Friday, April 12, 2013

These guys got rhythm!

I've been watching and re-watching this demonstration by T. Suga Sensei.  He makes an interesting, creative use of weapons (like the sheathed sword, or knife vs. sword), but what I find most interesting is his relaxed, rhythmic motion and his complete lack of robotic formality (there is rei there, but it is not robotic).
Watch how his knife and arm swings freely, the blades bobbing up and down, and how he effortlessly matches the motion of the knife to the motion of uke to express a technique.  He does the same with the jo, switching from hand to hand, tapping the stick on the ground, letting the end rest in a downward slant sometimes, sometimes swinging up and down.  His relaxed walk is imparting a motion to the weapons that he is not suppressing (like most folks try to), and the rhythm of the weapon always ends up being appropriate to the rhythm of the uke's attack.

You know what this relaxed rhythmicity reminds me of?  Tokio Hirano's remarkable, distinctive motion in his demonstration of judo technique.

Here is another demonstration of Hirano's impressive (albeit confusing) kata.  This one, if not better, is at least more accessible and understandable...

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Patrick Parker
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