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Naihanchi kata

A survey of available historical information By Todd Donnelly

Background: As part of my nidan test preparation, I was asked to do research on the required
nidan kata - Naihanchi. According to almost all-available material, Naihanchi kata is one of the oldest, most traditional kata that exists today. When researching historical information, the validity of the information is supported by the quality of the source of information, and the direct evidence or documentation that exists concerning the information. Unfortunately, the history of the martial arts does not always follow a scientific method of documentation. Pieces of historical information are often passed down through oral tradition, are often rewritten to give emphasis to a particular teacher or style, or are often misunderstood and passed along as fact. This became very evident as I began to review the various sources of information available about Naihanchi. Objective & Methods: Since I do not speak Japanese, or directly know any instructors from Japan, I utilized a number of instructional books on Okinawan karate and Naihanchi kata for information. I performed a thorough search of reputable Internet sites that made mention of the kata or were related to the systems that currently perform the kata. I have included these resources in this summary, and discarded sources that were repetitive, questionable in their accuracy, or failed to offer a unique point of view. After reviewing the available information, I determined that I did not want to create a treatise on this kata by sifting through these sources and then creating a historical document of my own. The information available is often contradictory, based on assumption, and does not easily allow itself to be summarized. This document is intended to be a survey of available sources, offering the point of view from a number of Asian martial arts systems and instructors. Common themes and facts are often repeated from source to source, but each one offers an interesting theory or piece if information as well. When all of these are taken into account, a familiar theme is evident, but not 100% supported. Common themes found in these documents include: The original author is generally not known, but is most commonly attributed to a Chinese source or Master. (Some sources attribute parts or all of the kata to Sokon Matsumura, or a Chinese Master names Ason) It is one of the older katas performed by most systems, and is known to predate the Pinan series. The Naihanchi katas are often taught to beginners, before the Pinan series, but are also reserved for more advanced students or yudansha depending on the system. It was originally taught as a single kata, most likely names Niafanchi or Niafunchin but was most likely split into 3 separate katas to make learning easier by Anko Itosu. (some sources attribute one or all parts of the kata to various teachers, but this is uncertain) The kata is run by most Okinawan, Japanese and even Korean systems. Its names vary by system but include Daipochin (Chinese), Naihanchi/Nihanshi/Naifunchin etc. (Okinawan), and Chulgi (Korean). Internet sources are identified by their URL, highlighted in yellow. My comments are included in blue type. Sources are listed by their system of origin, Okinawan systems are firsts (Shorei, Shuri, and Shorin-ryu, Isshin-ruy and others), then Japanese (Shotokan), and Korean (Tae Kwon Do). The last document is a commentary/analysis of Naihanchi that was originally published in Black Belt magazine, which offers an analysis of its history, role, bunkai, and importance to the martial arts.

The surveyed material:


This source offers 4 different interpretations and is a good overall summary
http://home.drenik.net/joemilos/kata_naifanchi.htm Naifanchi kata Source 1: "Katas of Shorin ryu Seibukan" by Kim Mitrunen & Tommi Prami The Naifanchi (Daipochin) kata comes from the famous Okinawan karate-ka, Choki Motobu, who is famous for his actual active testing of bunkai in real fighting situations. This sometimes happened by suspicious means, and many a teacher would watch this kind of conduct with disapproving eyes. It was said that Choki Motobu knew only three kata, the Naifanchi series, Wansu, and Passai Guwa. Motobu for the most part, was victorious in his use of the kata bunkai. In many Shorin-ryu styles, Naifanchi (Heishugata) acts as foundation to further kata (Kaishugata) like Sanchin in the Goju-ryu system. Master Tatsuo Shimabukuro, the founder of Isshin-ryu (blend of Goju-ryu and Shorin-ryu), was quoted as saying that, Naifanchi is mother to Shorin-ryu and Sanchin is father to Goju-ryu. When these two come together then Isshin-ryu is born. The primary stance in this series of kata is kiba dachi, which emphasizes the strengthening of the legs and hips. A distinct characteristic of the kata is the technique where the circular movement of the arms protects the head in a block, while simultaneously setting up the opening for the uraken. The appearance of kata can be seen as simple, but from careful study and practice of the bunkai, it is very rich in techniques, and is seen as an effective fighting system. Bushi Matsumura created both Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan from a kata called Naifanchi that he got from a Chinese Master named Ason. Some believe either Itosu or Choki Motobu made Naihanchi Sandan. Naihanchi Sandan is not a Matsumura kata, passed down other Shorin lines. Funakoshi called Naihanchi by the name Tekki, meaning "Iron Horse", which refers to the stance used in it. "Iron" refers to its strength and stability. "Horse" refers to the fact that it resembles a man riding a horse. There is more than one possible meaning for the word Naihanchi, and they are both very plausible. The pronunciation of Naihanchi was originally Naifanchi, because that is the way it was pronounced in China. The particle 'Nai' means "inner" or "inside" and probably refers to pointing the toes inward. 'Fan' means a clawed foot of a certain animal. 'Chi' means the soil or foundation. So the original name probably meant something to the effect of being rooted to the ground in correct stance. Chin could mean "battle" as it does in the word Sanchin. The word 'Naihan' could refer to the narrow paths through rice fields that resemble squares. Therefore, it could mean "battle in a rice field." Source 2: The kata of okinawa Ishin ryu karatedo by Joe Swift Naihanchi (a.k.a. Naifuanchi) is typical of in-fighting techniques, including grappling. There are three kata in modern (i.e. post 1900) karate, with the second and third being thought to have been created by Itosu Anko (Iwai, 1992; Kinjo, 1991a; Murakami, 1991). Another popular theory is that originally the three were one kata, but were broken up into three separate parts by Itosu (Aragaki, 2000; Iwai, 1992). This kata was not originally developed to be used when fighting against a wall, but this does not preclude such interpretations. While the kata itself goes side to side, the applications are more often than not against an attacker who is in front of you, or grabbing at you from the sides or behind. Some say that the side-to-side movement is to build up the necessary balance and physique for quick footwork and body-shifting (Kinjo, 1991b). Source 3: Also Known As: Daipochin, Naihanchi Sho, Ni & San, Teki, Chulgi, Nihanshi Meaning: Iron Horse, Fighting Holding Your Ground. History: The kata is a widely used international form, which is performed in many different styles of Karate as well as Kempo and Taekwondo today. Because of the kata's complexity and length it was divided into three sections for student learning and practice. The originator of Nihanchi Sho is unknown but it is known that the three katas were practiced as one

single kata by Master Sokon (Bushi) Matsumura around 1825. Naihanchi was however handed down to Matsumura from earlier times. This kata was also the favorite form of Yusutsune Itosu (1830-1915) who was nicknamed "Iron Horse" because of his performance of this kata. Itosu is said to have modified Sho and Ni and developed Naihanchi San. This was confirmed in the writings of Mabuni and Funakoshi. Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu, learned all three from Ankoh Itosu. However, first, while traveling and studying, Mabuni learned a form of Naihanchi from a student of Matsumura's namved Matayoshi. When Mabuni returned and showed the kata to Itosu, his teacher remarked that it was similar to the kata Matsumura had devised after training with a Chinese attach named Channan. It was at this time that Itosu confirmed that he (Itosu) had modified them as well. Around 1895, Master Choki Motobu popularized the kata by daily performing the three forms as one kata at least five hundred times. The three Naihanchi katas performed as one became known as Motobus Kata, and he is said to have stated many times, "There is only one kata necessary to develop and excel in karate, and that is Naihanchi as one." The form was developed as a defense against four to eight opponents, with performer pinned against a wall defending to the right, left or from the front, but never from the rear. Source 4: The composer of this kata is unknown, but it has long been treasured by karateman from Shuri and Tomari. Many traditions assert that Soken Matsumura created Naihanchi or based his version on older forms known to him. Most Shorin-ryu styles practice three distinct short forms of Naihanchi. Before Pinan's invention in 1907, Naihanchi kata were the first forms taught to beginner level practitioners. The most important purpose of Naihanchi lies not in the fighting skills it develops, but in training the lower parts of the body through slow and steady sideward movements. Developing strong legs and hips are indispensable to karate training. According to Grandmaster Nagamine the posture for Naihanchi is similar to the sitting posture for Zen, with strength concentrated in the abdomen. Nagamine recalls that the Naihanchi kata were a favorite of Choki Motabu. Naihanchi kata is useful when there is limited space. The punching and blocking motions are short because space is very restricted. The short techniques make Naihanchi a very difficult kata to master, and some consideration might be given to thinking of Naihanchi as a more technically advanced level form. Naihanchi, or Tekki in Japanese, translated means horse when riding. Some practitioners perform Naihanchi with the knees directed inwards. This is incorrect posture and the practitioner do this because they have not properly developed their legs. When performing each of the Naihanchi kata, once the practitioner drops into the horse stance it is critical to keep their height consistent throughout the entire kata. The practitioner's height should not fluctuate up and down. The only way to build power is not a stance is a strong stance for defense from the front and rear of the practitioner. However, it is extremely strong from the left and right sides of the practitioner. The weight distribution is equally spread between the two legs. if the weight is ever transferred to one leg the practitioner looses all strength in the stance from the sides and is vulnerable to attack from the left and right sides of the body. Therefore, when stepping over to move in the horse stance in a sideways direction, the practitioner must try and shorten the time the weight distribution is over the supporting leg. This is one of the primary skills developed in the three Naihanchi forms.

This book offers a good historical review, a pictographic sequence of movements, interpretations of bunkai, and a detailed review of medical/physiological aspects of its movements. The version is slightly different from ours as it is an Isshin-ryu interpretation.
About the Origins of Naihanchi Kata From the Book Naihanchi Kata, Secrets Revealed by Javier Martinez , 1999 Very similar in structure with an ancient Chinese Kung Fu form known as Dai-Po-Chin, practiced a century ago near the South region of the Yangtze River. It is believed that Naihanchi is the Okinawan name for the Naifuanchi introduced by a Chinese Master named Ason. This kata was one of the most important in Okinawa at that time, its linage started with Ason to Tomoyose - Gushi - Sakiyama and Tomigusuku. According to some historians, this line ended, however, with Master Tomigusuku when the original aggressive techniques weren't passed on.

Reference can be found on page 4 of Funakoshis 1922 publication Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu, that indeed master Ason, was a White Crane master who's stay in Okinawa appears to have been prolonged. He left behind a linage of prominent students such as: Sakiyama, Gushi, Nagahama and Tomoryori. The Ason-line was one of the first martial art schools in Okinawa, and existed already when Kanryo Higaonna (Higashionna) returned from China. Like Higaonnas school, this school was influenced by the southern Chinese styles. Therefore it is not surprising, that Naihanchi kata was also a requirement in the Higaonnas school, but ended however when Miyagi and Kyoda never included it in their curriculum. The Naihanchi was transmitted only by the direction of the Shuri-te (term recently used). The aggressive basis-concept of the original Ason-Naihanchi was a form of fighting on restricted area. According to some sources, techniques in Naihanchi were designed to be used on narrow bridges, woodland paths, cliffs of the rocks, riverbanks and stones, which are covered with algae and therefore the stand aggravated. This exercise arranged a special manner to move, which is was not included in todays Tekki (a Naihanchi derived form). The attacks of the kata aimed at vital areas, joints and ligaments. Because its origins can be linked to the Chinese systems of the south, (although can be linked with a Chinese martial art known as Tam Tuior Seeking Leg), it is possible that in the advance level it requires some knowledge about Dianxue. According to Morio Higaonna, Sensei Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1917), handed the Naihanchi kata himself down into the Naha-te around 1877. As a young man, he became a sailor on the Shinko-Sen, a vessel engaged in regular trading and cultural expeditions to China. On one of those expeditions, he bravely rescued a drowning child. When he returned the child to its parents, he discovered that the boys father was a renowned Chinese martial artist Master known as Liu Liu Ko (Xie Zhongxiang). When a grateful Master Liu offered Higaonna a reward, he instead asked for instruction in the art of Chinese boxing. It was Higaonna who later taught the kata koshiki (old style) Naihanchi which is still practiced as a typical kata of the Shorei school. Itosu linage theory According to this theory, the form reached in Itosus school first. Master Itosu divided the kata into three independent forms, which he called Naihanchi-Shodan, Naihanchi-Nidan and Naihanchi-Sandan. It is believed that Ason-Naihanchi had more than 100 movements originally, and the two last Naihanchi variants weren't invented by Master Itosu, but he merely broke the original form into three isolated kata practices. Around 1925, Master Funakoshi exported this kata to Japan and renamed it as Tekki, meaning "Iron Horse", which refers to the stance used in it. "Iron" refers to its strength and stability. "Horse" refers to the fact that it resembles a man riding a horse. In Shotokan, one practices all three Tekki variants. But when you compare the movements in these versions, like for example, the Kiba-Dachi of the Shorin-ryu and quite particularly the concept of the side way stance and side way movement from the Itosu school, which was typical of the Shorin-ryu Naihanchi, you can notice that this old kata had suffered fundamental changes. The manner of the Shorin-stance opened the lower body and shifted the tensions to a higher area. This was intensified still more, because in Japan the Kiba-Dachi was wider and the knees were turned much more outside. The consequence was the lost of the original techniques along with energy and breathing patterns. Modern Tekki variants have only a minor meaning regarding her original application for combat. The reason for this is that the aggressive interpretation of this kata was lost in the Ason school, thus, changing the Shorei typical breathing and stance concept. These new variants won new contents as Okinawan karate was exported to Japan. There are Shotokan Masters, who measure the progress of her pupils to this how they perform Tekki. They state, that one shouldn't demonstrate the true Tekki before 10,000 repeats. It is also said that Master Funakoshi practiced nothing else but Tekki kata in his youth for over 10 years. Matsumura theory Another theory establishes that Matsumura studied under Ason for some time. Matsumuras students claim that it was him who took this kata and broke it up into two parts: Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan. Decendants from Matsumura linage claim that Naihanchi Sho and Ni were originally one kata. After learning this kata from

Matsumura Sokon, Itosu Yasutsune separated it into two forms and added the third variation. They give different reasons for the side to side movement of the kata; fighting on a rice patty dike, fighting with your back against a wall, or simply that it's a basic pattern that is easy for beginners to learn. All of which are probably correct. But according to the Sui Ken system, the origins of Naihanchi Sandan are more obscure. It is not a Matsumura kata at all, but it may have its origin in Ason's system also. Some believe either Itosu or Choki Motobu made Naihanchi Sandan. There is more than one possible meaning for the word Naihanchi, and they are both very plausible. The pronunciation of Naihanchi was originally Naifuanchi, because that is the way it was pronounced in China. The particle Nai means inner or inside. Fuan means uneasy. Chi means the soil or foundation. Chi could mean "battle" as it does in the word Sanchin. Therefore, it could mean fighting inside of an uneasy ground. In a 1972 interview, Soken Sensei, said that Naihanchi was the name of a Chinese man who was living on Okinawa. The kata was most likely either created by him, or from techniques and concepts taught by him. Like many other Masters, he attributed the origin of Naihanchi to a Chinese man named Ason, whom Matsumura Sokon is known to have trained with. Perhaps this is the man Soken Sensei was referring to. On the other hand, another theory states that Gojushiho and Naihanchi Kata are from the same Chinese source and are considered as White Crane Katas. According to this theory both Katas were brought to Okinawa by Matsumura after a six-month trip to Taiwan. In Taiwan he met a White Crane Chinese Master named Chanan. Funakoshi wrote that an unidentified man from Fuzhou drifted to Okinawa from a place called Annan, (maybe we are referring to the same master) Annan is in fact an historic region (c.58,000 sq mi/150,200 sq km) and former state, of central Vietnam. The region extended nearly 800 mi (1,290 km) along the South China Sea between Tonkin and Cochin China. Chanan taught three Katas to Bushi Matsumura; Chanan-Sho, Chanan-Dai and Ping An. If the theory is true it could imply that Okinawans never received the true secrets with the kata, due to the short time Matsumura spend in Taiwan. According to this theory, Matsumura devised Naihanchi Sho and Dai from Chanan-Sho and Dai respectively. It is said that it was around 1901 that Itosu (Matsumura's student) devised Naihanchi-Shodan renaming Matsumura's Naihanchi Katas as Nidan and Sandan. From Ping An Kata Matsumura devised Pinan (known nowadays as Pinan Shodan), and by 1903 Itosu had devised four additional Pinan Katas which he enumerated as # 2, 3, 4 and 5. Itosu named Matsumura's Pinan as # 1, in respect to his teacher. However, Pinan Nidan (#2) was taught prior to Pinan Shodan (#1), because this one (Matsumura's) is more technically advanced.

This information is from the Shorei site maintained by the University of Wisconsin Parkside group.
http://www.geocities.com/colosseum/lodge/9295/katahistories.html Form: Naifunchin Also Known As: Daipochin, Naihanchi Sho, Ni & San, Teki, Chulgi, Nihanshi Meaning: Iron Horse. Missing Enemy Form. Sideways Fighting. Inside Fighting. Fighting Holding Your Ground. Interpretation: Bring all forces into your body and obtain peace, tranquility and ultimate reality. History: The kata is a widely used international form, which is performed in many different styles of Karate as well as Kempo and Taekwondo today. Because of the kata's complexity and length it was divided into three sections for student learning and practice. The originator of Nihanchi Sho is unknown but it is known that the three katas were practiced as one single kata by Master Sokon (Bushi) Matsumura around 1825. Naihanchi was however handed down to Matsumura from earlier times. This kata was also the favorite form of Yusutsune Itosu (1830-1915) who was nicknamed "Iron Horse" because of his performance of this kata. Itosu is said to have modified Sho and Ni and developed Naihanchi San. This was confirmed in the writings of Mabuni and Funakoshi. Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu, learned all three from Ankoh Itosu. However, first, while traveling and studying, Mabuni learned a form of Naihanchi from a student of Matsumura's namved Matayoshi. When Mabuni returned and showed the

kata to Itosu, his teacher remarked that it was similar to the kata Matsumura had devised after training with a Chinese attach named Channan. It was at this time that Itosu confirmed that he (Itosu) had modified them as well. Around 1895, Master Choki Motobu popularized the kata by daily performing the three forms as one kata at least five hundred times. The three Naihanchi katas performed as one became known as Motobus Kata, and he is said to have stated many times, "There is only one kata necessary to develop and excel in karate, and that is Naihanchi as one." The form was developed as a defense against four to eight opponents, with performer pinned against a wall defending to the right, left or from the front, but never from the rear. Hidden Movements: In this kata the beginning symbolic movements mean, "I gather within me all forces of earth. I look up and ask the heavens for perfection of self. I instill its force and energy into my body."

This is from the Trias based Shuri-Ryu site, and is a short summary of much of the information presented above. It is included to show what the American father of our style has to say about this kata.
http://www.shuri-ryu.org/shuri-ryu/katas.htm O'Naihanchi Kata Sho, Ni, & San - Iron Horse - Missing Enemy Form There is no record of who originated the Naihanchi Kata. Although there is evidence that the form was imported from China and developed by Shuri-ryu stylists in Okinawa; it has been accepted as an international form which is performed in the main styles of Karate, Kempo and Tae Kwon Do today. Also, because of the kata's complexity and length, it was divided into three sections for student learning and for practice. We do know that the three katas was practiced as one single kata by Master Sokon Matsumura around 1825. Naihanchi was however handed down to Matsumura from earlier times. This kata was also the favorite form of Yusutsune Itosu (1830-1915). Around 1895, Master Choki Motobu popularized the kata by daily performing the three forms as one kata at least five hundred times. The three Naihanchi katas performed as one became known as Motobus Kata, and he is said to have stated many times, "There is only one kata necessary to develop and excel in karate, and that is Naihanchi as one." The form was developed as a defense against four to eight opponents, with performer pinned against a wall defending to the right, left or from the front, but never from the rear. The original name for this kate is Naihanchi, which means "Iron Horse", but it is more commonly referred to as Iron Horse-Missing Enemy form. Other names for this kata are Naifunchin, Teki and Chulgi. In this kata the beginning symbolic movements mean, "I gather within me all forces of earth. I look up and ask the heavens for perfection of self. I instill its force and energy into my body."

This source provides great linguistic and historical details. The author had first hand experience with both the Japanese and Okinawan versions as well.
http://www.coloradokarate.com/ref-room/naifanchi.htm Naifanchi Kata: Surreptitious Stepping By Dan Smith, Kyoshi, Shorin Ryu Seibukan

The name of this kata is pronounced several ways on Okinawa. The pronunciation that the Shorin Ryu Seibukan uses is Niafanchi. There is no translatable difference in using the "f' in the sound versus the "h" in the Naihanchi pronunciation. In the Japanese language the utilization of the 'b", 'T' or "h" with some words does not change the meaning. It is the difference for as in the English language when placing emphasis on the pronunciation of a word such as tomato, where phonetically it may be sounded out as '~oemahto". I have not been able to get an explanation as to why one would use Naifanchi versus Naihanchi. Another example is the use of the "b" in bayashi versus the "h" in hayashi for the word forest; it still means forest.

The Naifanchi kata translated from the Okinawan hogen (dialect) literally means, "surreptitious stepping" or "stepping with stealth". The name Naifanchi has also become synonymous with the side stance since it is used exclusively in the Naifanchi kata. The Japanese version in Shotokan karate changed the name to "Tekki" as a reference to an "iron like" horse riding stance. This change was made by Funakoshi Gichin due to his desire to make Okinawan karate into a Japanese based system. It is said that he changed the names because of the Chinese influence, and Japan was at war with China, but the Naifanchi is pure Okinawan hogen. Again it is my hypotheses that the Japanese changed the names to the kanji that represented the description of the technique the Okinawans gave them. The origin of this kata is unknown and the date of creation is also unknown. Naifanchi kata has been present in all the Okinawan recorded history of karate. The Naifanchi is believed to have been part of the early "13chinandi" or "the fighting way of the Uchinan Cho, which is the Okinawan hogen name for the Okinawan people. Sokon Matsumura is said to have formalized the kata and then Anko Itosu is believed by some to have added the Naifanchi Ni and Naifanchi San versions of the kata. This cannot be substantiated. The possibility of Itosu adding the second and third version is quite possible due to the fact that he added other kata in the same manner. Naming the new kata by number or by referring to the new kata as the small or lesser version such as in the Passai Dai and Sho, Kusanku Dai and Sho and with the Pinan one through five. Another version for the origin of the Naifanchi kata is that Matsumura brought this kata back from China with him after one of his visits and that it was from a version of the BaGua system of fighting due to the name of surreptitious stepping. Some believe that rather than having the system of walking in a circle the Naifanchi teaches sideways stepping which in turn is just part of a circle. This version I think has a lot of credibility in that the second and third version go away from the surreptitious stepping and circular hip motions that are prevalent in the Naifanchi Sho ( ex. The opening of Sandan is moving to a front stance, which is not consistent with the sideways stepping theory of the kata). The Naifanchi kata is characterized by sideways movements, side stance, twisting of the hips and waist to the side, close striking and blocking movements and the use of the movements in grappling with the opponent. The toudi techniques of separating, twisting and breaking of bones, tendons and ligaments along with the use of striking to vital points of the body with the bottom and back fist make up most of the techniques of Naifanchi. The bunkai of the Naifanchi kata changes as the creation of Nidan and Sandan come closer to modern times. The bunkai for example of Naifanchi Sandan is close up blocking and striking with no grappling techniques at all. The Naifanchi kata that we practice comes from Chozo Nakama, a student of Chosin Chibana and Choki Motobu. Master Zenryo Shimabukuro and Nakama sensei were very good friends and Nakama sensei stayed at the Shimabukuro dojo and home often. He worked at the camp Kue hospital, which was located next to Jagaru village, but his home was at Shuri so he would spend the night often with the Shimabukuro's to avoid the long drive to Shuri. It was during this time that Nakama sensei taught Zenpo Shimabukuro the Naifanchi kata. I was privileged to be able to observe and learn these kata on Sunday afternoons with Master Zenryo Shimabukuro looking on. Since I had learned the Tekki kata version while a student of Shotokan before coming to Okinawa I was able to learn the kata by watching and then asking Zenpo sensei for instruction after class during the week. The Naifanchi kata were not taught as part of the Seibukan curriculum until after 1975 so many of the earlier students of Seibukan that did not learn these kata. This is also true with Jion and Passai Gwa. The Naifanchi kata should get more attention than is presently given by most Seibukan students due to the development of the Naifanchi stance that is excellent for the legs, koshi and rooting to the ground. It balances the stance development with our use of the shiko dachi. The Naifanchi kata also develops power for close in fighting which is different than Kyan sensei's emphasis on moving in and away from an opponent quickly. The Niafanchi kata has several sequences for the practice of Tegumi or continuous fighting drills. The kotekitae drills from Naifanchi are very important to build the sensitivity in trapping and flowing with an opponents attacks.

This Shorin-ryu site offers a similar summary, but also makes mention of other Okinawan katas and their possible origins as well.
http://www.inch.com/~sritter/Kata.html

The Naihanchin, Seisan, Gojushiho, Chinto, Kusanku-Sho, Kusanku-Dai, Pasai-Sho, and Pasai-Dai kata were passed down by Soken Matsumura (1796-1882). Some people believe that all of the Pinan kata were created by Yasutune ("Ankoh") Itosu (18301915). Itosu was a highly educated professor and was responsible for the introduction of karate into the Okinawan public school system. Some people believe Itosu created the Pinan kata from the Kusanku kata, while others believe Itosu created the Pinan kata from a Chinese form called Chiang Nan. While other people say that Itosu made the last 3 Pinan katas, but Matsumura made the first two. Matsumura is said to have created the first two Naihanchi kata. Some people believe Choki Motobu made Naihanchi Sandan. Most of these katas have links to the Fukien crane. Wansu and Ananku are from Taiwan; they were passed down by Hanshi Kyan (1870-1945). Seiyuchin and Sanchin were created by Kanryo Higashionna (1851-1915).

An Isshin-ryu interpretation with some details on how this version varies.


http://www.isshinryu-is-life.com/kata3.htm Naihanchi Kata History By Dr. Michael A. Wanko, 8th Dan Naihanchi Kata is the next to be learned by Isshinryu karate-ka's. It is believed to have come directly from China to Okinawa by Master Sakagawa as a derivative of the Shorin-Ryu style, however, its composer is unknown. Sakagawa studied under Master Ku San Ku for six years in a small Chinese community near Naha, hence the name, Naihanchi. Tode Sagagawa taught Soken Matsumura who founded Kobayashi-Ryu (Young Forest Style), one of the three branches of Shorin-Ryu. Matsumura taught Choki Motobu and Chotoku Kyan, and Shimabuku studied under both of these Masters. The Japanese version is termed Tekki, and the meaning is sideways fighting, fighting on home ground, fighting within, and surreptitious steps. Additional translations are, "iron horse," and "horse riding straddle stance." In the early 20th Century, Naihanchi was divided into three parts due to its length and difficulties in teaching the kata. Tatsuo Shimabuku used what he considered the best techniques of each kata and combined them to form the Isshinryu version. Our rendition consists of 67 movements (34 to the right and 33 to the left). It is the only Isshinryu kata with no forward or backward steps. It takes 35 seconds to perform due to its very fast speed. The unique aspect of this kata is that it is a mirror image of itself. That is, once you learn half of the kata the remainder is exactly the same but, in reverse. The kata was designed for fighting in an alley, on a bridge, or with one's back to the wall. It emphasizes a concentration of strength to the inner thighs in order to develop a more powerful stance. It is very popular in other styles of karate including Kempo and Tae Kwon Do. It is still taught in the Shobayashi Shorin-Ryu system, and in 1921 it was performed for the Sho family (direct descendants of Shotai, the last king of Okinawa) by Shinkin Gina at the request of Gichin Funakoshi. Naihanchi teaches a student to defend against four to eight opponents, attacking from the sides and the front. Again, there are two kiais, both are executed during the two morote tate strikes (double vertical punches). While performing Naihanchi the student will avoid nine foot sweeps and execute two blade kicks to the knees. It is a very complex lesson in hand techniques as it consists of elbow strikes, pressing wrist blocks, hammerfist strikes and blocks, low blocks and spearhand strikes. The Naihanchi stance, which is very mobile yet stable, is the only stance used throughout the entire kata. Finally, there is no ubuki breathing and this is the only Isshinryu kata that has both hands open in the beginning moves.

Two similar commentaries were found by this author in 2 different places. Both commentaries offer similar insights, but the second is almost exactly the same as the information available from the Shuri-ryu site listed

above. This illustrates how information is easily copied from other sources, and eventually can attain its own pseudo-validity just because it is referenced in so many places.
http://homepages.about.com/tesshinkan/nationalkaratekobudofederation/id5.html Naihanchi 1,2,3 C. Michial Jones 4th Dan,Shorei-Ryu,Shuri-ryu,Goju-Ryu,Shito-Ryu Kobudo- Shihan Menkyo Westfield,Indiana (Also known as Daipochin, Naifunchin, Naifunchi, Nihanshi, and Tekki and translated as "Iron Horse," "Missing Enemy," "Sideways Fighting," "Inside Fighting,""Fighting Holding Your Ground," and "Surreptitious Steps.") These three short kata were the first to be taught in Shuri-te. They have been practiced in Okinawa for hundreds of years and were practiced by Shuri, Naha, and Tomari-te. Most traditions say that Bushi Matsumura created the Naihanchi Kata, Sho and Ni, in order to develop fighting with your back against a wall or on a narrow rice-paddy dike. Itosu is said to have modified Sho and Ni and developed Naihanchi San. This was confirmed in the writings of Mabuni and Funakoshi. Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu, learned all three from Ankoh Itosu. However,first, while traveling and studying, Mabuni learned a form of Naihanchi from a student of Matsumuras named Matayoshi. When Mabuni returned and showed the kata to Itosu, his teacher remarked that it was similar to the kata Matsumura had devised after training with a Chinese attache named Channan. It was at this time that Itosu confirmed that he (Itosu) had modified them as well. Gichin Funakoshi stated in his 1922 book that the first two Naihanchi were originally practiced in a pigeon-toed stance, while the third was performed in a horse stance. Funakoshi later revised all three Naihanchi (by changing them all to horse stance and other modifications) and called them Tekki. Therefore these modified kata are not actually Shorei-Ryu or Zhoalin Liu as Funikoshi stated in his Karate-do Kyohan. Naihanchi is remembered as the favorite of Itosu, who was nicknamed "Iron Horse" because of his performance of this kata. Choki Motobu also preferred the Naihanchi kata and is credited with combining the three into one; known as "O Naihanchi." Although these kata are relatively simple-looking forms, they have elaborate and deadly bunkai incorporated into them such as sweeps, joint-locks, throws, and grappling techniques that are not readily apparent in the surface execution. It is obvious that kakushite ( hidden hand weapons) permeates these kata in the form of many tuite techniques and this may explain why some form of Naihanchi is practiced in virtually all styles, whether Okinawan, Korean, or Japanese. (Also by same author: ) http://www.uwp.edu/athletics/karate/katahistories.html History: The kata is a widely used international form, which is performed in many different styles of Karate as well as Kempo and Taekwondo today. Because of the kata's complexity and length it was divided into three sections for student learning and practice. The originator of Nihanchi Sho is unknown but it is known that the three katas were practiced as one single kata by Master Sokon (Bushi) Matsumura around 1825. Naihanchi was however handed down to Matsumura from earlier times. This kata was also the favorite form of Yusutsune Itosu (1830-1915) who was nicknamed "Iron Horse" because of his performance of this kata. Itosu is said to have modified Sho and Ni and developed Naihanchi San. This was confirmed in the writings of Mabuni and Funakoshi. Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu, learned all three from Ankoh Itosu. However, first, while traveling and studying, Mabuni learned a form of Naihanchi from a student of Matsumura's named Matayoshi. When Mabuni returned and showed the kata to Itosu, his teacher remarked that it was similar to the kata Matsumura had devised after training with a Chinese attach named Channan. It was at this time that Itosu confirmed that he (Itosu) had modified them as well. Around 1895, Master Choki Motobu popularized the kata by daily performing the three forms as one kata at least five hundred times. The three Naihanchi katas performed as one became known as Motobus Kata, and he is said to have stated many times, "There is only one kata necessary to develop and excel in karate, and that is Naihanchi as one." The form was developed as a defense against four to eight opponents, with performer pinned against a wall defending to the right, left or from the front, but never from the rear. Hidden Movements: In this kata the beginning symbolic movements mean, "I gather within me all forces of earth. I

look up and ask the heavens for perfection of self. I instill its force and energy into my body."

This site offers some interesting interpretations of the word Naihanchi, as well as a new twist on its possible origin.
http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Field/5699/naihan.htm Naihanchi Shodan Naihanchi Nidan Naihanchi Sandan Some say that Bushi Matsumura created both Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan from a kata called Nahan-chi or Naha-chi that he got from a Chinese master named Ason. Some say that the kata was called by this name because Ason taught the kata in Naha, thus we have the name as Naha-chi, which eventually evolved into the words Naifanchi, Naihanchin, and finally Naihanchi as it is known in the Matsumura style. Some report that Hohan Soken once said that Naihanchi was the name of a master that brought the original kata to Okinawa, and that he was perhaps a Chinese master. Could this man be the same as Ason? Some believe either Itosu or Choki Motobu created Naihanchi Sandan. Some say that Itosu created all three of them, and that Matsumura had nothing to do with it. However, Nabi Matsumura taught Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan, but he never studied under Itosu. Another theory for the origin of the word is that the original form of the word was the Chinese word Nai-fan-chi. In Chinese, the particle 'Nai' means "inner" or "inside" and probably refers to pointing the toes inward. 'Fan' means a clawed foot of a certain animal. 'Chi' means the soil or foundation. So the original name probably meant something to the effect of being rooted to the ground in correct stance. And still another theory is that Chi or Chin could mean "battle" as it does in the word Sanchin. The word 'Naihan' could refer to the narrow paths through rice fields that resemble squares. Therefore, it could mean "battle in a ricefield." Or if we go back to the possibility that Naihan or Naiha is another form of the word Naha, we get the meaning of "Naha battle." All of these theories about the origin of the word are plausible, but none can be substantiated. My personal opinion is that the a master named Naihanchi taught Matsumura a kata, and he broke it up into two, calling the katas after this man. I believe this is the most likely explanation, because we see that he called other kata in his system after the masters they came from, such as Channan, Chinto, Ku Sanku, etc. Funakoshi called Naihanchi by the name Tekki, meaning "Iron Horse", which refers to the stance used in it. "Iron" refers to its strength and stability. "Horse" refers to the fact that it resembles a man riding a horse.

A lot of repetitive information, but a few interesting comments concerning the differences in different styles.
http://www.isshinryu.com/naihanchi.htm The origin of Naihanchi is unknown, but legend and oral tradition indicate that Sokun Bushi Matsumura brought Naihanchi to Okinawa from China. The kata was taught in both the Shrui-te and Tomari-te systems. Matsumura taught this kata to Chotoku Kyan who in turn taught it to Tatsuo Shimabuku. There are three versions of this kata: Naihanchi Sho Dan, Ni Dan, and San Dan. The Isshinryu version most closely resembles Naihanchi Sho Dan.

Yasutsume Itosu and Choki Motobu were known to appreciate and practice this kata regularly. Motobu was quoted as saying, The only kata that was necessary for one to be a good fighter was Naihanchi. It was claimed that Motobu would practice Naihanchi 500 times each day. Itosu was so proficient at the Naihanchi stance that he could root himself so firmly that it was impossible to move him. The name Naihanchi translates as, fighting holding your ground. Many of the strikes and blocks are delivered without shifting stance. This kata employs only the Uchi-Hachiji dachi stance which tips the feet inward while keeping them aligned toe to toe and shoulder width apart. The pelvis is tilted slightly upward and the lower body is tightened during the kata. The Shorin-Ryu system teaches the stance with the feet straight down the outside edge as in our Seisan stance. Master Shimabuku turned the toes inward as in Sanchin dachi. The Shorin-Ryu version of Naihanchi Sho Dan starts and proceeds to the right. Master Shimabuku changed the direction in which the kata started in the Isshinryu version by beginning it to the left. No one is sure why he made the changes other than to make his version different. Since all of the techniques are delivered side to side or to the front, it is often stated that this kata is for fighting in an alley or with your back to the wall in any narrow passageway such as between cars in a parking lot or tables in a bar. The techniques are among Isshinryus most devastating. Naihanchi kata is a rough and tumble kata rich in Kyusho Jitsu and Tuite techniques. The kata involves rotation of the upper body to facilitate blocking techniques coming from the side. This rotational movement develops strength in the abdomen and low extremities. The kata is primarily for close range fighting and employs horizontal and vertical elbow strikes, concealed knee attacks, haito and hammer fist blocks, nukite strikes, ankle strikes, foot sweep avoidances, and double vertical punches sometimes described as a vertical punch and a guard. It involves a complicated system for the avoidance of foot sweeps combined with bumping and pushing techniques. On first glance, this is one of Isshinryus simplest katas. Upon closer inspection, the kata is complex and could take years to understand. Such is the beauty of Naihanchi kata.

Japanese / Shotokan sources


The Shotokan interpretations are all based on information passed along after the kata was exported to mainland Japan by Funikoshi and standardized. This exportation also resulted in its presence in Korea as Japan colonized most of pre-WW II Asia. The site below has a nice interpretation of kanji and its history. http://www.shotokankata.com/The%20Tekki%20Katas.htm The Tekki Kata were originally known as Naihanchi. This name was changed to Tekki by Funakoshi to replace the Okinawan name. He attempted to change the original names of many of the Kata and this is one of the few names that caught on and became commonly used Tekki Shodan is often credited to Matsumura Sokon of Tomari City, Okinawa, and both Tekki Nidan and Sandan are thought to have been created by Itosu Yasutsune, but as no written records exist (as is the case with any other Kata) we can not be really sure. Itosu specialised in the Tekki Kata and he taught them to Funakoshi. He made Funakoshi spend 3 years learning each one saying that whilst they were the easiest of the Kata to learn, they were also the hardest to learn The name Tekki is composed of two kanji characters.

Tetsu means iron or steel.

Ki means ride on a horse, equestrian, or knight.

so some valid interpretations could be Steel Horse Rider, Iron Knight, Steel Knight

Originally, the stances used in the Tekki Kata were Uchi Hachi Ji Dachi and Naihanchi Dachi but the commonly used stance throughout the three Tekki Kata is now Kiba Dachi or "Horse Riding Stance". The Kiba Dachi stance could lead you to believe that the techniques are supposed to be practised for use during battle on horse back. A more probable reason for the wide spread use of the stance is its beneficial quality to bad knee conditions Funakoshi refers to years of training in the Tekki / Naihanchi kata. The knees are thought to be strengthened through practice of the Tekki kata due to the emphasis on sideways stepping. People with bad knee conditions are also frequently recommend to do side to side knee training exercises by therapists. Students will usually learn the 5 Heian kata one at a time, each time they progress up the belt ranks and then, after reaching the 3rd Kyu, Tekki Shodan is required. Tekki Nidan is then not required until the Second Dan examination, and Tekki Sandan will be looked at in the Third Dan examination under JKA rules. This is a pity as it takes away the chance for Students to practice the Kata at an early stage of their training Holding a solid unmoving Kiba Dachi stance whilst performing sometimes 9 upper body attack and defence techniques in position is very difficult. Add to this you will also have to demonstrate Kime, Breath control and Direction changes - all in the time span it would normally take you to perform 1 or 2 moves in another Kata. This makes the Tekki Kata perfect preparation for the other more complex Kata

A general site but one that focuses on its purported application of small spaces
http://www.kusunoki.de The original name of the Tekki Kata is Naihanchi. It is the name for the Kata, which was brought by master Ason from China to Okinawa. Ason was one the most important Karateka in Naha. The special thing at Naihanchi was that it is executed only on a line. It was used to teach pupils fighting at smallest space. Thus it was executed for example on narrow beams or trees, where it is not possible to move forward or backward. The aim was also to strengthen the stance anyway on which background you move. In addition the masters invented many exercise forms. The stance of the Ason Naihanchi was Naihanchi Dachi. The Ason Naihanchi consisted of over 100 movements! Under Itosu the Kata was separated into three parts, the Naihanchi Shodan, Nidan and Sandan. Also the essence of the Kata changed. The stance was not any more Naihanchi Dachi, but Kiba Dachi. The emphasis has been shifted, which changed for example the energy flow, particularly as the Kiba Dachi became broader in the course of the time. In Japan the Kata was renamed to Tekki. The three Tekki Kata were the Kata, which mastered Funakoshi first. But he needed ten years, while he daily practiced only this Kata. Still today there are masters, who attaches particular the importance of number of the repetitions. They have the opinion that your should show the Kata just after approximately 10,000 repetitions.

http://www.angelfire.com/bc/shotokan/tekkishodan.html

Tekki means "iron horse." Tekki Shodan is the first of the series. Tekki Shodan as a whole means "first degree of iron horse." The Tekki series, unlike the Heian series, came from the Shorei school, and so they must be performed with strength and powerful movements, though not entirely disregarding quickness and versatility. Tekki Shodan was originally called Naifanchi (or Naihanchi), but its name was changed when Itosu Yasutsune created two additional kata related to Naifanchi, Tekki Nidan and Tekki Sandan. Although Naifanchi was not created by Itosu, he did revise it and develop it further. Funakoshi was required to study each of the Tekki kata for three years. At that time it was not unusual for martial artists to spend many years improving each kata in order to properly understand its meaning, purpose, and application. The reason these kata are performed on a single horizontal line is unclear, but it is sometimes taught as being performed on horseback. Although this would not be a practical application, it does have other uses. For example, this kata is thought have been used extensively by fishermen while in their boats. It could have also been used when confronted with one's back against a wall. The predominant techniques/positions are side stance and stomping feet. Lower body strength is emphasized, as well as hip vibration ("chindo" in Japanese). There are 29 movements, which require approximately 50 seconds to perform. Tekki Nidan means "second degree of iron horse." All three Tekki kata are learned between the ranks of 3rd kyu brown belt to 1st kyu brown belt. Although all kata are important, Tekki Nidan and Sandan are not studied extensively until at least the first black belt level, which is the rank of Shodan, meaning "first degree." The predominant techniques/positions of this kata are the same as Tekki Shodan: side stance and stomping feet, as well as the emphasis placed on lower body strength and hip vibration, or "chindo." There are 24 movements, which require approximately 50 seconds to perform. Tekki Sandan means "third degree of iron horse." The predominant techniques/positions are side stance, and stomping of the feet. Lower body strength is emphasized, as well as hip vibration. There are 36 movements, which require approximately 50 seconds to perform.

This is an excerpt from an interview with an instructor known to the author. This offers an interesting historical and phonetical review of the name and its origin.
http://www.ryu.com/ryu-cgi-bin/search_item/:CD_kata?Tekki_1_Mr_Chen

TEKKI (NAIHANCHI) Conversation with Fuchow Master Chen Steve Cunningham provides the following insights, as a result from a conversation with Fuchow Master Chen: Our conversation on this form was brief, and pivoted around what I already knew about the form. So I will fill in a considerable amount in order to ensure that everybody is on board with the discussion. I wrote the Chinese characters for the kata name. This is a little confusing since the form is known by three written names that I know of. In Japanese, these are pronounced:

Naifanchi or Naihanchi Naihanchin Tekki The third name, or course, was not intended to look anything like the others. Tekki was the name given by Funakoshi Gichin for the form as practiced by his students in Japan. The first name, "Naifanchi" is the name that people like Nagamine use in Okinawa, whereas Okinawans like Ryukyu Kempo Master Hisatake use the second spelling. The second spelling is not terribly uncommon. We are taught that the first is the original. The first name, "Naifanchi" is pronounced *exactly* the same way in Fuchow-hua, whereas "Naihanchin" is not. This seems to support the naming convention of Nagamine. "Naifanchi" is not so often translated. This is probably because it is hard to do so. The name describes the character of the stance. "Nai" is "inside" or "inner", also pronounced "uchi" in Japanese. Like "uchi hachiji dachi", it refers to standing with your feet turned inward (pigeon-toed). Master Chen said that "fan" is the clawed foot of a certain kind of animal. The easiest example for him was a bear. He said that, although this does not have to be a bear's foot, it is what "someone thinks of." It refers to animals who grip the ground with their claws as they stand or walk. "Chi", in this case, is "the soil" or "the foundation you stand on." So "fan-chi" paints a picture of someone standing upright with slightly bent knees with their toes gripping the ground like a bear. "Nai" implies that the person does this with feet turned slightly inward. The arms might even be held upright, to be used like a bear's arms. The characters are suggestive but abstract, so direct translation might not make sense. The second name, the second set of characters (Naihanchin) is kind of interesting. Chen speculates that it was created by someone who learned according to oral tradition, and knew the intended meaning of the forms movements, but had to guess at how it was written. In this case, "chin" is a battle like in Sanchin. "Naihan" is a little more difficult. Rice fields are laid out like this: +--+--+--+--+ | | | | | +--+--+--+--+ | | | | | +--+--+--+--+ where the lines are narrow "trails" between the rice beds. The rice beds are flooded. If you fall off the trail, then you fall in the water. The character for field (like rice field) is: +--+--+ | | | +--+--+ | | | +--+--+ This is pronounced "da" when combined with other words. (For example "hon-da", "original field" or "original rice patty.") Anyway, "naihan" describes the narrow paths through these fields. So, "naihanchi" is a battle that took place on these paths. Such battles are treacherous. They require great skill at in-fighting and perfect balance. People who fall in to the flooded field may grab at your feet. By extension, "Naihanchi" is a battle in a narrow place with lots of in-fighting and precarious balance. Tekki is like an iron horse. It may be an attempt to rename the first kata name into characters that are not so obscure and that are easier for the average person to translate. A "horse" to many Chinese martial artists is a stance. So Tekki is the "iron stance," involving gripping toes and bent knees to preserve balance. Seems Funakoshi knew what he was doing! Was anybody surprised?

Korean Source (Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do) I included this reference because it directly relates to the style I received my shodan in. This source offers an interesting analysis of the similarities and historical links between the Japanese and Korean systems that utilize the same katas. I included information in my excerpt because there was more information on common kata than just Naihanchi, which might prove interesting to both Korean and Japanese stylists.
http://169.226.124.78/amai/kata.html Kata of the Cooper style of Chung Do Kwan Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon is a hard style of Korean karate, which emphasizes speed, power, focus and balance. It is essentially the Korean version of pre-war Shotokan karate. The founder of the Chung Do Kwan is Won Kuk Lee, who was a student at Chuo University in Tokyo during the latter 1920s, and a member of the Chuo University Karate Club - one of the original clubs taught by Funakoshi Gichin. For a more detailed history, check out the Princeton Chung Do Kwan site. The shotokan connection is further evinced by the forms taught in Chung Do Kwan, as they are essentially shotokan forms, right down to the names. This is not readily apparent in English, but the Chinese characters used are identical to the standard Shotokan usage. The difference between "Pinan" and "Pyung Ahn" is simply the difference in pronunciation between Japanese and Korean. The Chinese characters used here are those found in Funakoshi's Karatedo Kyohan, published in 1932. It is interesting to note that in his 1922 Ruykyu Kempo Karate-Jutsu, the names of all kata were in katakana, with the exception of Koshokun, and that the names of the kata were the Okinawan names, i.e. Wanshu, Naihanchi, etc. Two reasons why these names might have been written in katakana rather than kanji are that the Chinese-ness of certain kanji would have made these kanji difficult to read, and also, given the time period, things Chinese were not in favor in Japan.

Kuk Mu 1 & 2 Invented in the late 50s/early 60s by Jae Bok Chung, Duk Sung Son's senior student. Originally conceived as a series of 5 kata to replace the Pyung Ahn/Pinan kata learned from Won Kuk Lee when Son left Chung Do Kwan and formed the abortive Kuk Mu Kwan in Korea, prior to coming to the US. However, after arriving in the US, the Kuk Mu Kwan was abandoned, and Son et al reverted to Chung Do Kwan. Physically, Kuk Mu 1 & 2 are simple H-pattern kata. Combined, both kata contain all the basic Chung Do Kwan blocks and strikes, with the exception of kicks.

Pinan 1-5

The conventional wisdom is that the Pinan kata were invented circa 1900 by Anko Itosu, as simplified kata to be taught in elementary and junior high schools, and perhaps based on Pal Sek or Kusanku. However, other sources credit Itosus teacher, Sokon Matsumura, with the invention of Pinan 1 & 2, and the first portion of Pinan 3. Lending credence to this theory is that Hohan Soken, founder of Matsumura Orthodox Shorin Ryu and a student of his uncle Nabe Matsumura, son of Sokon Matsumura, taught only Pinan 1 and 2. Also, the Channan exercises, a.k.a Chang Nan, may have been a source for Matsumura and/or Itosu. The Pinan kata migrated from Okinawa to mainland Japan with Gichin Funakoshi, father of shotokan, and Kenwa Mabuni, founder of Shito Ryu. Some sources claim that Mabuni taught Funakoshi the Pinan kata in 1919, while most maintain that Funakoshi had already learned the kata, before his vists to the mainland. Mabuni was known as a veritable encyclopedia of kata, and Shito Ryu contains more than 60 kata. Won Kuk Lee and General Choi are the most likely importers of the Pinan kata to Korea. Won Gook Lee studied Shotokan at Chuo University in Tokyo, and Choi also studied shotokan in Tokyo. Lee returned to Korea to found Chung Do Kwan, and Choi eventually founded the Korean Tae Kwon Do federation, the KTF.

For a physical description of these and other traditional Okinawan/Japanese kata, please visit the CyberDojo's listing.

Chulgi 1-3

The Chulgi series are known as the Tekki series in Japanese and the Naihanchi series in Okinawan. The composer of this series is unknown, but Naihanchi 1 has been traced back into southern China. These kata are considerably older than the Pinans, and according to Nagamine Shosin, Naihanchi was the first kata taught to Shorin stylists, prior to the creation of the Pinans. Matsumura, one of Itosus teachers, was known to have taught this kata. Some sources claim that Matsumura markedly changed the Chinese version, and that Naihanchi 1-3 were originally one long kata. Others claim that Naihanchi 2 & 3 were invented by Itosu, and that it was Itosu, not Matsumura, who was responsible for simplifying the kata. Regardless, there are Okinawan styles that practice only Naihanchi 1, implying that 2 and 3 are later additions. Historical research remains inconclusive as to the origins of these kata. A note on the kanji used: in Karatedo Kyohan, Funakoshi uses the kanji for kibadachi, a.k.a. "horse stance". However, a black-and-white film of Funakoshi's senior students uses the kanji tekki, "iron horse", and it is this name that has appeared in numerous texts since the 1950s.

Pal Sek

Pronounced as Passai/Bassai, or Patsai/Batsai in Okinawan, and as Bassai in Japanese, this kata is the Chung Do Kwan version of Passai/Bassai-dai, and its origins have also been traced back to China. Matsumura is sometimes credited with composing the kata Passai; this version of the kata is known as Matsumura Passai, while Itosu popularized the kata now known as Passai-dai. Itosu is also credited with Passai-sho. Some sources also credit Itosu with creating Bassai, but as a number of his contemporaries who also studied under Matsumura also practiced the kata and passed it down, Matsumura is a more likely point of origin for this version of Passai. Other versions practiced in Okinawa include Tomari Passai, and Ishimine Passai.

Ship Soo

Known as Jutte or Jitte in Japanese/Okinawan, the kata was transmitted to Japan by Funakoshi and Mabuni, but is not widely practiced in Okinawa. This would seem to imply that Itosu was the composer of the kata. It has been suggested that Jutte was adapted from a weapons kata. Experiments seem to bear this out - imagine holding a bo while doing Ship Soo, and you'll see what I mean. (Actually doing it with a bo requires a little adaptation.)

Yum Bi

Known as Empi in Japanese, Wanshu in Okinawan. According to Nagamine, this kata was brought to Okinawa in 1683 by a Chinese envoy, after whom the kata was named.

Ja On

Jion in Japanese/Okinawan, this kata is supposedly named after a temple. However, the kanji used by Funakoshi doesn't reflect this. Jion was Hanashiro Chomo's favorite kata, and Chomo was a student of "Bushi" Matsumura and Itosu Anko, who both taught Funakoshi. Again, this kata is not widely practiced in Okinawa, although Shorin Ryu Seibukan (descended from Itosu > Choshin Chibana > Chozo Nakama > Zenpo Shimabukuro) and Shito Ryu (Itosu > Mabuni) practice the kata.
References for this article were listed as: Funakoshi, Gichin: Karatedo Kyohan, 1932. In Japanese. Funakoshi, Gichin: Ryukyu Kempo Karatejutsu, 1922. In Japanese. Bishop, Mark: "Okinawan Karate - Teachers, Styles and Secret Techniques", A&C Black Ltd. London, 1989. Nagamine, Shoshin: "The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do", Charles E. Tuttle, 18th printing, 1996. "Bible of Karate - Bubishi", translated, with commentary, by Patrick McCarthy. Charles E. Tuttle, fourth printing 1997. Kanji graphics obtained from: Breen, Jim: "Kanjidic" (on line at http://www.gsquare.or.jp/cgi-bin/j-e/S=48/fg=b/inline/nocolor/kanji)

Commentary article from Black Belt magazine This article, originally published in the April 1992 issue of Black Belt magazine offers a good overall summary of the katas history and significance to todays martial artist. Articles published in karate magazines are often prone to sensationalism and self-publication, so their content needs to be taken with the proper frame of mind. This article does a good job of interpreting its bunkai, and its real world applications.
http://www.blackbeltmag.com/archives/blackbelt/1992/apr92/naihanchi/naihanchi.html KARATES MOST MISUNDERSTOOD KATA The Simple Yet Effective Naihanchi Form by Chris Thomas Probably the most-maligned and least understood kata (choreographed fighting sequence) in all of karate is naihanchi (also called tekki in some Japanese styles and chul gi in Korean styles). There are actually three naihanchi kata, including naihanchi shodan, which may be the most widely practiced kata in karate. Naihanchi is a short, simple kata of approximately 25 movements. It is not a flashy form, and in fact uses only the straddle (horse) stance and side-to-side movements with a simple cross-over step. Because of its appearance, a great deal of confusion surrounds naihanchi. Some have argued the kata is designed for fighting with your back against a wall. The idea is that, when attacked by multiple opponents, you should back up against the nearest wall so that no one can attack from the rear. Unfortunately, this strategy makes you more vulnerable, not less so, by limiting your mobility. It also doesn't fit the movements of the kata, which seem designed for use against opponents attacking from all directions. Others believe naihanchi is designed for fighting on the raised walkways which surround water-filled rice paddies. However, the kata seems to indicate that an opponent is sometimes directly in front of the defender, meaning the attacker would be standing knee deep in mud and water. That would put the attacker's head at about the defender's groin level. A third interpretation of naihanchi is that the kata is designed for fighting on top of a wall or in a narrow hallway. The movements of the kata, however, seem to show opponents attacking from the front and diagonally, as well as from the sides. Because naihanchi is so basic, many students find it uninteresting to practice and instructors find it uninteresting to teach. In fact, no less than the late Japan Karate Association great Masatoshi Nakayama wrote "Since these (naihanchi) kata are rather monotonous, turn the head briskly and strongly." Imagine a kata so boring that students must turn their heads briskly to keep from falling asleep! Technique #1

Shotokan karate founder Gichin Funakoshi reported that the first ten years of his karate training consisted of only the three naihanchi kata. If nothing else, naihanchi must have served the purpose of testing Funakoshi's perseverance and determination. Perhaps his instructor told him "To prove yourself, you must spend six months washing the toilet and ten years practicing naihanchi. If you survive this test, I will teach you real karate." Of course, it is entirely possible that martial artists have simply been confused and misled about naihanchi all along. Perhaps the truth is that naihanchi is so practical and effective that it takes ten years of study to exhaust its concepts and knowledge. According to Ryukyu kempo instructor George Dillman, naihanchi is one of the deadliest of all kata. Together, the three naihanchi forms contain the secrets to 120 pressure points which Dillman claims can be used to quickly defeat an opponent. To uncover some of naihanchi's overlooked secrets, it is necessary to recognize and apply five hermeneutical principles for interpreting the form. The first of these is the "rule of sequence." Generally, karate practitioners assume that because kata movements occur in a certain order, this is the order in which they must be applied. This is simply not the case. Sequence is only the way in which the kata is assembled; the order in which the techniques are applied is determined by the situation. For example, one sequence in naihanchi involves raising one foot up near the opposite knee, then stepping back down to perform what appears to be a hammer fist block. In application, the raising of the leg and the execution of the block occur simultaneously. The sequencing of the moves in the kata is for the sake of training. As the student lifts the foot, it points to the pressure point on his own leg that is to be attacked on the opponent's leg. Then, after allowing the student to mentally note the exact location of the pressure point, the kata continues with the hand technique, which maps out how to reach a corresponding pressure point on the opponent's head. Technique #2 Another example of the sequence principle is found in the symmetry of the kata. Naihanchi is a balanced form, with the entire sequence of movements performed once in each direction. The sequence begins with an open backhand strike and ends with a double punch. These two techniques are at the beginning and end of the sequence to show the student that they can be employed with any part of the kata. If, at any time, a portion of naihanchi is being applied unsuccessfully, the beginning backhand strike or concluding double punch can be brought into play. The second principle for interpreting naihanchi is the "rule of direction." What this means is that the important element of the footwork is not the stance, but the angle at which movements are performed. The assumption that the movements in the kata are to be applied from a horse stance is a false one. It is true that certain bunkai (applications) do employ the horse stance, deriving their effectiveness from the stance's downward energy. However, many of the applications in naihanchi work quite well from a totally different posture, such as the cat stance. The angle at which the kata movement is performed is important, however. Naturally, the defender wants to apply a technique to his opponent from the most effective angle. Most people assume that if the kata shows a movement to the side, it means the attack is coming from the side. What the kata is really showing, however, is that to use a certain movement effectively, the defender must position his body sideways (or diagonally, depending on the technique) to the opponent's body. Technique #3 The third rule for understanding naihanchi is the tuite principle. Tuite refers to the grappling portion of karate. To interpret the kata correctly, it is necessary to understand that every move has a grappling element. Some kata movements are purely grappling in nature and have no other application, such as the stacking of the fists at the hip in naihanchi. Stacked fists always indicate a joint manipulation technique. There is no such thing as "preparing for the next move" or "hiding weapons." Another type of movement is that which can be interpreted as either a joint lock or a strike. An example of this in naihanchi is the "double block," in which one hand performs a mid-level block, while the opposite hand executes a low block. This movement can be interpreted as a double strike, attacking corresponding pressure points on the head and body, or it can be construed as a tuite technique. As tuite, the movement responds to an opponent's front lapel grab. One hand pulls down and out on the opponent's hand, while the other hand pulls up and in on the opponent's elbow, wrenching the shoulder. A third type of tuite is concealed in the striking movements of naihanchi. In this case, any time the defender uses one hand to strike, his other hand grabs the opponent's arm. When employing the double punch at the end of the kata, one hand is held close to the chest while the other is extended fully. Many individuals interpret this movement as a simultaneous punch with both hands. However since one hand is fully extended, while the other is held back, such an interpretation does not fit the position in

the kata. By applying the tuite principle to striking, however, the extended hand strikes while the opposite hand holds the opponent by the wrist. Technique #4 The fourth rule for unlocking naihanchi's secrets is the kyusho-jutsu principle. Kyusho-jutsu is the art of pressure-point fighting, and this principle asserts that every move in the kata is directed against specific nerve points. What makes the kata work is that it attacks these vital points in synergistic fashion. For example, a grab of the opponent's wrist falls on points that, in turn, activate points to be attacked on the head, and so on. Every point functions in concurrence with another point. The kata teaches the correspondence of points, as well as how to reach them effectively. Pressure-point training is dangerous when conducted without proper instruction and supervision. There is great danger in hitting another's points "just to see what will happen." And under no circumstances should an individual attempt self-instruction of kyusho-jutsu. Technique #5 The fifth and final principle for proper interpretation of naihanchi is the "visualization rule." This principle states that true training does not depend on the athletic quality, speed or muscular effort of the kata performance, but on the proper mental picture of what the form means. The ancient masters practiced kata much more slowly and thoughtfully than is common today. Modern kata, conversely, seems to emphasize only the external, aesthetic quality of the performance. The old masters were busy mentally picturing and rehearsing the exact application of their kata techniques. They realized that true kata practice involves not so much outward movements, but an invisible mental process. Kata can be compared to a hula dance. To the uninitiated, hula movements are just a story-telling dance. Those who look deeper, however, recognize that within the dance lies the deadly Hawaiian fighting art oflua. Is your kata a dance, or is it a method of combat? By using the five principles of interpretationsequence, direction, suite, kyusho-jutsu, and visualizationit is possible to see beyond the superficial physical aspects of naihanchi and view the deeper combative realities of the form.