Thursday, November 05, 2009

Time to float

Picture courtesy of BekiPe

One of the interesting peculiarities about our particular scope and sequence _ our method for teaching Tomikiryu, is that between Ikkyu (1st brown belt) and shodan (1st black belt) there is a huge amount of time but a relatively small amount of new techniques. Between ikkyu and shodan is at least 90 mat-hours but only 5 new techniques. And those 5 techniques are not really the main idea that the student is supposed to get. So, what is?
Between nikyu and ikkyo, the student learns the ukiwaza (intensely timing-dependent floating throws, A.K.A. kokyunage the breath throws). Then from ikkyu to shodan, the student is supposed to take the extra time to go back and apply the principles learned in the ukiwaza to all the previous material. Basically, to make everything a floating throw.
so, what are the characteristic ideas seen in the ukiwaza that are supposed to be transferred to all the previous material? All the floating throws...
  1. have a loose connection between uke and tori - tori is not hooked directly to uke's torso.

  2. have a connection with little mechanical insurance (for instance, unlike kotegaeshi, with a floating throw you can't endanger the wrist to make uke comply.)

  3. require near-perfect timing

  4. require near-perfect synchronization between tori's and uke's footfalls.

  5. require near-perfect directed off-balances

  6. require tori to not support uke

  7. are all otoshi motion - that is, they all happen at the moment of a footfall

  8. incorporate that release feeling from hanasu, which is further refined by practicing koryu dai yon kata.
Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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