Hi folks, is there a difference between Kaiten and Tenkai?
Kaiten turning in place, without taking any steps.
Tenkai - I was once told that it involves a step forward from the back foot, with a hip turn of 90 to 180 degrees, the example i was given was the footwork often used against Yokomen uchi.
I guess it depends on the used style -- every sensei uses slightly different names for the same steps. In the dojo I train (and probably everyone that follows Masatomi Ikeda-sensei style) we use "kaiten" for hips turn in place and "tenkan" for step with turn (you go forward with back leg but turn at the same time with the front leg kept in place), but e.g. Kisshoumaru Ueshiba in his book called Aikidou names hips turn in place "tenkai" (that's what we name as "kaiten"); step (with back foot) and then
hips turn in place "kaiten" (that's what we call "irimi kaiten"); and step with hips turn at the same time as "tenkan" (same as in my dojo).
Also opinions differ, in my humble experience, as to whether include a little side step with front foot to the definition of tenkan -- in techniques it's usually there -- but some people prefer to stick with just turning-step for the basic form.
However this is the first time I see someone exchanging tenkai with tenkan. Most sources I've seen differ only on the use of tankai vs. kaiten. So either you've confused the two words together (they sound
similar after all), or your style uses naming system I'm not familiar with. Both are possible