Friday, August 25, 2006

Gohonme - sakan

The technique known as sakan is gohonme (the fifth technique) taught in the jodo seitei kata. It is a combination of kihon #10 (the trapeeze deflection) followed by kihon#3 (hikiotoshiuchi). These two techniques are performed in this kata just as in the kihon. The only thing different or unique about this combination is the transition between the two techniques - so that must be where the meat of the teaching lies.
The transition involves giving up a series of offensive thrusts and moving into hikiotoshi without giving up the offensive momentum of the technique. The switch from right side thrusts to left-side-forward hikiotoshi kamae is done by advancing the left foot to heisokudachi as the jo is raised during the reversal, then dropping the right leg back as the jo drops back. Thus the turn is done in place - not as a retreat.
Another very interesting thing that occurs in sakan is that we get to experience all the checkpoints of hikiotoshi uchi in reverse. We get to know hikiotoshi literally backwards and forwards!
For henka-renraku (combination/variation) practice tonight I practiced sakan left sided. Then at the end I had the distinct pleasure of getting to throw sticks at my beautiful bride while the neighbors watched!

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