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Chi No Kata first?

November 11, 2009

One thing I believed for a long time was that Chi no Kata (from the Sanshin) shouldn’t be taught to beginners first. Two reasons: first, the san-shitan ken is very difficult to get right (distancing is tough); second, it doesn’t have the vital offline movement that characterizes most of the Bujinkan waza.

Just so you know what I am talking about, here’s a vid that shows the Sanshin No Kata. Chi No Kata is the first one demonstrated.

So I believed that Sui no Kata was the best way for beginners to start off.

Now I’m not so sure

I was working with a newbie recently and he had gone through the Sui no Kata for a number of lessons. And yet he was still struggling with getting the kamae right. As a teacher what should I do? Isolate the problem areas and let him focus on that, before bringing everything together again, right?

And as I tried to help him with that point, I suddenly realized that was exactly what Chi no Kata was doing – isolating the kamae. Bringing the practitioner to a Shoshin no Kamae (a more elemental form of Ichimonji) for both the initial reaction and the response after that.

Now I am patting myself on the back because the newbie later said that going into ichimonji and stepping forward with fudoken felt a lot more natural. Dang, I’m good! 😀



From → bujinkan

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