Class began with tai no tanren, followed by working on ōten and ukemi from omote and ura gyaku. After this we moved onto a review of tsuki and jōdan uke, before progressing to Kokū from Jō Ryaku no Maki of Gyokko Ryū. In particular we worked on the kotsu of the shutō uchi and final boshiken, and sabaki of avoiding the kick, as well as the angle for correctly striking each kyūsho.
Following this we reviewed the first kata of the Kukishin Biken, Tsukekomi, and Sayugyaku, working on kihaku, zanshin and ma-ai, as well as ensuring the correct connection between Aite and Tori’s actions in kata practice.
“On one occasion I was talking to a Japanese friend of mine who is a conductor about the subject of art. He told me that the levels of expression of martial arts written down on paper are like scores of music written down on musical staves. Musicians read the music which is written down, but play it with their own emotions. You cannot find these emotions on paper. It is the same with martial arts.” – Hatsumi Sensei