Class began with an extended examination of basic ashi sabaki, working from proper alignment in kamae, and moving through kamae in a structured fashion. This lead onto practice of Ichimonji No Kamae and one of the Kukishin Ryū Biken Sayugyaku and their related footwork, as well as the principles found in several versions of te hodoki leading into effortless gyaku waza via correct positioning.
After this we moved onto Shihō Giri, Happō Giri & Sayugyaku, looking at using the ashi sabaki to evade, set up the initial counterstrike, before flowing into subsequent movements. After this we continued to Dato No Ken, Issen Ken, Raikō No Ken, looking at the specifics of the te sabaki of the first two, and applications for multiple opponents in the third. Lastly we reviewed Shishi Geki, looking how the ashi sabaki informs the evasion and counter attack.
“Don’t practice if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s better not to practice if that’s the case. There are people everywhere who have been practicing for years, but they are merely reinforcing bad habits. Not practicing can actually be good for your Taijutsu. Thinking you know what you’re doing when you don’t can get you killed.” – Hatsumi Sensei