Class began with a quick discussion of the history and development of Japanese swords, and the social, pragmatic and economic factors that effected their evolution, followed by a review of basic etiquette for passing swords, general handling, bowing and so on. After this we examined te no uchi, working that into the basic kamae of seigan, gedan, chūdan, jōdan and hassō, and then basic cutting form.
After this we moved onto Ketō from Gyokko Ryū, looking at working through each segment sequentially so that Aite’s attacks had the right distancing to ensure Tori had the correct timing to work with, as well as the correct use of structure in both evading and counter attacking. We also looked at some original henka, looking at using jōdan and the point of entry for a counter attack.
For the last section of the class we reviewed battōjutsu, looking at drawing vertically, horizontally and diagonally, using the whole body to power the draw and drawing in time with the opponent’s attack. From here we moved onto a review of Kage No Ittō, as well as draws from other ryūha.
“…it’s essential to rid oneself of fear. Fear prevents people from doing so many things. They look after themselves far too well. If people would only not take so much care of themselves and have a little more confidence in themselves, a bit of courage – my teacher used to say that if one had no courage, there was no hope – with courage, anything can be accomplished.” – Hatsumi Sensei