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Class Notes – Hanbo

May 17, 2012

This week’s lesson was the third lesson I did on hanbo.

For the uninitiated, hanbo refers to a three-foot stick. Proportionally it should be the length of the practitioner’s arm (sounds familiar?). Getting an actual hanbo is tough in Singapore, so we usually get an aikido jo (about a foot longer) and use that during training.

As far as I know, there are 2 sets of hanbo techniques within the Bujinkan, one set from Kukishin Ryu (the main battlefield ryu-ha of the Bujinkan) and the other taught by Hatsumi-Soke in his book Stick Fighting (co-written with Quintin Chambers). What I hope to achieve over the next month or more of lessons is to ground my students firmly in the use of the hanbo, and especially the material in Hatsumi-Soke’s book.

So the last three weeks was spent getting the students ready to do Koshi Ori, which looks pretty much like this:

You can see that it is simply an omote gyaku, but done with a stick. It does require the basics to be in place, namely,

1) Kamae – your first step should bring you into proper kamae, especially the distance in your own step, keeping the heels in line and staying in balance. Balance is one of those things compromised when a student holds a weapon in hand!

2) Angling – the first step also needs to be at the correct angle. This move, the naname mae ura waki uchi, cannot be at too large an angle, or else getting the rest of the technique will be tough and the opponent finds it easier to twist out of it.

And yes, I think the way it’s done in that vid is wrong!

If you look at how it was at 0:20 or so in the vid, the practitioner got the angle wrong. He could have been clouted in the face by the other hand, and he had to bend over and drag the opponent to get things to work after that. Notice also the direction of his drag was almost totally in line with his opponent, as if he was trying to make up for getting too large an angle in the first place…

3) Stepping in – when it’s time to apply the technique, it has to be done with level stepping, not a rise and fall movement of the body (sine wave kind of thing). When done with that rise-fall movement you are applying the technique, letting it up (giving the opponent a chance to escape) and then applying it again after your opponent has had a bit of a breather.

Not smart!

The class isn’t quite there yet in terms of getting it right, but I’m pretty sure that we’ll get somewhere significant over the next month or so of lessons!

For easy reference, here are some of the other class notes posts that include hanbo

18 Aug 2011

Sep 01 2011

Dec 14 2011


俊傑 (Shunketsu)


From → bujinkan

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