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Class Notes

June 15, 2011

Tuesday’s lesson

We started off with chi no kata (from sanshin no kata). Quick notes:

  1. it starts from shizen no kamae (feet shoulder-width apart, body facing the front).
  2. step straight back and put your front hand up
  3. step forward and swing your other hand forward. Extend your fingers, you’re trying to dig them into an opponent’s solar plexus. (This strike is called the san-shitan ken, “3-fingertip fist”)

The main henka (variations) we looked at were:

1) moving to the outside when you step back, then swinging your other hand up as you step forward, to try catching the opponent’s elbow;

2) if the opponent grabs to punch, you swing your hand up to hit the opponent’s jaw. The knuckle of the thumb is extended upwards (we call this koppo ken). We kick upwards, then put the foot back and step forward with a basketball-dunk type of strike with the other side.

(The basketball strike hand position is called shako ken)

This combo of moves is called Yokuto, and it comes from Koto Ryu, one of the sub-schools of the Bujinkan.

The most important point I want you to get is how the same basic movement (chi no kata) can have different results when the attack or direction changes. And we can train for them using the same movement, chi no kata.


A) chi no kata: practice getting the first step correct. Your weight should transfer smoothly to the back foot. When you step forward the weight should transfer to the leading foot. And at all times make sure the leading knee is pointing to the front!

B) Yokuto: if you shift your weight to the back foot correctly, getting the kick in should be no problem. After the kick, put the kicking foot next to the other foot before you step forward with the shako ken on the other side.

We’ll look at these movements again next week, to refine them and add in more techniques into the structure. Do email me if you have any questions from your practice. In the meantime, enjoy your practice!

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