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TAIKYOKU SHODAN KATA

INTRODUCTION

By Wayne Wayland

This booklet was not printed as a teaching aid or as a final authority on the Taikyoku Katas.  It was put together only to share a little Isshin-Ryu history that otherwise might be lost or stay hidden in someone’s desk forever. 

Sensei Bohan would teach all new students the Taikyoku Katas, because he thought the eight formal empty hand katas of the Isshin-Ryu system were to hard for a new beginning student to perform and understand.   He used the Taikyoku Katas to introduce the students to the Isshin-Ryu stances, blocks, punches, and controlled breathing.  He said the Taikyoku Katas prepared the students for what was to come and made his job of teaching the harder katas much easier.

The pictures for this booklet were taken in the fall of 1973 and have been tucked away in my desk draw for more than 25 years.  As to my knowledge Sensei Bohan never posed for such pictures after theses were taken.  A new student had asked Sensei to pose for the pictures, as they would help him learn the Taikyoku Katas.  When the student brought the pictures to Sensei Bohan for review and a possible pat on the back, he was very disappointed when Sensei confiscated them and tossed them in the trash.  The student was informed that he (Sensei Bohan) had made a mistake in taking the pictures in the first place and that his time would be better spent studying in the dojo.  Sensei Bohan told the young student that to many students try to replace a Sensei and the hard work it takes to learn something in a dojo with a book or with some form of pictures.   The student was then sent into the back yard with instructions to start loosing up for class.  I retrieved the pictures from the trash and asked Sensei Bohan what was wrong with them, as it was not like him to react like this.  Sensei informed me that Master Shimabuku had taught him the twist punches and blocks when he began studying in Okinawa.  He told me that the Master taught the twist punches and blocks to conform to more traditional karate on the island, but that every other time he was on the island the master was only teaching the vertical punches and blocks.  Sensei told me that sometimes he would switch back and use the twist punches or blocks that he first learn in Master Shimabuku’s Dojo.  He said that this would be too hard to explain to the new student and would only confuse him, but that I could have the pictures if I kept them from the students.

When reviewing the pictures in this booklet note that when Sensei Bohan’s hands are in the twist position when he is blocking and not in the vertical-punch position that he taught all his students. 

After Master Bohan death I found a little notebook in a box of items he left me.  The notebook had Sensei Bohan’s hand written notes from the first months he was in Master Shimabuku’s Dojo.  I have copied a page from that notebook and placed it below.  These notes allude to the fact the Master Shimabuku was indeed teaching both the twist and vertical punches and blocks at one point.

 

   These notes printed on this page are from the notebook Sensei Bohan kept when he was working out in Master Shimabuku’s Dojo around 1961 as best we can determine.   Take note of the third paragraph, where Sensei Bohan makes reference to the fact that the Master had taught him both the twist and straight punches.

 

 Taikyoku Shodan (First or Number 1)

The Taikyoku Shodan Kata is a basic "I" pattern and is broken down into the following basic steps:

Opening:

Step 1, 2, 3, 4, 5: Stand at attention.  The heels are together with all ten toes pointing forward.  The spine is straight (including the neck) with the knees slightly bent.  The hands are open with the palms against the thighs (fingers point toward the ground).  Relax by taking a few deep breaths utilizing the diaphragm and set the mind toward the purpose of concentrating on the kata. Simultaneously perform the Tachi-Rei (standing bow).  Bend from the waist to a 45 degree angle; do not take the eyes off of your opponent and do not show the back of the neck (this is a form of disrespect); straighten back up to the original position.   Bring the right fist up to the solar plexus (the palm part of the right hand will be facing your chest) while the left hand simultaneously covers the front of the right fist as though you are hiding the fist behind the left hand (the left hand is in a shuto position and the palm will be facing your chest with the fingers pointing up).  Lower the hands to a position in front of the groin (turning the knuckles of the right hand in the palm of the left).  As the hands are lowered, pivot the feet inward to a pigeon-toed stance with the knees slightly touching together (this is a cover for the groin against possible attacks at that level).

            

Step 1:                          Step 2:                             Step 3:

  

 

 

    

Step 4:                        Step 5:

 

 

 Step 6: Step to the right with your right foot and assume a Kiba-Dachi (Both knees will be slightly bent and both fists will be in front of body in a downward plane).

Step 6:

 

 

Step 7: Look to the left and then pivot 90-degrees to the left on the ball of the right foot assuming a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a left-hand-down block (The right hand will be next to the right hip in a vertical fist position).

               

Step 7:

 

 

Step 8: Step forward with the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-vertical punch (The left hand will be next to the left hip in a vertical fist position).

              

Step 8:

 

 

Step 9: Look back over the right shoulder and pivot 180-degrees to the right (clockwise) on the ball of the right foot assuming a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-down block (The left hand will be next to the left hip).

              

Step 9:

  

 

Step 10: Step forward with the left foot into a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a left-hand-vertical-punch (The right hand will be next to the right hip).

             

Step 10:

 

 

Step 11: Look to the left and then pivot 90-degrees to the left on the ball of the right foot assuming a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a left-hand-down block (The right hand will be next to the right hip).

              

Step 11:

 

 

Step 12: Step forward with the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-vertical punch (The left hand will be next to the left hip). 

            

       Step 12:

 

 

Step 13: Step forward with the left foot into a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a left-hand-vertical punch (The right hand will be next to the right hip). 

            

     Step 13:

 

 

Step 14: Step forward with the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-vertical punch (The left hand will be next to the left hip). 

            

Step 14:

 

 

Step 15: Look over the right shoulder, leave the right foot in place and pivot 270-degrees (3/4 turn) on the ball of the right foot (counter‑clockwise, backwards to the left), stopping in a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi (facing right of the kata line) while simultaneously performing a left-hand-down block (The right hand will be next to the right hip). 

                         

Step 15:

 

 

Step 16: Step forward with the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-vertical punch (The left hand will be next to the left hip).

            

Step 16:

 

 

Step 17: Look back over the right shoulder and pivot 180-degrees to the right (clockwise) on the ball of the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously perform a right-hand-down block (The left hand will be next to the left hip).

            

Step 17:

 

 

Step 18: Step forward with the left foot into a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a left-hand-vertical punch (The right hand will be next to the right hip). 

            

Step 18:

 

 

Step 19: Look to the left and then pivot 90-degrees to the left on the ball of the right foot assuming a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a left-hand-down block (The right hand will be next to the right hip).  

            

Step 19:

 

 

Step 20: Step forward with the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-vertical punch (The left hand will be next to the left hip). 

            

Step 20:

 

 

Step 21: Step forward with the left foot into a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a left-hand-vertical punch (The right hand will be next to the right hip). 

            

Step 21:

 

 

Step 22: Step forward with the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-vertical punch (The left hand will be next to the left hip). 

            

Step 22:

 

 

Step 23: Look over the right shoulder, leave the right foot in place and pivot 270-degrees (3/4 turn) on the ball of the right foot (counter‑clockwise, backwards to the left), stopping in a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi (facing right of the kata line) while simultaneously performing a left-hand-down block (The right hand will be next to the right hip). 

            

Step 23:

 

 

Step 24: Step forward with the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-vertical punch (The left hand will be next to the left hip). 

            

Step 24:

 

 

Step 25: Look back over the right shoulder and pivot 180-degrees to the right (clockwise) on the ball of the right foot into a right-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a right-hand-down block (The left hand will be next to the left hip). 

            

Step 25:

 

 

Step 26: Step forward with the left foot into a left-foot-forward Seisan-Dachi while simultaneously performing a left-hand-vertical punch (The right hand will on the right hip). 

            

Step 26:

 

 

Step 27: Step around with the right foot assuming a Kiba-Dachi, facing the front kata line.  Both fists are in front of body in a down –block position.

            

Step 27:

 

 

ENDING

Step 28, 29, 30, 31, 32:

Slide your right foot into your left foot; bring the heels together with the feet at a 45-degree angle.  Bring the right fist up to the solar plexus (the palm part of the right hand will be facing your chest) and the left hand will cover the front of the right fist as though you are hiding the fist behind the left hand (the left hand is in a shuto position and the palm will be facing your chest with the fingers pointing up).  Lower the hands to in front of the groin (turning the knuckles of the right hand in the palm of the left).  Bring the hands to the thighs (in a shuto position with the fingers pointing down).  Simultaneously perform the standing bow just like in the opening.  Straighten the body and compose yourself.

          

Step 28:                        Step 29:                              Step 30:

 

 

    

Step 31:                         Step 32:

 

 

** NOTES** 

 KIAI POINTS:

a.     On step # 17 as the punch is delivered.  

b.     On step # 22 as the punch is delivered.  

 

Taikyoku Nidan (Second or Number 2)

Taikyoku Nidan is the second kata that Sensei Bohan taught his students.  It is identical to Taikyoku Shodan except that you use outside blocks instead of down-blocks. 

 

Taikyoku Sandan (Third or Number 3)

Taikyoku Sandan is the third kata that Sensei Bohan taught his students.  It is identical to Taikyoku Shodan except that you use head blocks instead of down-blocks and uppercut punches instead of the vertical punches.

 

 

 

 Copyright © 2003 Wayland's Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do, LLC

 


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