Something new I am going to do is to put up class notes on what we did to help you all review and see what you may have missed. For techniques that are published, I will add a link for reference. It won’t be exhaustive notes, just a cursory overview – SO ALWAYS TAKE YOUR OWN NOTES!

Noon Class

  • Kihon Toho “Basic Sword Movements”; These are 7 basic cuts for using a katana. Emphasis was on keeping the tip of the blade pointed at the opponent as much as possible during the cuts.
  • Basic Kamae Movements; We looked at Seigan, Tenchi, Hasso, Kasumi. The key is to control the opening for the opponent, wait until the last possible moment, and use proper distance to avoid and counter strike.
  • Tsuke Komi; first technique of Kukishinden Ryu Bikenjutsu. In this technique the feint is important to throw off the timing of the opponent and stall their attack.
  • Additional thoughts; it’s important to stay relaxed when handling the katana, and use your body to move the katana – not just your hands.

Evening Class

  • 3rd Kyu Kihon – Take Ori; the effectiveness of the technique relies on bending the hand in such a manner that pressure can be applied to keep the opponent on their toes as their arm is broken. Also, when performing ura take ori – bend your knees not your back when going underneath the arm.
  • Koto Ryu Techniques; when receiving for the gata, begin with far distance (uke nagashi at wrist) and then closer for second recieve (at elbow) so when the counter attack is performed you’re within proper range.
  • Setsuyaku (雪耀); when pulling the uke forward, remember that the throw should be timed as they stand up. It’s important to not think of any technique as static, but rather always in flux – your opponent is going to resist, and that resistance is expected in the technique.
  • Dealing with Kicks; when dealing with round house kicks there are several options. First, for a kick to the head you can duck the kick which opens up the opportunity for a groin strike. Second, you can move outside the arc of the kick – or with it – to dissipate the energy. Finally, you can close distance and strike the hip to stall the kick. The example used was the Kukishinden method of recieving.

Did I miss anything? Share your input in the comments! See your all Thursday!

Shidoshi Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is an 8th degree black belt in the Bujinkan, and travels regularly to Japan to train. In addition to being the owner and head instructor of Todai Dojo, Scott is also the CEO of a national manufacturing company. He has also received training in other martial arts, and in-depth modern weapons training.

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