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Weekly Budo Review

August 18, 2011

This week was an interesting  one.

On Tuesday morning, I had a one-on-one session with one of my students. We worked on hanbo jutsu (the 3-foot staff), and worked on the material from Hatsumi Soke’s book Stick-Fighting: Techniques of Self-Defence. After some basic exercises and drills, we worked on techniques that were basically

  1. Omote Gyaku
  2. Ura Gyaku
  3. Onikudaki
  4. Ganseki Nage

… done with the hanbo.

It’s the first time I taught an entire session on hanbo. And again I just did the same stuff Justyn taught me in my first year of Bujinkan training.

In the evening class, only one student turned up (it happens, not everyone appreciates my budo-teaching genius). So I gave him the choice: work on ku no kata (from sanshin, what I originally planned for that lesson) or to work on whatever he wanted to spend more time on. So we ended up doing the gyaku waza from the Chi Ryaku No Maki.

Those, by the way, comprise of the same locks from the kihon happo but with a few more added in. So a large part of the lesson was a review of the same material I taught to a different student in the morning.

The morning part was a trip down nostalgia lane, and the evening session was moving on. Why? Because I was teaching the gyaku waza with a great deal more understanding than I had. Core movements, what are you trying to do to your opponent, how to counter the techniques, how to prevent the counters from working in the first place – all of these require us to see what the technique is, in its essence.


Even though I set out to run a beginners/basics class (because without good foundations the rest of the skills are shaky), I find that the people I work with are more intermediate level (6th-4th kyu). And I also discover that I really enjoy working individually with each student. It’s the most satisfying to me, because I see the improvements within the lesson itself. That doesn’t happen if you have a larger class and you move on to the next item on the list before people truly learn and grasp your earlier technique.

Now I of course would love to have a large class (because of ego and because it will help my students more at the later levels), but since this is what I have now, this is what I’ll work with.

And hope that next week more people turn up! 🙂


From → bujinkan

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