Class began with ashi sabaki exercises, looking at correct movement for proper maai, before practicing yoko nagare and mute zenpō kaiten from Seigan No Kamae. The followed into a brief discussion on the correct mechanics of shomen giri suburi and various methods of self practice, before integrating that te sabaki into the ashi sabaki examined earlier. Following on from this we went on to Tsukekomi, Tsukigake and the Sayugyaku, focusing on the correct kotsu of both Tori and AIte’s movements, their timing, intention, the reasoning behind each movement and the kuzushi and positioning of Tori’s final strike in each.
Following on from this we moved onto the first four of the Togakure Ryū Kamae No Kata, Ichi No Kamae, Seigan No Kamae, Chūdan No Kamae & Gedan No Kamae. The methods of receiving the opponents attack was examined, in particular the te sabaki and kotsu, as well as the use of positioning in the intermediate movement, and control of Aite’s structure at the final movement before the final cut. Emphasis was on the quality of the movement, rather than simply following the steps, introducing how ineffectual the kata is without correct tai sabaki kihon.
“Keep in mind it is better to gain a single victory using proper technique than to win ten times using wasted force” – Hatsumi Sensei