Class Record: Choshi Dori + Hon Gyaku + Iaijutsu

June 12, 2007

Monday 11th June

I was asked to kick off with a technique so I remembered an aspect of Japan training in March that poppped into my head, the way these things do, and that was to step deep into uke’s space to knock them over with the entire body as opposed to a simple, footsweep which is very easy to see coming and to avoid. Alex took this idea and appplied various aspects of Choshi Dori – or capturing rhytmn – to take balance with the entire body in a different way. This led to some nice gyaku waza and some people were able to use the ukemi from basics class to move out of unbalanced position with ways other than automatically rolling. Hon Gyaku was played with a little bit too another example of suing the entire body.

Tea time saw Alex pull out an interestimg Japanese Artifact – an early 20th century makimono from an ikebana ryuha – a flower arranging school. This scroll was between 20 – 30ft long and contained the shoden level “kata” of this school. It was an example of the sort of thing used to transmit information in other type of schools, such as Martial Arts schools, to licence holders and it was facinating to see.


After tea we did some more iaijutsu with various different sorts of cuts – do giri (cut to hara or navel), kesa giri (diagonal draw to deflect), men uchi ( vertical cut to head). We could see how we often don’t need to cut uke if we’re reacting to a fast draw attack, but rather we just need to cut the space uke needs to finsh their attack.

Another good example of why Hatsumi Sensei used to preface his video’s with the subtitle “Bujinkan – the martial arts of distance”.

– Ali Martinez


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