So, who has noticed that the Taikyoku kata are assymetric? You do not do the same things on one side as the other. Taikyoku is a Left-Right-Left pattern repeated 3 times, You do twice as many left-side turns, stances, and blocks as right-sided but you do twice as many right-sided punches as left. The 270 degree turn is only ever done toward the left side Does this suggest to you...
- This kata might have been intended for a homogeneous right-handed society as evidenced by universally sacrificing the left arm as a block and keeping the right arm in reserve for a strike? I've heard stories of Samurai being taught to sleep with their right arms under their bodies so that if ninja were to attack they would reflexively throw up their left arm as a block. Apocryphal? Maybe.
- Taikyoku might be a template - you might be meant to flip it and play it R-L-R too. Funakoshi talks in his books about even muscular development. There are kata (e.g. Sanchin) that some people do right-handed and others do left handed. This was explained to me as the instructor standing in front of the pupil acting as a mirror - so each generation of students would do it opposite from the previous generation. Apocryphal? Maybe.
- Sidedness does not matter - you can't overcome it anyway and to try to is to waste time.
- The 270 degree left turn is only applicable as hip throw, which you would typically only learn one-sided anyway.
What do y'all think? Do you practice Taikyoku both-sided? Why or why not?
Subscribe now for free self-defense martial arts updates