The “iron horse” or “battlefield” kata. It is called Tekki Shodan by Shotokan karateka.

According to his book, Wado Ryu Karate, Otsuka Sensei learned this kata from renowned Naha-te fighter Choki Motobu and personally favored Naihanchi over all other kata. Its origins are from pre-1825 Matsumura to Shuri/Tomari.

The Naihanchi series has Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan variations, and many Karate styles practice all three. In Wado Ryu we only practice Naihanchi Shodan because Otsuka described the Nidan and Sandan variations as “almost useless”. All of the Naihanchi variations move side-to-side, and the Shodan variation is against five attackers.

The Naihanchi series is taken directly from the long form called Hua-Chuan which is one of the main training forms of Tiger Style Northern Shaolin Wu-Shu. It was on Okinawa that the kata was split into three separate, shorter katas.

Funakoshi’s name Tekki means “Horse Riding”, and it refers to the distinctive horseback riding-style stance used throughout this kata. The Naihanchi-dachi stance is the main training stance of Northern Shaolin Tiger Style Wu-Shu.


1. Naihanchi starts slightly different to the other Kata's in that it begins with you in Heisokudachi (Closed toe stance). Toes directed inwards. Place your left hand on your right-hand naturally.

2,3,4. Make a circle with both hands. (This is to indicate you have no weapons concealed!) Bring back to the starting position again. Just as in Kushanku Kata.

5. Look to the left, slowly and calmly.

6. Look to the right, slowly and calmly.

7. Step out with the left and then the right and have Naihanchi stance.

8. Perform right Tate Shuto (vertical knife hand) block-punch towards your right.

9. Perform left Yoko Enpi (sideward elbow strike). Hit your right hand flat as your imaginary target. Enpi is a short weapon, therefore it is necessary to twist your body sharply from the hips.

10. Twist back your body and have a preparation form. Turn your head towards the left.

11. Perform left Gedan Barai to your left.

12. Perform right Chokuzuki 45 degrees left, and draw it back immediately to that of preparation form. Step out with the right and then the left and have Naihanchi stance.

13. Perform right Sotouke Jodan (outer block) at the last minute to the front. Turn your head to the front at the same time.

14. Perform right Gedan Barai on the spot.

15. Perform left Sotouke Jodan again to the front and on the spot while still in Naihanchi stance.

16. Look to the left!

17,18. Perform left Ashi-Barai (lower leg sweep), then replacing your left foot back in same position it came from, again Naihanchi stance, and still looking to your left. Twist your body from the hips sharply in the same direction, to power the Sotouke Jodan which is still in place.

19. Quickly and sharply look to the right.

20. As before Ashi-Barai with the right lower leg.

21. Bring your foot back and have Naihanchi stance. Perform left Uchiuke (inward block) by twisting the upper body.

22. Twist back your body to the left and have preparation form. Turn your head to face the left at the same time.

23. Perform a double punch to the left. Left straight punch and right Kagizuki (hook punch).

24. Draw back your hands as if you are trying to get rid of an opponents seize, by tensing the whole body equally.

25. Perform right Yoko Enpi by twisting your body. The same as in No.9. Relax a few seconds between Nos 24 and25.

26 to 41. Repeat the movements from No 10 through to 23, but in the opposite direction

42. Yame. Bring your right foot to have Heisokudachi. Bring back your hands to front of your thigh just as you originally

View Naihanchi Video

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