The Naihanchi Kata is a very old Kata, which can be found in many different styles and variations. The special thing about this Kata is the movement in a straight line (sideways). This has led many Karateka incorrectly to believe that the Kata is for fighting with the back against a wall.
In Japan, this Kata is known as Tekki, (Horse riding/stance; Iron Horse), a name change made by Funakoshi upon the introduction of the Kata on mainland Japan.
It is said, that the Naihanchi was the first Kata taught to the student before the creation and use of the Pinan Kata.
Itosu, the teacher of Funakoshi, is reported to have learned the Kata from Sokon Matsumura (1796-1893), who learned it from a Chinese man living in Tomari.
The sideways movement can be used to outbalance your opponent; it is also used for takedown technique. The Naihanchi Kata is for effective close-range fighting against an opponent in front of you.
Our Naihanchi Kata can be seen here.
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