Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rooftop and Letter-C

Those of you that know me know that I have a fondness for my own personal, very colloquial translations for Japanese names of techniques.  Well, here's one you might enjoy.  The jodo kihon named kuritsuke, I call "Rooftop and Letter-C."  The rooftop part of it corresponds to something like a rising block or deflection.  The Letter-C corresponds to a sweeping arc downward from the rooftop position to waist level that can be used to trap or throw.
The other day I had a student comment that the motions in jodo and aikijo seemed to be esoteric and crazily precise - so specialized as to be virtually useless for anything but jodo kata.  So I bet him that I could do all of Tomiki's Junanahon Kata using only rooftop and letter-C motions (with or without a jo).    This is pretty cool and fun and I bet if you take just a moment or two, you can figure out how to make this work...
  • shomenate - enter to the inside and rooftop, striking under uke's chin (with end of jo or with your hands)
  • aigamaeate and gyakugamaeate - rooftop under uke's elbow, pushing elbow into head with a letter-c
  • gedanate - rooftop, step outside, letter-c striking uke's flank
  • ushiroate - rooftop - step outside, letter-c striking uke from the rear
Turns out that it doesn't take too much extrapolation to make all of Junana work using only rooftops and letter-c's.  I think my student was impressed and this demo piqued his interest in both jodo and aikido.  Try it... Enjoy.
Patrick Parker
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