Kata in karate refers to ‘form’ or ‘shape’. It is a set of stances performed in a specific sequence that involves precise executions of techniques, movements, timing and breath control all at once.
Taikyoku Ichi, Ni and San emphasize mainly on punches, and are the first sets of katas taught to beginners.
Common Mistakes, Notes and Tips
- Punches must be powered by movements from the torso and hips.
- Stance or footwork must be stable and firm. Beginners often struggle to find balance.
- Movement must be consistent – do not bob up and down when moving through the kata. Taller students take note.
- Kiai is important – practitioner must make an effort to produce a loud and clear Kiai.
Taikyoku Sono Ichi – Middle Punch
Be aware to point the punch slightly above the solar plexus. Common beginners’ mistake: middle punches always end up looking like high punches, which is incorrect.
Taikyoku Sono Ni – High Punch
Common mistake: aiming too high. Aim the punch just below the eyebrow, and point the punch using the first 2 knuckles. If the first 2 knuckles are aimed elsewhere, the wrist will not be straight resulting in incorrect form of the punch.
Taikyoku Sono San – ‘Cat Stance’
The ‘cat stance’ here an requires an understanding of weight distribution and balance. The resting leg should hold 60-70% of the body weight. Legs should not be too far apart, best is about 30cm between front and back leg. Keep arms close to the body so rib cage is not exposed.
It is beneficial to practice in front of a mirror. Although this is the easiest and most basic kata, it is an important foundation on which all other katas are built upon. A good grasp of Taikyoku katas is essential as you further into Kumite and Ido Geiko. Students are highly encouraged to approach anyone in the dojo for help and tips, as that is the best way to learn and improve.
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