Class this Saturday focused on the gyaku gi section of training- ways of manipulating the arms to capture the movement of our training partner.
Specifically omote gyaku, ura gyaku, and take ori- ways of twisting the wrist to the outside, inside, and up to capture our training partner and lock them up on the ground so they are controlled and can’t move.
One of the points explored is the question: how do you take control of the hand/arm of your training partner so you can apply the technique (waza)?
Certainly just grabbing it won’t work for a variety of reasons.
Using kamae and how it relates to your training partner so they “give” you the hand and arm to take hold of. In their movement they open up the weak points (kyusho) and give you their arm.
Not taking the arm, but literally having your training partner give them your arm.
In the past few classes we have been exploring the various ways to use the kamae (martial arts postures) in the ten ryaku no maki section of training to help unlock the principals of freedom of movement.
Last week was ichimonji no kamae, this week we explored shizen no kamae.
In shizen you stand “natural”, spine straight and relaxed, you hands at your side. Balance is even, and the posture has the feeling and footwork of being able to move in any direction with minimal effort at any moment.
In this posture (shizen) we imagine a ring around us on the ground- about three or four feet out, depending on how long our legs are and how we move, for some the ring will be bigger, and other smaller.
When our training partner enters this “ring”, this personal space, we begin to move with the posture shizen to adjust the distance and keep us safe.
Once we understanding the distance we can understand the appropriate response.
Why is distance so important in the martial arts?
With our training partner we can’t control if they are bigger, stronger, or faster vs. our own physical attributes.
BUT, we can control the distance which allows us to control those other bigger, stronger, faster attributes.
Shizen is the first step in “seeing” the distance in action and changing with it, controlling it.
Ukemi, Ichimonji no Kamae, Huko, & Shizen.
The martial arts posture of ichimonji is one of the first ways of moving your body in taihenjutsu.
In this posture we have our lead hand up and pointing forward, while our rear hand is held up to guard. In this way we create a space that our training partner has to navigate through in order to get to us. We are creating a defensive wall between us and our training partner- which we explored by moving into this defensive posture as they grabbed, kicked, and tried to punch at us.
How does the movement of ichimonji no kamae, the footwork, protect our vital points, while controlling the distance, and taking the balance of our training partner- putting us in a position to counter with a technique, or move and escape (preferred).
We also explored it from the perspective of the kihon happo- ways of striking from this posture, ways of taking the arm in omote gyaku and ura gyaku.
A posture that both protects and opens up movement opportunities.
Ten ryaku no maki to work on the foundation as always- kihon happo, ukemi, san shin no kata.
Drawing from the chi ryaku no maki section we explored the waza oni kudaki. In this technique you take a hold of your training partner’s arm, locking out the shoulder, forcing them to fall to the ground.
The first part we played with- the application of the lock explored what happens before it is applied- how do we get a hold of the arm, as naturally one’s training partner is just not going to let you take their arm and crank on a lock.
We explored using the fist shuto to stop our training partner’s footwork- pausing the ability to move for a moment so the arm can then be captured.
Next some footwork drills were added looking at ways to unbalance our partner so they spend time trying not to fall over vs. resisting your application of oni kudaki.
What about using oni kudaki as both a lock and a way to shut down the movement of our training partner. Take the arm, capture it, taking their ability (footwork) to move, and then apply seoi nage, osoto nage, etc. to flow right after this.
Naturally caution in training is important as when one is thrown with oni kudaki there is no way to effectively take ukemi so we want to be careful.
From the jin ryaku no maki section we explored jigoku otoshi with a twist. Normally this kata is done using your knee to bar and put weight on the arm, what about using the upper shoulder instead? How would the principal stay the same if one was not able to use the legs?
Of Note: Banpen Fugyo “10,000 changes no surprises”. By always expecting to be surprised, nothing becomes a surprise. How does this adaptation philosophy apply to our taijutsu movement.