Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Knife Toss

The skills was not only to catch it, but be able to catch it in a way that one could immediately use.

It was after class and the group of us sat seiza in a large circle, about eight feet or so in diameter.

We had just finished up randori practice and while we were waiting one used the next few minute to catch breath and relax, let the tension go and sharpen the focus. There was a reason why this exercise was always after class.

The senior student was first handed the knife, and after a few manipulations to check the balance, they tossed it to the person across from them. Toss as in send it across to another person so they can catch it in hand and easily bring it into play.

There were two parts to this training exercise, the student tossing the knife, and the student receiving it. The student tossing it has to manipulate it around so the handle was facing out, and toss it with the correct distance and timing so the other student could catch it. The student receiving it had to catch it in such a way that they could receive it and quickly manipulate it around so the handle of the knife was in hand. There was a certain kind of awareness to all this, which included being able to catch things without directly looking at them.

There was also an awareness regarding the knife, taking in account the size, weight, and balance, and if one was receiving it and the throw was off, knowing in that moment not to go for it, not to get cut by it and let it pass- which would be the fault of the student throwing it, not receiving it.

There were many taijutsu skills that have no name, they are a part of the tradition, a part of the movement, a part of stuff one should be able to do, and this training drill was one of them. The ability to manipulate and toss training tools so somebody else could grab them and bring them to play.

This post does not advocate or present training with metal or live training tools, always use safe and padded martial arts training tools with the appropriate protective gear. Any practice with martial arts training tools should be done under the direct supervision of a qualified martial arts instructor, of which this training post does not provide or imply.

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The aim of the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo (school of the life giving sword) is to understand nature and the movement of being zero through taijutsu- martial ways of using the body. The school exists to create and transmit this feeling and method through the experience of isshi soden.

Located in Westchester New York, the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo is a martial arts training group founded in 2005 with the aim of coming together as martial arts friends to study the Japanese martial arts of Masaaki Hatsumi through the movement lessons of the Bujinkan Dojo.

Training is supervised by Fred Feddeck who has been studying Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu since 1993.

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