I have posted a video of Di Ichi from Latvia in the Asai Ryu Kata section of the blog. Kato Sensei taught me the first three Di kata nearly ten years ago. ( I believe there to be at least four in the series)
I have taught the first three, but I find the most useful to be the first one, Ichi. I regularly teach Di Ichi before Heian Shodan. Karateka are not assessed /graded on this kata but I feel it develops good form and especially with children, they get a sense of achievement in completing a kata.
As Shodan I recently brought Di Ichi back into my own personal training routine. I am trying to focus on my hips and stepping in a lower zenkutsu-dachi than normal (for me) and also trying to improve my gyaku zuki.
As with many Asai kata there are a few different versions of the katas name, "Di Ichi" ,Dia I Ken" of as the Sensei from Latvia writes it "Dai itsu Ken".
In some Asai kata you will also see a few subtle changes in the kata. Does this mean that the karateka has made a mistake? Probably not. Asai sensei would use kata to reinforce his teaching on the execution of a technique and would make alterations to the moves to assist students by emphasising a particular point.
My own view is that these kata were developed to improve kihon, so don't get too tied up on names or in the moves, but enjoy the kata and the development it brings, Osu!
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