As such, I am not as interested in learning dozens of kata as i am in seeing where the aiki is hiding in the kata I do know. And it turns out that in the parts of Seitei and Omote that I have seen, there is a sort of heuristic or recipe that applies to most of the kata.
In the kata, jo usually...
- evades off the line of attack
- fixes the distance so he is outside of sword range but inside jo range
- attacks/controls the centerline
- gets a kuzushi
- then, either destroys the sword-man or gets another controlling kuzushi when the sword-man tries to recover.
In some of the kata the order of these elements get rearranged, but they are mostly all in there (like Ragu - it's in there!)
...and, incidentally, that is also a basic recipe for doing aiki techniques - evade, control distance, control centerline, control balance, then execute.
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