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Class Notes 23 Nov 2017

December 31, 2017

Jumonji no Kata

1) Basic Form

My thoughts on the basic form –

2) Jumonji Drill from Goju Ryu Karate

This is a partnered drill that I got from a Goju Ryu practitioner via his youtube channel, but for some weird reason I cannot find that video again. Important: like our Ku No Kata drill, if you start on the outside you remain on the outside with your uke and boshiken. And vice versa.

This drill gets us used to tactile cues. At that kind of range you discover that depending on sight is too slow. Using touch is faster and a more accurate way to read the opponent’s energy and force. That is also connected to the next point, which is…

3) Choking off the rear punch

I was taught to raise my boshiken arm towards the opponent’s face, metsubushi . At this kind of range, if the opponent starts his next punch, the metsubushi movement can be launched at his other shoulder. Or it can be a fudoken/shakoken towards the centre of his chest to jolt him back and choke the next punch. Which move works for you depends largely on your personal physique, your level of kamae and your distancing. It’s best to get enough experience in this during class, rather than experiment when you really need it…

4) Jumonji (happo geri henka)

I am not sure which ryu-ha this is from, but it came out in my copy of the Chi Ryaku No Maki. It is jodan uke, ken kudaki (the same spot) then two boshikens, alternate hands, to the ribs. Aim for the same spot also. So instead of doing one block and one reply strike, we are doing two of each. The key point is the rotation of the hips to power all the movements; make sure you do not twist the hips so far that your spine is twisted out of kamae.

5 Hosoku (Koto Ryu) – The opponent comes in with two jodan tsuki. Block them with the usual offline-stepping, and after the second one rock forward to boshiken into the hip/upper thigh.

We looked at this one here as a henka of Jumonji, since for the second punch the jodan uke and boshiken are done by the same arm. And that is the core of Jumonji, is it not? Note also that the boshiken jams up the third punch if done correctly. So this confuses the opponent, especially if your boshiken is done casually.

6) Danshi (Gyokko Ryu)

Maybe I am slow, but only recently did I realize this kata is essentially doing Jumonji against a grab and punch. The kick and the migi te gyaku jime follow-up are interesting but the Jumonji movement is what saves you in the first place.

Big Picture Thoughts:

I know most people do not think Jumonji no Kata is meant for infighting. That is OK with me. Just make sure, however, that you know that infighting exists and you recognize how dangerous it is. Some people think they can use Jumonji to bait an attack and deal with it from there. I won’t try that myself, because if my opponent is an infighter, he will launch his attack only when he is close enough to attack me from all the 4 basic angles (upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right). He will not start from far away and give you enough time to react; he starts from close in. That gives him:

1) speed – a basic jab is fast, if the opponent is trained in Jeet Kune Do his straight lead is fast AND powerful. You cannot deal with this unless you think like an infighter, that anything that crosses into your airspace will be shot down or punished.

2) options – before his brain can even consciously note that his first movement has failed his body has already started on the second, and along a different angle. If you by any chance negate the second his third movement has begun before even he can plan it, much less you.

Why do I put in so much thought into using Bujinkan taijutsu to deal with infighting? Because many practitioners I have met do not fully grasp the threat, and because I realized that we have kata that can be used effectively thus. One of the most basic concepts from Gyokko Ryu is banpen fugyo (萬変不鷔) which is literally “ten thousand changes, no surprise”. The idea behind it is adaptability; the principles taught in Gyokko Ryu kata are meant to be universal. They are applicable to the battlefield, modern combat, combat sports and even weapons.

If that is so, then truly understanding Gyokko Ryu kata means I am able to apply them in a wide range of situations. Of course I have barely scratched the surface in my understanding of Gyokko Ryu. I have not reached the level when I can use the teachings of that ryuha in such wide-ranging ways. But knowing the potential is there drives me to keep seeking deeper understanding and higher levels of skill in the same kata. My training then has more momentum than that of people who think they already understand the kata and thus have to seek out new kata to entertain themselves and their students.

See you at the next class!

Junjie 俊傑
Bujinkan Ninjutsu



From → bujinkan

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