|Ninjutsu Melbourne - Bujinkan Melbourne Ninjutsu|
Thoughts and ideas related to training in
33rd Soke Toshigutsu Takematsu Sensei
A lot of our weapons training is done in pairs with a nominated attacker and defender. This month we’ve been studying Bo (6 foot staff) and the Kata that we’ve been practicing more than any other so far is called Kote Zuke (Wrist Thrust) and it goes like this…
Tori has the Bo in Chudan No Kamae
Uke has a sword in Seigan No Kamae
Tori thrusts with the Bo towards Uke’s chest and
Uke blocks the Bo by moving back into Seigan No Kamae with the sword (moving the sword tip of the centre line and exposing the right side of the body)
Tori then Sanshin steps forward with the right foot and does a left Do Uchi strike to Uke’s floating rib which
Uke blocks by stepping back 45 degrees with the left foot into a Seigan No Kamae position with the sword not on the centre line pointing at Tori
Tori then flips the Bo directly over to strike down onto the top of Uke Head
Uke squats while raising the sword over head to protect themselves
Tori then quickly strikes from underneath to Uke’s now exposed wrist to knock the sword from their grip.
The way that I have written this above actually makes it harder to learn but easier to read so I’ll rewrite it the way you should do it a bit further down
To do this Kata properly you need to learn three main sections
Here’s how you should actually practice because all the movemnts are connected and it’s not 9 seperate movements but one connected flow
Tori has the Bo in Chudan No Kamae
Uke has a sword in Seigan No Kamae
Several years ago, as the focus for weapons training, Hatsumi Sensei taught the Jo for an entire year but according to friends living there at the time he didn't the Jo Kata at all, instead choosing to focus on flow and variations off the Taijutsu movement.
In Sensei's recent book on stick fighting published about 2005(ish) he demonstrated all of the Kukishin Ryu Kata.
In main stream martial arts Aikido is the most common form of training with the Jo although all their Jo is based on spear techniques, I’ve seen 5 foot spears in antique shops in Tokyo, so it's not as strange as it might sound at first.
History of the Jo 4 foot staff
It is said that in the early 1600s, a samurai warrior named Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi came up with the idea after he was defeated in a duel by the famous Musashi, but not killed. His weapon of choice at the time was a Bo staff, but it was too long. So through deep mediation while in the mountains, he came up with the Jo staff which is about two feet shorter than the Bo and later in another 'friendly' duel gave the legendary Musashi his only defeat.
After he started using the Jo staff, it is said that Muso was never defeated in a duel again. To find out more simply search the net on Muso Gonnosuke, there’s lots of info around.
Some of the key points of Jo training
Uke :- Seigan No Kamae
Tori :- Gedan No Kamae
Tori :- Steps forward with the right foot to do left Ashi Barai releasing the right hand grip on the Jo
Uke:- Jumps up to avoid resuming Seigan No Kamae on landing
Tori :- Continues the motion to move the Jo behind the shoulders and then re-grips the Jo from the right side with the right hand (overarm style) then twists anti clockwise with the hips releasing the left hand grip to strike at Uke’s left Kasumi re-gripping with the left hand
Uke:- moves the back foot around and back anti clockwise to block using the side of the blade in Seigan no Kamae
Tori:- Slides the left hand up to the right hand and steps forward with the left foot, releasing the right hand grip to strike down onto Uke’s head re-gripping with the right hand
Uke :- Parries with the right side of the blade and then steps back with the right foot to move into Dai Jodan No Kamae and then attacks with a downward cut
Tori :- Leaps in to thrust forwards into Uke’s chest and leaps back out for distance.
If you've not read my explanation of the Bo Kata - Wrist Thrust you might want to read that next , particularly the part concerning how to train Kata
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Way back in 1993 - 1994 I was living in London and training with Peter King once a week and my good friend Abdul Kalim twice a week.
Abdul was traveling to Japan every year at the point and training mostly withHatsumi Sensei and Ishizuka Sensei but also the other Bujinkan Shihan. I think it was his trip before I arrived in the UK that he had praticed all 8 kata with Ishizuka Sensei and was training in them regularly at the Kings College Dojo in London.
The Kata names are Jumonji, Roppo, Kyuho, Hi Ryu, Tsuki Iri, Ude Gake, Kote Gaeshi and Tachi Otoshi.
All are praticed against a swordsman, it's not only about learning the Jo strikes but also the correct blocks so that the two halves fit together. After you learn the Jo and Sword sequences then distance and timing become the main focus of the training.
Jo has been a regular part of weapons training at Ninjutsu Melbourne for many years. This month in my classes on tuesday and thursday nights we will be praticing Kote Gaeshi and Hi Ryu.
Here's a very quick break down of Kote Gaeshi (because it's less typing) with more details in class.
Uke Seigan No Kame with the Sword
Tori Siegan No Kamae with the Jo
Tori - Thrust forward with the Jo to Uke's Solar Plexus
Uke - Parries with the left side of the blade
Tori - Retract the Jo , release the right hand grip and twist the left hand forward to strike down onto Uke's wrist regripping with the right hand, can strike to uke ribs instead of the wrist.
It's fairly short and on the surface simple but suprisingly there's a lot to learn even in a few seemingly simple movements.
Hi Ryu is much more complex involving 8 strikes, but we'll cover that toward the end of the month.
Kasarifundo (weighted chain) and Hojojustu (Rope tying) are the themes for Aprils Flexible Weapons Training Classes at the Dojo.
Kasarifundo - We started with techniques such as how to catch weapon safely, then simple striking drills and worked our way up to basic Locks, Controls and Chokes with the Kasarifundo. By the end of this month all of our students have really improved, well done.
Hojojutsu - Everyone loves the Hojojutsu training, there's something about tying another person up that seems to appeal to people. We covered basic hancuffs, loops and wrist restraints then moved onto basic and intermediate tying techniques before finishing the month with capturing kicks and punches with the rope and creating a technique from that point onward.
Next month is Jo 4 foot staff and Shinden Fudo Ryu.
Brunswick - 8 Lobb St
Thornbury - 272 Dundas St