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Class Notes – Kenjutsu 04

December 29, 2012

So over the past couple of months, we have been doing sword and sword and sword. I really enjoyed the time spent working on the same waza over and over. And it is also encouraging to see the students getting better and more confident with the weapon.

That’s the heart-warming part for any teacher!

So, to sum up the past 3 months, we did:

1)      Tsuki Komi 附込– go down, bring your blade up. Go for the eyes. If you do it correctly you will block the opponent’s downward cut as you tsuki.

2)      Tsuki Gake 突掛– tsuki (going down on one knee if necessary) then cut at the hands.

3)      Kiri Age 斬上– When the opponent cuts down, shift your body off the line of the attack and cut upwards. Do that with a firm, committed step forward.

4)      Kiri Sage 斬下– when you start in hasso no kamae or tenchi no kamae, your opponent cuts towards your neck (downward diagonal). Step forward, locking tsuba with tsuba, then cut at the neck. His blade trapped on your tsuba is your insurance.

5)      Jinshi 鎹止 (Kasugai Dome) – You start in gedan no kamae, and your opponent cuts at your hands. Bring the blade up as you evade the cut (by stepping), then cut at his hands.

6)      Kocho Gaeshi小蝶返 – from seigan no kamae, when your opponent cuts down at you, step offline into a diagonal and place your blade such that it is on his arms and pointed to his throat.

7)      Shiho Kiri 四方斬 – from a causal hasso no kamae, you cut up at your opponent’s hands when he thinks of cutting. Think of cutting at his intent. Cut upward the other diagonal, tsuki, then overhead cut.

8)      Happo Kiri 八方斬– from a higher hasso no kamae, when your opponent decides to cut you cut downwards. You don’t have to get him, you just need to take up the space he wanted to go, that he needed to go in order to get you. Cut down the other diagonal, then overhead cut.

9)      Tsuki no Wa 月之輪– when your opponent decides to move, you tsuki, extending the blade even more in a cross strike.

I deliberately left out a lot of details. This is just to act as a reminder, as a prompt for those who have actually turned up for the lessons. Just so you know, students who have learned these waza in class will have completed a significant part of my syllabus for black belt. We will be returning to them again, probably in 2 years time or so, so that students who join later will get a chance to learn them too.

Next year, we will take the first three months to work on grappling. The beginners will learn the basic locks and grappling from the Kihon Happo, the more intermediate students will simultaneously work on more difficult ones. We will also be working on the Sanshin no Kata as well, but that will not be the main focus during that season. The Sanshin no Kata will be used just for the sake of laying the foundation for proper, sound body movement.

Not sure what I am talking about? Refer to your student handbook. I’ll be referring to it a lot in class over the next 3 months. OK, that’s about it for this year. See you in 2013 and prepare yourself to get some serious skills inside your system!


俊傑 (Shunketsu)

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