Class began with a review of the kaiten from Ganseki Nage, Musha Dori, Omote Gyaku and Ura Gyaku, looking at achieving the correct alignment with the lower body to effectively create the proper start position to roll from, as well as the correct position to finish each kaiten from. This was related back to the basics of rolling from seiza, hanza and shizen covered recently.
From here we moved onto Hichō No Kamae, first looking at the kamae itself, then covering the ma-ai of Aite’s tsuki and the structure of Tori’s uke gata, keri and shutō, before moving onto some alternative versions. For Jūmonji no Kamae we first examined practicing the form as suwari gata from fudōza, before moving onto the standing version, focusing on the correct points for daken uke and boshi ken tsuki, as well as chōsui of the kata.
After a quick break we reviewed drawing the sword vertically, relating the foot positions and concepts in kosshi kihon sanpō, and using the whole body to achieve a speedy draw. After this we reviewed flowing from gyaku kesa giri to kesa giri to tsuki, before using ashi sabaki to avoid a counter thrust before flowing into a tsuki.
“Some people do their kihon happō as they trudge around like sumo wrestlers. They don’t realize how important walking is. That is a true shame. The finer details of learning to walk will improve their kihon happō. That is, after all, what kihon happō is.” – Hatsumi Sensei