I am new to this forum ( been following it actively since a few months) and this is my first post. One of the kata, I am really obsessed with is the taikyoku series (not the extremely proficient, but very fond of it).
Over the last few months, I have been experimenting around with the applications of kata ( inspired by good old youtube and creative experimentation on my brother/students). One thing, I have noticed (maybe I'm overthinking) is that taikyoku tells us:
- Most of the kata seem to be variations of the I line of movement
- Shifting weight forward,backward and sideways to some extent
- How to position oneself ( Very well explained in the articles by Iain )
- It teaches the simple principles of moving out of range(either stepping or rotating) and attacking (groin,face,ribs,etc.) by using the gedan barai and oi-zuki as a strike
- It teaches using oi-zuki as something like a distance check, following which (1) can be applied
- It teaches how to throw ( neckwrings , shoulder throws?, a bit of hip throwing?)
- It teaches the basic idea of grab hit, grab hit, grab release hit .
Also, In Funakoshi's karate-do-kyohan , the author talks of it as the ultimate training kata.
Because of its simplicity, the kata is easily learned by beginners. Nevertheless, as its name implies, this form is of the most profound character and to which, upon mastery of karate, an expert will return to select it as the ultimate training kata.
Which seems to make sense as far as i have seen from points ( 1- 8), making it plausible to conclude that it's a very rich(in terms of applications) and condensed kata.
Also, He says the following:
Once one is able to perform the Taikyoku forms with proficiency, he can understnad the other kata with relative easy. For this reason, the Taikyoku form should be considered elementary as well as the ultimate form. In fact, the Taikyoku kata is the very prototype of a karate kata, a combination of the down block and middle level front punch ( basic techniques in any training), the front stance , the typical body movements of karate, and a defined line of movement.
This too seems to make sense, as from the above points ( 1-8) these seem to be the basic principles involved in most of the katas.
Also, we have funakoshi mentioning that it's a product of many years of his research into karate
This kata and the Ten no Kata to be describe below are the product of my many years of research into the art of karate. If they are practiced regularly, they will result in an even development of the body and in a sound ability to bear the body correctly.
Thus, it definitely doesn't make sense just to treat it as a kihon kata with no applications, rather to look at it as a highly condensed fighting form makes more sense.
We also have the following:
Moreover, the study who has gained proficiency in basic techniques and understands the essence of the Taikyoku Kata will appreciate the real meaning o the maxim, " In karate, there is no advantage in the first attack." It is for these reasons that I have given them the name Taikyoku.
It seems to me, that as in the lines of heian which could mean Peaceful mind, Peace and Tranquility, Safe from harm (Thanks Iain) etc., that the essence of taikyoku lies in the fact that everything is one. ( maybe my interpretation might be off, but that's how I seem to see it ).
I am not sure if this is how forum posts are to be written , but I hope that this will generate some interesting discussion on the taikyoku, it's training,and applications along with anything else.