Here is where you will begin your journey into kata. Enjoy.
Taikyoku Jodan I
Taikyoku Jodan is the first of the kata you should learn. “Jodan” refers to upper body. Blocks and punches are both for upper body.
The kata is performed in an “I” pattern. See diagram.
All Taikyoku kata follow this pattern, changing only the stances and area of the body blocked or punched.
Breathe out of the mouth on each technique.
First you step out with the right foot and immediately turn to left, blocking upper body, then stepping forward and punching upper body. Your target is the point between your nose and upper lip.
Then you turn 180° to your rear, sliding the right foot behind the left and pivoting into a right-foot forward sanchin stance. Then step forward with the left and strike upper body.
Now, look over your left shoulder, then step 90° to your left (facing the way started), first bringing the left foot into the right (to “close” your stance so that you are less vulnerable to a groin kick), then out again into another sanchin stance.
Next will be three steps across the floor. In Jodan I, only sanchin stances are used. In Jodan II, after you block you will step forward with three zenkutsu dachi (forward stances). Punch with each stance with the same arm as your lead leg (we call this a lunge punch).
On your third movement across the floor, KIAI (a gutteral shout starting by tensing the lower abdomen and expelling breath — you may use any sound, but I recommend HAI- EEE!) with your punch. The punch should be timed to be fully extended at the same moment you lock into the stance and stop your forward motion.
After the kiai, you’ll have to turn to face an attacker coming from your right. However, the turn is 270°, sliding the rear foot to the right and forward of your front foot. When the foot reaches the appropriate position, your right leg will be bent and shoulders facing approximate 45° to your left front.
Then PIVOT on the balls of your feet, keeping your upper body perpendicular to the floor, into a left sanchin stance. This turn is a PIVOT, NOT A SPIN.
Step forward with the right and punch upper body.
Now take your right foot and slide it behind your left and across one shoulder’s width. Pivot on the balls of the feet into a right sanchin stance. Block upper body. Step forward and punch with the left.
Look over your left shoulder. Keeping the punching arm extended, bring the left foot to right, then out into a left sanchin stance facing back the way you came.
Now do three more movements across the floor. Kiai on the third repetition.
Here you’ll do another 270° turn with left foot sliding behind and through, pivoting into a left sanchin stance. Step and punch with the right.
Keeping the arm extended, turn 180° stance to your rear into a right sanchin, with the right foot sliding behind. Block with the extended arm, then step forward with the left and punch.
Look to your left. Keeping the left arm extended, bring the foot in and out for a 90° turn back to face the same direction where you started. Block upper body.
Step back into yame position. Heels touch, feet pointed 45°. Hands come together over the groin. Then put them to the side seam of your pants and bow.
- Keep your eyes level as you move from stance to stance.
- Keep the punch arm extended until you have completed your turn, then use it to initiate the block
Taikyoku Jodan II
Remember, the II (ni) version of the kata uses a forward stance for lunge punches.
Here’s another version. Note that this one does not include the last two turns, which are required in our system.