Class Record: Sanshin Warmup + Santo Tonso Gata + Intention

February 1, 2008

Class: Thursday 31st Jan

We did a full “Sanshin” warmup –  the Sanshin no kata, Kihon Happo paired and Kaiten/Ukemi. It was a cold night but not for long. A point was made to observe the form and follow the instruction exactly. This is important training in itself especially in a robust part of class where no individual attention is given. If you don’t know the form, follow the seniors. Fixing any holes that you should be observing at this stage, is up to you at the open mat times which occur before every class and at the various basics sessions that go on.

The Kubisugi Tonso gata was looked at in its basic form and then with particular henka that allowed some firm shime waza and other gyaku that made use of uke’s “hanging on” mechanism and gravity. Kote Uchi Tonso was investigated too with an emphasis on the uke’s ability to thrust correctly. A particular doko no kamae was used here. This sort of muto-dori training is important to develop “guts” but it only works if both uke and tori develop intention and treat training weapons like they are real. I saw many people handle bokken/shinai by the “blade” and generally wave them around like they weren’t 3 foot razor blades. ALWAYS treat safety weapons like they are real. There’s a reason for this.

Thought provoker: Were you a good uke last night?

-Ali Martinez


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