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Class Record: Ukemi, Sanshin No Kata + Raiko No Kata

May 28, 2007

Saturday May 26th

We began with dive rolls – forward and sideways, lengthways and over heights. Chairs are useful for this, diving over them both with the seat facing and away from you can be a challenge. Next we looked at Sanshin and how the structure breaks down if you add things like flowing from one kata to the other and changing direction. This break down shows how it’s always necessary to go back to the basic to solidify the form again.

Afterwards I used the kata as another way at looking at our movement by doing counters to the attacks in Sanshin – counters before the attack is blocked and counters after. All this encouraged uke to perform proper blocking to try and take tori’s structure. Having your structure compromised, as tori, let us look at ways of using that possible imbalance to flow into counters that brought us to a safe place again. With this exercise the line between who’s uke and who’s tori gets blurred – both trying to establish a safe place using their natural armour and kamae.

It really makes the person performing Sanshin do it properly with correct footwork and body allignment. After a cuppa in the sun outside we dived into more application of the cuts and kamae in Togakure Ryu’s Raiko no Kata… this week we really looked at grip a lot. Its so important to get it right and not be too loose or too rigid. Basic sword is turning out to be the Saturday class theme of the year rather than the month.

– Ali Martinez

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