Monday, April 03, 2017

Kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake in kihon no kata

Every teacher and organization and group and subgroup has its own distinctive practices.  Things they do because of the way they interact or the particular way that they happen to think about the art we are doing. It is easy to look at other artists doing this thing that you thought that you had the exclusive truth about and think, "That guy sucks."  If you're looking for videos of people sucking at aikido - they are super easy to find!  Heck, I guarantee I could show you a video of Tomiki Sensei and your response would be, That dude is a white belt!
The problem is not that they are sucking, but rather they are approaching the problem from a different angle than you, or they are trying to transmit a different idea than you are set to receive.

Here is a video of  couple of artists that I don't know.  They are doing a demonstration of Junana hon kata in a mode of practice called kihon (or fundamentals).  I bet the first response from a bunch of folks from my particular lineage would be to criticize the static uke and the overt, indelicate kuzushi.
But listen up...
That is kihon.
This is a really good demo of Tomiki's seventeen kihon.  Note especially it is easy to distinguish kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake.  What this is is a primer, a Rosetta Stone so that once the practitioner is familiar with it, the instructor has a common framework to say things like, "look at the kuzushi phase of #6 and #7.  Let's work on that piece of the puzzle."
I think I want to spend some time in kihon mode paying especial attention to distinguishing between kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake...

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Patrick Parker
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