naihanchi is tanren gata
Naihanchi is what we call “Tanren Gata”.
Tanren means to practise or to forge. Especially “to forge” speaks volumes about how to practise and the purpose of that practise. Although at first glance the techniques are not so complicated, they contain the fundamental skills necessary to achieve quality of movement.
Naihanchi is a tool to learn how to use your body.
Not simply by intellectually knowing how to use your body, but learn in the sense that your body becomes programmed to move in a certain manner. This ‘certain manner’ is Karate.
naihanchi - step by step
Take Musubi Dachi.
Take Shin Nu Kurai Gamae.
Bring your arms up without changing the angle of the elbow.
Draw a circle in front of you while bending your thumbs into Shuto.
Meet both hands in front while touching the fingers lightly.
Bring your arms in front of your chest without exposing the elbows.
Lower both hands back to Shin No Kurai.
Execute Empi with Tateken (always in Wado Kata) without collapsing the left knee.
Take Kamae sharply and look left. Note that some instructors get into this position through rebound. Others do this as a seperate action which makes sense as Naihanchi is known to be a Kata that has no combinations.
Execute Gedan Barai to the left — straight out of shoulder line. NOT in a diagonal.
Execute Nanamezuki (diagonal punch) and let it bounce back into position (do not pull manually).
Using Chidori Ashi, move to the left while you keep looking + holding Kamae in place until the moment you do the next movement.
Execute Jodan Soto Uke and look straight forward, both equally sharp.
Make a scooping move with your left arm and bring Hikite up higher. Simultaneously, execute Gedan Barai.
Punch upward with Urazuki while not moving the other arm.
Let the fist bounce back in position. This is not manual nor Soto Uke.
Take Kamae sharply and look left. As your left arm is out of shoulder line to begin with, you don't need to move it much if at all when taking Kamae.
Execute Morote Zuki with the feeling of throwing both fists away.
Execute right Hikite as you rotate your wrist and pull it closer to your body while keeping your elbow down. Both moves should finish simultaneously.
The rest of Naihanchi is the exact same, but mirrored.