I hate to rub it in, but y’all missed out! A while back Colin Wee of the Traditional Taekwando Blog offered his readers a free copy of his kata DVD, “My Tekki On It.” (Here's the 1-minute teaser trailer) Unfortunately for y’all but fortunately for me, I was the only one who responded, so I got the free DVD and I have to say - it is outstanding.
On his DVD, he shows a wide assortment of bunkai for Tekki, illustrating how this single kata could, as Choki Motobu put it, be an entire self-defense system. Tekki has always been my favorite of the Karate kata because of the variety of ultra-practical self-defense application – but what Colin illustrates on this DVD is the fact that Tekki by itself could be the core of an extremely good karate-do or jujitsu system.
I enjoyed all of Colin’s applications that he demonstrated and he only scratched the surface of the potential of Tekki, but I also wanted to comment that I see the practice of Tekki perhaps a little bit differently than Colin illustrates on his DVD. I do not really see Tekki as a catalog of dozens of situational applications to specific attacks, but rather as a small set of the most common, most useful general-purpose motions for close-fighting. Look at the motions in Tekki:
- Lateral stepping with strong rotational hip motions
- An open-handed shuto, back-knuckle, or eye-flick
- A horizontal elbow smash
- A couple of conservative, low, snappy kicking motions
- Two or three sets of two-handed push-pull motions that can be applied in many ways
That’s it. You repeat those motions on both sides and you’re done with the exercise - but this handful of motions and skills are infinitely applicable to close-fighting and grappling situations. Personally, I don’t find it really helpful to try to visualize a specific application for each move during regular practice, because Tekki is a very general thing – the building blocks of in-fighting strategy. For instance.
- When overwhelmed or waylaid, lateral stepping and the stepping-in-front motion is the basis of most of the useful evasions and body displacements possible.
- The open-handed eye flick is a great distracter, separator, or delaying measure, as well as having the potential to end the fight right away.
- The elbow smash is the most powerful upper body infighting strike there is and the same motion is applicable as a block or a lock too.
- The kicking motions can decimate opponents’ legs or set up great off-balances making the rest of the grappling stuff work even better.
Anyway, you get the point. In my opinion you could study Tekki in a couple of productive ways.
- Dissect hundreds of specific applications out of it and practice them as bunkai.
- Practice the kata as a motor control exercise to improve body coordination in this handful of general motions and then use one-steps and randori to creatively look for application.
Both practice modes are probably good. Both may be necessary, but I lean toward the second training method. That way you only have to learn a handful of things and then you work in an “aliveness” type environment on creating application. But enough of what I think. Well, nearly enough…
I think Tekki is awesome, and I think Colin’s DVD demo of Tekki bunkai is fantastic, and I think if you hop over to his blog and ask him nicely you might be able to get him to re-run his original offer, or at worst, he’ll probably only charge you a tiny fee for such a great demonstration DVD.