While it is challenging to capture the dynamic movement of the martial arts in the static medium of words, it’s natural to ask and wonder what a class is like in the martial arts.
Our training follows a philosophical outline knows as the way of heaven, earth, and man- ten chi jin ryaku no maki. While it appears as a collection of martial arts techniques it is actually a collection of answer and question ways of moving your body using the philosophy of budo taijutsu. The exercises are structured to gradually teach you more and more about movement in the martial arts.
First you learn how your own body moves in the martial arts, followed by movements that prevent your training partner from moving, and finally combining the two in harmony to arrive at freedom of movement.
On the technical side class begins with practicing ukemi- ways of rolling, landing on the ground safely, and moving the body with postures and footwork. Practical from a self-defense perspective, it also allows the student to “experience” the movements of budo taijutsu in a safe way so that feeling can be transmitted and learned in their own movement.
This ukemi framework is built on with excises that introduce the foundation movements of budo taijutsu known as the kihon happo and the san shin no kata. While methods of striking and angling the body (kamae) are explored.
The next part of class reflects on ways of controlling the movement of a training partner and is explored through two person or multiple person scenarios. Methods of striking, locking, throwing, and immobilizing are explored from a variety of movement scenarios. While these can be thought of as “techniques” it is more appropriate to view them as natural movements to explore. They are not responses to an attack, but rather possibilities or ways of moving through budo taijutsu.
Building on this follows by exploring kata of the jin ryaku no maki section of training which teach the nuances of martial philosophy as expressed through budo taijutsu.
As students of the art we all practice together exploring the same lessons- there are no beginner or advanced classes as every person has the human potential to learn and grow. You train where you are in the moment and with your given capacity, learning, growing, and pushing thought each lesson.
While this training outline seems linear, there is ample time in each class for individual questions, and questions that arise from learning and exploring the various movements. These are very much in the moment, and are important to also explore taking advantage of the natural progression and flow of each class.
Come and see.