Class began with shurikenjutsu, followed by keri waza, focusing on some of the kicks found in the Kotō Ryū Okuden Gata, before moving on to Atemi No Tanren. After this we examined the ashi sabaki from Kotō Ryū and some of their applications such as positioning and moving through kamae.
Following on from this we moved onto the first kata from the Kotō Ryū Okuden Gata, Santō, again focusing on the rhythm, structure and distancing, as well as maintaining good position in both the main technique and the henka. After this we moved onto the second kata, Santō (different kanji), examining the use of three points of contact, yoko aruki and angles, before the final submission.
Lastly we reviewed Battōjutsu, looking at the three basic forms and coordinating several actions into each step of the draw, strike and return of the blade, before moving onto some battōjutsu kata which build on these elements.
“Having the technique done to you and experiencing it yourself is the only way to learn it. This stuff can’t be taught. This stuff can’t be understood through merely words. It must be experienced personally. Books are for use AFTER you know the techniques. It’s the same for the scrolls. If you know the technique, then read the words and it makes sense.”