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Class Notes – Sui no Kata & Ka no Kata

December 21, 2011

I’ve been longing for this lesson for ages.

As a teacher, one of my primary goals is to train up students who can effectively deliver force into an opponent. If you don’t have that ability, don’t call what you do taijutsu! 

Delivering force into an opponent requires:

  • Kamae – without a firm foundation and grounding, the force is easily shed off. Or it may return to your own body. You will have exerted a lot of strength, but a lot of it will be dissipated… Kamae also includes aligning your foot, knee, hips and shoulders correctly behind the omote or ura shuto.
  • Distance – too far away and you miss, too close it becomes a push rather than a strike. Nothing wrong with a good push at the right time, but remember if you are too close it’s just more dangerous. I teach my newbies to do sanshin from a greater distance, to reach out with the strike.

I used a simple umbrella as a hitting target for my students this lesson. My personal experience with newbies is that once you have them practice sui no kata & ka no kata with a partner, some problems arise. These include:

1) Their partners may not punch correctly. And that messes up their distance perception.

2) Newbies usually hesitate to hit their training partners correctly. And this can lead to them moving their bodies too close (to push) or too far.

So I use the umbrella to tsuki, the student has to jodan uke  onto the umbrella. Then I shift my body to the right spot, where an upright umbrella would be at the right angle and distance for the student to shuto. Weird? Yeah. But it works better than putting a target on my neck for the student to clout. The students hit better and I don’t get groggy after class. 🙂

How did it go? It went the way I expected. The guys did well. Even without totally pristine form they were able to hit accurately for the jodan uke and relevant shuto. Power and confidence was there. And they got the distance correct too. The next step is to get them used to the same distancing and taijutsu when working with a partner. I know this takes more time than just getting them to practice the original form straight away, but so far all my scaffolding has worked out wel and my students get things right sooner rather than later.

My gamble paid off! 🙂


俊傑 (Shunketsu)

From → bujinkan

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