Training began with a look at correct kamae and ashi sabaki, examining Ichimonji No Kamae and one of the Sayugyaku to illustrate the connection between taijutsu and kenjutsu, as well as reviewing the fundamentals of correct atemi, its tai-sabaki, timing and structure.
This lead into a review of Shihō Giri and Happō Giri, and Sayugyaku, focusing on the ashi sabaki for the evasion, te sabaki for the detail and tai sabaki for the power. After this we looked at a few iterations of Shishi Geki, also from Kukishin Ryū, examining the distancing and timing, and similarities with the previous kata.
After this we reviewed Togakure Ryū Biken. First we examined Dato No Ken, looking at the use of kotsu and sabaki to close the distance safely, then Issen Ken, first practising basic tsuki gata and uke gata with the sword, before looking at correctly practising the kata itself. Finally we concluded with Raikō No Ken, practising the kata against 6 attacker and using proper ashi sabaki to set up the position for each cut.
‘Ninjutsu is Taijutsu. Taijutsu begins with Kihon Happō and ends with Kihon Happō. If you get stuck for techniques, go back and redo Kihon Happō.’ – Hatsumi Sensei