Forgotten Kata - Taikyoku

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Scaramouch, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Scaramouch

    Scaramouch Lost Soul

    I have been practising Shotokan on and off with various instructors for 14 years but have only just come across the kata, Taikyoku Sandan - from re-reading the Karate-Do Kyohan (Funakoshi).

    For those Shotokan-ers of you who are not familiar with the name “Taikyoku” - Taikyoku Shodan (or number 1) is the original name of what most of us know as “Kihon Kata”. Taikyoku Sandan (number 3) incorporates frontstance, backstance, inside blocks, downward blocks and punches to both head and stomach levels. Despite its relative simplicity, I really enjoy practising it and I think its is unfortunate that it is no longer part of the syllabus. I have noticed, however, that some Goju-Ryu schools do five levels of the Taikyoku kata.

    What do those of you that know the Taikyoku kata think? Should they still be practised?

    On the subject of forgotten kata it is sad to see kata like Jiin, ****an and Meikyo hardly ever being taught or practised. IMO one of the main reasons for this is that the are not good choices for competition - but they’re got some great bunkai (applications).
  2. Saz

    Saz Nerd Admin

    Kyokushinkai does three levels of Taikyoku, including TaiKyoku Sono San (Sandan)

    Personally, I like the kata, but its not involved enough for my liking. Its used in our style as a bridge between the more basic kata's, and the more complicated ones. If you look at Kyokushinkai Kata's (and other styles no doubt), you can see them getting gradually more complicated. Taikyoku San is an important kata on that learning curve.

    I think there is a tendency in Karate schools (that I've seen) to focus on the 5-6 most basic kata's more than the rest. This ends up with students having really good basic low grade kata's, but poorer high grade kata's. Possibly as time goes on, the high grade kata's get "forgotten" through the fact that the instructors don't know them in depth enough to pass them on properly.

    There are probably hundreds of kata out there that don't get passed on, with different styles splintering off from each other, different instructors starting up their own styles and leaving them out.
  3. paul paterson

    paul paterson Valued Member


    Taikyoku - means taking the overview, the large view. To see the bigger picture, the whole rather than focusing on the individule parts.

    Within the Kyokushin school and its splinter groups you will have in general three Taikyoku kata's (ichi, ni and san). These kata's are taught as basic and junior kata, the very basic kata called Kihon will be taught to get into the sub-conscious and can be taught in any number with as many moves as you want. The first Taikyoku kata is going through your basic block, chest puch, stance, height, turning, movement and timing. In every martial arts school you will have a basic or a number of basic kata's or forms. It is sad that there are those out there who feel that these kata's have little use however it is at their own loss as these basics are the building blocks within each style or school of art. The whole thing is that these kata's are not forgotten but just ignored or put aside as they see them as less flashy, just goes to show how little do they know.

    Paul Paterson.
  4. kerling

    kerling Hidden haito style

    These kata seem to be getting forgotten. When I started shotokan 12 years ago they where practised. But it seem that only one sensei from Malasia was teaching them on a regular basis. Now day's I haven't seen these kata in few years.

    Also tekki kata seem to be less popular in many schools and appear to be on the same track as taikyoku kata. Wich I think is sad.

    Regards Kerling
  5. Alex103701

    Alex103701 New Member

    Taikyoku Ichi, Ni, and San are still part of the IKO syllabus. I recently joined, and had to learn Ichi, and Ni yesterday for my grading in March.
  6. Cain

    Cain New Member

    We still practise that kata in my school, two versions ie taikokyu shodan and taikokyu sandan, these are the first two katas I think they pretty much cover the basics and the bunkai is fairly simple to understand for the beginners before moving on to the more complex katas.

  7. b19vny

    b19vny Valued Member

    I follow Master Taiji Kase's way - he started training at the shotokan in 1944 and our karate follows his methods and the training from his seniors - Egami / Hironishi rather than the JKA / Nakayama.

    Taikyoku katas were practiced then and are practiced now within our group along with Ten-no-kata and a version of Sanchin. Also the three Tekki katas are taught before reaching 1stDan.

    I know that in France they practice Taikyoku Yondan, Godan and Rokudan which compliment the other three nicely.
  8. kempocos

    kempocos Valued Member

    We teach Taikyoku 1, 2 , 3 as the first three KATA to white belts. We od this because they were created for use in a middle school PE class in japan. We draw alot of armbars and throws out of them. We are moving away from them to start the white belts off with the Pinans. They teach the same basics and much of the Bunkai is the same.
  9. Scaramouch

    Scaramouch Lost Soul

    Interesting that Shotokan from the Egami / Hironishi / Kase branch (rather than the JKA / Nakayama / Enoeda - Kanazawa branch) still teaches the Taikyoku kata.

    Does Sensei Kase do much bunkai? In particular throws and takedowns. Thows akin to judo were taught by Funakoshi (in the latter pages of the Karate-do Kyohan) but you don't see them taught much in Shotokan dojos in the UK. The expense of having to provide mats might be one of the reasons I suppose.
  10. b19vny

    b19vny Valued Member

    Nakayama was in China from 1937 - 1947 (ish) and was not training at the Shotokan when the katas were devised / developed by Funakoshi Snr and Jnr and the group of instructors that trained through the war-years.

    He refused to teach them as he believed they were not part of Funakoshi's karate - just an invention by some of his students (very senior students).

    There are useful bunkai, sweeps, strikes, takedowns, throws in the kata but the emphasis in our karate is very much the way of Yoshitaka - one hit, kill.

    Kase was a Judo 2nd Dan before starting karate and could no doubt incorporate throws into his teaching but his emphasis is on very strong karate . . . the type developed during the war years.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2004
  11. Scaramouch

    Scaramouch Lost Soul

    I did Taikyoku Shodan (renamed Kihon Kata) as a KUGB white belt, but always thought it was quite a jump to Heian Shodan - put the whole range of Taikyoku kata in between and you get a much more natural progression. As they are so simple in structure, one can concentrate fully on timing, kime, power etc. within each technique. I find them a great training aid, particularly since I am no longer able to train at a club. I do other MA training, one sand-up fighting art the other a grappling art.

    On the point of "one hit, kill" I don't believe its either practical nor possible to train (in this day an age) with such a concept. If it was, you'd see very quick fights in UFC, MMA and Vale Tudo comps which on the whole you don't.
  12. b19vny

    b19vny Valued Member

    Back to the thread:

    Some notes about the other kata you mentioned as not being popular;

    Jiin - shotokan miss out the last few moves from the original version.

    Wnkan - devised by Yoshitaka (who introduced Sochin [shotokan version] and which has the same feel)

    Meikyo - based on a kata called Rohai. There are lots of Rohai katas - Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Dai, Matsumura and Koshiki. Shotokan's is apparently based on Nidan.

    The reason they are not practiced alot is that there are huge variations from group to group (within Shotokan - SKI / JKA / JKS etc) and there doesn't seem to be a common version.

    Katas like Bassai, Kanku, Jion, Enpi and Hangetsu are pretty well documented and so variations are very slight.
  13. shoto-kali

    shoto-kali The Chosen One

    how many Taikyoku kata ?

    So my question is, how many Taikyoku kata are there? i've read an article that there are 12 and the other site there is only 6 and jka is only practicing 3. anybody can clarify this?
  14. b19vny

    b19vny Valued Member

    Three original ones devised by Funakoshi and his son Yoshitaka (Gigo/Giko).

    Six including the ones devised by Kase / Henri Plee.

    That's all as far as shotokan is concerned. If there are more then they will be a much more modern invention.

    Our group practice three, but we are aware of the others and can perform them but they don't form part of our syllabus.
  15. Goju

    Goju Yellow Belt

    In goju we do 5 taikyoku kata

  16. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    I remember doing 3 Taikyoku's. But in my opinion, its better to leave the Taikyoku's altogether and just go for the Heians (or Pinans if you prefer). The movements are so simple and similar that you still get the bunkai.

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