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Class Notes 30 Nov 2017

January 20, 2018

Hicho No Kata

1) Basic Form – essentially it is a one-legged squat with a kick added on the way up. A good way to warm up for this is to do a simple squat, then rise up on one leg and kick with the other, alternating the legs. Remember to place the heel of the kicking foot next to the other heel at the end of the kick. This helps you to get the correct distance for the ura shuto that follows.

2) Link to muso dori – After the ura shuto, we can move on to muso dori or other related torite waza. Make sure you use the legs for force generation, instead of depending on arm strength alone. Direct the force at a 90 degree angle to the opponent’s arm to maintain control. This is less of a take-down and more a restraint-control type move.

3) Ashi Barai – You can also do hicho on the outside; that means you stand in a left hicho no kamae and the opponent attacks with a left tsuki. Everything proceeds as before, except that after you shift your weight forward with the ura shuto, you can then shift your weight back with ashi barai. You can also keep your shuto on the opponent’s shoulder to further disrupt his balance, by applying force in the opposite direction of the ashi barai. The ashi barai still works even if your ura shuto is blocked.

4) You can also capture the arm in an arm bar if you go outside. In the rare instance that he steps forward with the other side as you arm bar, do the signature flip of Renyo to bring the arm into ura onikudaki.

5) Ujaku (Gyokko Ryu). This is like hicho no kata, but with jodan uke. If the opponent does not kick, then you kick to control the space. If the opponent kicks use hicho no kamae to deflect the kick (going into keri gaeshi). Use boshiken to control the space and then:

  1. a) step in with hira ichimonji, katate nage – the throw is a tricky one. If you struggle with it check to see your angle and distance to the opponent is correct.
  2. b) gyaku nage
  3. c) a spiraling omote gyaku – this allows us to stretch out the opponent’s arm (makes omote gyaku a lot safer) and yet stay closer to the opponent. If the technique fails change the direction to scoop the arm out and then down (like Iki Chigae from Takagi Yoshin Ryu)

Musings:

The notes for this class is really very late, because I have been busy, sick and had other stuff to type (such as my posts on what kind of instructors to avoid). But I still try to get all these notes out because it helps my students to learn, and helps them to teach should they ever decide to.

It is universally believed that a black belt in most martial arts is able to teach. But having loads of experience both with teaching and with watching others teach, I realize that not all skilled practitioners are able to teach properly. Nor are they always interested in teaching; some just want to keep improving their own abilities rather than have to explain again to noobs where to align the knees for ichimonji no kamae. I believe that is a choice best left to the practitioner.

But for those who have no choice but to teach (for example, they are the only black belts in their own home country) or for those who want to teach, how and what to teach is often a headache. Some martial arts have strong teaching cultures; skilled practitioners are often competent teachers. BJJ is one such art, the various styles of Arnis & Escrima are another. But for the Chinese and Japanese arts often do not have strong teaching cultures. Someone can have skill and yet little ability to transmit that skill to others.

Bujinkan ninjutsu has a very weak teaching culture; reasons include the history of the organization and the people involved. That means finding a good teacher in this art is much harder than finding a good teacher in other arts. So I put up my notes, my lesson plans, to help other teachers. That’s my way of giving back to the international Bujinkan community. Are my notes and lesson plans useful to the rest of the Bujinkan world? Only time will tell!

 

Junjie 俊傑
(Shunketsu)
Bujinkan Ninjutsu
Singapore

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