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Class Record: Kukishinden Kata + Juppo Sessho

July 24, 2007

Class: Monday 23rd July

The kata we did led to the kind of free expression of movement associated with the concept of “juppo sessho” – essentially being free to respond to an attack in many directions. Within the kata there is the setting up of the opponent over a number of stages using distance and timing, angling and kamae.

In the example to start us going i.e the kata, there was blocking, kicking, musho dori reversals etc. As the kata was taken apart, in the end many different locks came out and the ability to strike in many different ways too. Myself and Richard, for example, found all sorts of things poppped up unscripted – taki ori’s, genseki nage’s, hicho no kamae, many strikes, finger locks etc.  When Alex was playing freely with the movement myself and Richard and Matt agreed that it felt you were thrown by your own commitment – or as I heard it described of a Japanese Shihan once – “it’s like fighting a cloud”.

In fact it seems to me that all our basic training… doing these things with form and correct structure – i.e conciously at first, allows us to  unconciously recognise the shapes that allow these things to happen naturally and without “trying”, while conciously worrying about overall strategy – like escaping.  The result is that if you don’t know you’re doing a lock or are  in a  good potential place to strike, neither does uke and they can’t defend easily. But you can’t do these things – unknowingly or not – without practicing the basics slowly and with intent.

Thought provoker: If you get hit or indeed “sucessfully” hit during these kata how does it effect your movement? (a) as Uke (b) as Tori. How does it affect the other person’s movement if they’re (a) Tori or (b) Uke?

– Ali Martinez

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