do Kyohan -The Master Text", a translation of the 1956 second edition of the “Kyohan” book, there is no longer any mention of Naihanchi and the book claims the Kata, which it calls "Tekki" is named in reference to "the distinctive feature of these kata, their horse-riding (kiba-dachi) stance."


Itosu learned the kata from Sokon Matsumura, who learned it from a Chinese man living in Tomari. Itosu is thought to have changed the original kata. The form is so important to old style karate that Kentsu Yabu (a student of master Itosu) often told his students 'Karate begins and ends with Naihanchi' and admonished his students must practice the kata 10,000 times to make it their own.


Before Itosu created the Pinan (Heian) kata, Naihanchi would traditionally be taught first in Tomari-te and Shuri-te schools, which indicates its importance. Master Gichin Funakoshi learned the kata from Anko Asato.


An instructor can value the technical level of his students by performance of this kata. Great master claim that it may demonstrated only after having practiced at least 10,000 times.



  • Master Funakoshi renamed the kata from “Naihanji” to “Tekki” (Iron Horse).

  • Has the simplest embusen of all katas

  • The embusen is simply a straight line (side to side). Since there is no forward or backward movement,

  • Perfectly symmetrical katas

  • Tekki Shodan is the first kata in the Tekki series and is also the first kata that does not start in the traditional yoi position.

  • It is performed almost entirely in a “Kiba Dachi” (horse stance)

  • Root: "Shuri-te" school of kata in Okinawa

Tekki Shodan (鉄騎初段)

Embusen of Tekki-Shodan
Number of movements : 25

Tekki Nidan (鉄騎二段)

Embusen of Tekki-Nidan
Number of movements : 24 

Tekki Sandan (鉄騎三段)

Embusen of Tekki-Sandan
Number of movements : 33 
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