My Tekki On It: Tekki Bunkai

Taekwondo came to the region of the US I trained in via GM Jhoon Rhee i.e. via a Tang Soo Do Chung Do Kwan (or Korean Karate) lineage. There are some Japanese kata that we still practice which includes Chulgi (Tekki or Naihanchi), Balsek (Basai or Patsai), and Sip Soo (Jitte).

Taekwondo Founder General Choi Hong Hi was known to be a Shotokan trained black belt. His Shotokan influence is apparent to anyone taking the time to analyse and compare Taekwondo patterns to Shotokan forms. I have in particular enjoyed this comparison as it provides a rich source of bunkai or applications.

In fact, the more time I spend looking at Shotokan forms, the more I understand and appreciate the Taekwondo forms that I have learned. The video I have included above is of Tekki - which I have enjoyed immensely in recent years. I hope to be producing more application videos from this kata in the upcoming weeks.

Please download the following video showing some Tekki Bodyguarding Bunkai inspired by Shihan Dr Bruce Clayton.

Check out:
Orjan's Practical Application for Keumgang Poomsae Part Four
Charlie's Bunkai from Tekki with Cross Reference to Wing Chun
My Tekki Giveaway
Mokuren Dojo Review on My Tekki
Mireille Clark's post on Tekki Shodan
Tang Soo Do: Chulgi (Tekki) on TMAC Forum
The Karate Way
The Martial Arts Explorer
Mireille's Post on Tekki Bunkai Cont'd
Chulgi: Punching Across the Body
The first part of the word Bunkai is 'bunk'


supergroup7 said…
"As for my performance of a Japanese Kata? I don't think it's too off course - considering I am a Taekwondo practitioner."

As a Shotokan karate ka, I can assure you that your Tekki Shodan is quite worthy, and could easilly pass inspection in most dojo. Your movements, and most of the timing of execution captures the majority of Shotokan "feel".

There are a few little comments that I can offer.

Your "Yoi" is different. Just slightly.. It's not a bad "yoi".. It's different. Shotokan-ists start in Musubi dachi ( heels together toes apart) and go directly into heisoku dachi ( heels and toes together) by sliding their toes in, and gathering their hands in front. You added a shizentai ( natural stance) in there. It flows nice, but it would identify you as different.

Your legs look more relaxed than your arms. From experience, I can tell you that my legs are tight, and filled with outside pressure when I perform this kata. This is most apparent when I do that returning wave kick. It snaps up, and back quickly.. almost faster than a soccer player smacking at a ball.

Also, the turning of the head is a count all by itself. You will see the performer of a Shotokan kata turn his/her head, there is a slight pause, and then the following block/kick sequence follows.

Again.. these are very slight little things that wouldn't be an issue if you were demonstrating this kata in a Shotokan dojo.

Did you learn how to Shotokan-ize your kata from your bunkai, and seeing videos on the net? In other words, you did not get "taught" by a Shotokan Sensei? If so, fantastic catching of the body movements, and the feel of it!
Colin Wee said…
Thanks for your very detailed input which I appreciate Mir.

The Chulgi pattern that I learned was quite similar to the one that I have videod. There are a few differences. However, the major thing in my school is that our techniques are not as 'micro-managed' as a karate practitioner.

For instance when I adopt a front stance, the angles of my feet are the angles because they afford me the most speed generation and the most speed deceleration as possible - from practical experience. There are a few things that my old school are quite particular about - like the coverage of folding and height of the block. Nothing for the yoi position.

Yes, initially I instituted one change from the Shotokan version I have seen online - and that is the returning wave kicks. Our version did a snapping leg move towards the inside of the supporting leg. This is something that never sat very well with me.

At this point of time I'd also like to add that I was never taught any formal application or bunkai directly relating to this form during my early days of training. Everything that you see, have heard from me, and will see in the upcoming weeks are a result of a great deal of synthesis from my experience with hard and soft martial arts, some research from the net, and from inspiration given by Shihan Dr Bruce Clayton's book 'Shotokan's Secret'.

In fact Dr Clayton's idea of what Tekki is supposed to be is uppermost in my mind as I look at this form. He has covered a few major ideas of this form being part of a bodyguarding and team-fighting system ... and this appeals to me. It appeals to me far more than the traditional interpretation I see on videos posted on the internet.

So in answer to your question, what you see of the form as presented is a reverse-engineered system from stuff that I understand. As I have identified myself, I am a Japanese influenced style of Taekwondo - and do adopt low stances or 'natural' stances but only when they are applicable to how I percieve the world.

I do like feedback though - so for instance when Shihan Grant McMaster provides feedback of depth of stance, I can very well decrease my height and sink my weight into the stance - but this doesn't really affect the bunkai that I have used to understand this kata as I see it in a 'bodyguarding' perspective.

It might of course lead to other bunkai, but that is another story.

Thanks for your feedback Mir!

Colin Wee said…
I've just produced another video - Tekki against grabs. Regards, Colin
Colin Wee said…
I plan to do two more session for the Tekki bunkai, then will put this all together and call it a wrap. The first one will be Tekki against three or four different kicks - thigh, front, side and roundhouse. Then I'll have a segment where we'll depart from the very traditional approach (not that I've been very traditional at all) and venture into some modern day drills to train some fluid hand motion using Tekki techniques. This will allow me to look at integrating some locks and throws whilst shooting from the hip. Maybe we'll incorporate the videoing together this sunday and then we'll be able to send everyone who's interested a a higher resolution copy on DVD.


Some more interesting links:
My friend's Charles Wong's Naihanchi Bunkai from Kissakikai
Traditional Tekki Bunkai
Colin Wee said…
I have finished my Tekki program and soon will output a high-res version that stitches together all the various modules (bunkai and apps) I've come up with. Please let me know if you'd like a copy. Colin
Blackbeltmama said…
That's my Nai Hanchi Shodan kata. It's always interesting to see how different people present this kata.

I'd like to see the double block and back fist a bit slower. It looks different from how we do it in my style but that could just be the way you present it timing wise.
Colin Wee said…
That's my Nai Hanchi Shodan kata. It's always interesting to see how different people present this kata.

I'd like to see the double block and back fist a bit slower. It looks different from how we do it in my style but that could just be the way you present it timing wise.

I've seen so many ways of doing this kata, including an okinawan style that does the kata in a very upright and 'soft' manner. This corroborates a little with vintage photos of Choki Motobu (circa 1920s) performing this kata.

Choki Motobu says application culminates with the kata. So I take it that he does his drills and applications, and in the end the kata summarises major elements of the lessons or ideas.

Choki Motobu's double block seems to be done as a defence against a punch, and allows him to trap his opponents arms.

I use this sequence to represent a short kick to the knee and then an iriminage/kokyunage - to 'capture' the opponent. This is an interesting take, in line with Dr Bruce Clayton's idea that Shuri styles were founded around a bodyguarding system.

Colin Wee said…
I'd like to see the double block and back fist a bit slower.

After thinking a little about your Naifanchi post, I think I was referring to the sequence of techniques surrounding the 'returning wave kicks' with double punch.

If you're referring to the back fist, then that would be the backfist AND double blocks ending with an 'uppercut'. If you are referring to slowing down this double block - that seems appropriate, especially in response to an opponent launching strikes at you. However, I think that this isn't a very good interpretation for such techniques - I interpret this as a defence against a lapel grab, first with a backfist to the nose and then the double block as a takedown.

MARKS said…
Hi, Your kata is very good. Check out Iain Abernethy for some very good and practical kata bunkai. If you already knew this, many apologies
Colin Wee said…
I've never been in a school which does kata for competitive purposes. We were always drilled by instructors who are very good fighters - so the bent is on applicability. Thus I've never known my kata to be 'very good', I just think my performance is doable/passable.

But thank you for your compliment. It's a nice way to start the day.

Michele said…
I just recently found your site and will check back often.

Thank you for posting the video of your Tekki Shodan kata ... well done! I practice Nai Hanchi Shodan and we have a slightly different meter.

Colin Wee said…
I would really like to see that! Would you happen to have that on video? Colin
Bunkai Jutsu said…
I thought your presentation of Tekki was very good. I'm primarily Shotokan. However, some Karate styles do this kata in a much higher stance than Shotokan does, so I see nothing wrong with your TaeKwonDo version.
As Iain Abernethy says: if you take a poem and write it by hand then type it on a computor, they will look quite different. However, the information contained will be the same.
So it is with the different ways that different styles perform the same kata, the principles are just the same.
I applaud your open mindedness, not getting dragged into one-up-manship between different styles.
I have explored Tekki with my friend of mine who does Wing Chun Kung Fu as both systems are close quarters combat systems and we found quite a bit of overlap.

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