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Class Notes – Hanbo again

May 24, 2012

Sometimes I’m so brilliant I even amaze myself. 😀

When I first started my Bujinkan class, I wanted to a basics-only syllabus. My original vision was to only teach the sanshin no kata and kihon happo, and students who wanted more had to go join the main class run by the rest of the guys. This would be a newbie friendly class that would allow a beginner with little or no martial arts background to join in and not be totally lost.

But once I started teaching I realized that it was fun teaching the intermediate level stuff too. And also, wouldn’t the guys with the best basics and foundations be the best ones for me to work on higher-level stuff with?

This however leads to the problem – when you have people of mixed levels within one class. It’s hard to teach something that would challenge the more experienced while still allowing beginners to know what is going on AND learn something significant each lesson.

Since I managed to pull it off THIS lesson, I get to gloat!

Situation: 3 experienced students, 2 new visitors and I already announced that we’re doing hanbo.

What I need: something fresh to challenge the experienced students (7th kyu & below) and build foundations for the newbies.

What I taught:

1) Shoshin no Kamae – for the beginners, both starting in the kamae (to learn the position) and moving from shizen into shoshin no kamae.

2) Stepping forward from that kamae with hanbo striking upwards to nose level. Notice how this parallels the san-shitan ken from chi no kata (sanshin). This, as I have said before, is the exercise I believe is foundational for beginners learning Bujinkan Taijutsu.

3) Now they pair up. Uke steps forward with the chi no kata strike (replacing the standard lunge punch for now), Tori steps back offline (footwork for the rest of the sanshin no kata) and does a mawashi kote uchi ura (from Hatsumi-Soke’s first stick-fighting book). Beginners learn the footwork, the experienced learn the basic technique listed in the book. The distance of this is greater, since the Uke has a stick (making things clearer for beginners), and they get to whack down properly with the hanbo strike, since it’s against a stick and not a fellow student’s arm. 🙂

4) After they all get the hang of the initial movement, the Tori inserts the hanbo into the space between the Uke’s hanbo and the elbow and begins to rotate the elbow in a ganseki nage fashion. Yes, I know the distance is wrong for this technique, they have to shuffle/step forward awkwardly to get the move right. But it’s just scaffolding, a stepping stone to the final technique, which is…

5) Ganseki Otoshi – done against a regular lunge punch, but with the mawashi kote uchi ura as the first move instead of the kote uchi shown in this vid.

And as a bonus, I also showed them this variation:

And the whole lesson was engaging and educational both for the experienced and the beginners. Am I a genius of a teacher or what? 🙂 Of course, the headache is how to follow up on this brilliant lesson, so that the next one will be just as good. Gotta get cracking!


俊傑 (Shunketsu)

From → bujinkan

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