A training drill from our recent class to illustrate some of the martial arts movement skills we work on. How even the basic- kihon movements in the Japanese martial arts can communicate many complexities.
You begin in shizen no kamae and walk towards your training partner, when the distance is correct, right step and right shuto to the neck.
They receive the shuto and follow with a right tsuki- a right punch. You step off the line of the attack, and perform jodan uke, continuing by returning to shizen no kamae.
In this drills we see and practice some critically important basic skills- body postures, strikes, and blocks- the DNA of the martial arts.
But a few finer points to keep in mind as one moves through the movements?
Some of these points we explored as we went through the training drill?
At the start we are in shizen no kamae- a body posture where we are standing in balance and at the ready. Ready to shift and move in any direction, and having an awareness of the space around oneself.
How close is your training partner? Can they punch without stepping? Do they have to take a few steps to get into distance? Are there multiple training partners.
Shizen is aware of all of these things.
It is a posture of zanshin.
In approaching our training partner, we pay attention to the feet- walking. Are they pointing in the same directions as we walk? Are we walking in balance? How much of a step are we taking- long steps tend to put one out of balance- can we approach in balance?
The shuto has both the right arm and right leg moving at the same time- the upper and lower parts of the body unified to generate striking power- the concept of shin gi tai.
Jodan uke- striking the arm with ken kudaki has us first get off the line of attack. An excellent habit to remember- use footwork to first put yourself in a safe place before any waza- martial arts techniques.
The complexity of the martial arts, as both art and science, explored in the fundamental moves.