Naihanchi (Tekki) Neck Cranks

This video looks at some neck cranks found in Naihanchi Shodan and Nidan (Tekki Shodan and Nidan).

There is a widespread myth that the three Naihanchi / Tekki kata were originally one kata that has been split into three. There is no evidence to support this idea. It should therefore be discounted as baseless speculation that is contrary to the historical information that we do have.

The historical information we do have informs us that there was originally one Naihanchi (the one often given the “shodan” suffix today) and that Anko Itosu created the Nidan and Sandan versions after learning the original. It is my view that Itosu most likely created those versions to make explicit some of the variations that are implicit in the original form. We can certainly see that with the neck cranks covered in this video.

The original Naihanchi (shodan) has a neck crank which serves as an illustration of the limitations of the neck. It also demonstrates the tactic of using striking methods should the neck crank fail. In keeping with the kata process, we should explore alternate ways in which this limitation can be exploited and this tactic employed. The kata is not the entirety of our study, but instead it gives us examples to guide our study. The kata is the “seed” which encapsulates and imparts the key lessons of the fighting system that produced it.

In the video, we first see an example from Naihanchi Shodan of a neck crank and the tactic to be employed should it fail to take the enemy to the floor. Nidan shows an alternate sequence that employs the exact same principles; but a different crank and different follow up strikes. This secondary example is not strictly necessary because it is giving no new information at the level of principles, but the secondary example could be useful in providing an alternate example of the innumerable ways in which the principles can be applied. It seems to me that this was likely to be Itosu’s thinking in creating the Nidan and Sandan versions.

In the video we also look at how the principles apply to two of the neck cranks found in the Bubishi i.e. “emperor holds an egg” and “beautiful lady combs her hair”.

As always, no one should be practicing these methods unless under the supervision of a suitably qualified and experienced instructor.

All the best,


PS The YouTube link can be found HERE

Practical Kata Bunkai: Naihanchi (Tekki) Neck Cranks