So last Friday, I revealed our new and tentative syllabus for the Kyu grades up to Shodan. A revised version will come out on the Dojo website as soon as they are ready. Right now we are concentrating on the 6th and 5th kyu. Hopefully, if everything goes as plan, we will do it in January.
The waza we went through for 6th Kyu are Katatedori Ai-hanmi and Gyaku-hanmi: Ikkyo, Sayo-nage, Irimi-nage and Shiho-nage. Sorewaza kyoku-ho. Principles of zanshin, soft eyes, maai.
For 5th Kyu we add Katatedori Ai-hanmi and Gyaku-hanmi: Nikkyo, Sankyo and kotegaishe. Ryotedori tenchi-nage and sayo-nage. Principles of chushin.
It will be slightly confusing at first because we have many variations in the tegatana (handblade) where we can offer uke in the 3 different rotations. This has been discussed in earlier posts so we won't look at that for now. The main thing we went through today is to make sure everything begins with good centering and extension. As was experienced in class today, if you only kamae firmly, you will find that changing your legs either cause you to collapse the hand or to lose connection entirely. But if you connect well and not only push physically, your feet is easy to move about.
On Friday, we did a bit of maai revision using the paired bokken practice. This is to remind us to not enter opponents space with first cutting him.
In moving from Gyaku-hanmi to go for Sayo-nage. We imagine holding a bokken in kamae, then we move our center forward but do not disturb the location of the hand. Therefore it automatically lowers down when you come in. Be careful not to enter uke's space. His center is affected. If you only lower your hand, or push with your shoulders or do something like a tenkan movement with the hand, you will see that the bokken does not move naturally. Once you have uke's center, you extend outward and back into him. Then cut his center. Do not push him away or down.
For iriminage, we add our other hand into the equation as we lower our lead hand. The other hand also cuts uke's center but sliding across uke's elbow. The cut is aimed at his groin area but do not land there. Do not struggle to release the first hand, instead shuffle so that both your feet is in parallel to uke's feet. This movement will release your hand automatically as long as your 2nd hand is in the proper position. Now draw uke's centerline into yours and rotate on this axis bringing him inwards to your hara. Then perform irimi. Do not clothesline him. Cut him down with your center.
On shihonage. Where in aihanmi we imagined using uke's lead hand as a bokken, in Gyaku-hanmi our kamae is already in an advantageous position. So we bend our elbow, and imagine that the bokken is now at uke's neck. Slide underneath him and kaiten to execute throw. We do not pull or twist his hand. Doing so invites an attack. By connecting well, our intent will lock his center when we drop ours, and when we slide forward, his center will turn automatically so he can't hit us with his free hand or leg. His lead hand is now holding his entire weight and is locked out.
On Ikkyo we did a tenkan first for 6th kyu. From tenkan, lead uke out into a spin, atemi and grab the wrist before entering. For 5th kyu, we cut uke's hand immediately. Taking care to maintain our line for omote, and going out of line for ura. In each instance, our initial connection dictates the outcome of the cut. Without proper connection, the cut will be a struggle to bring down uke. Even as we have control of uke' arm and close to his body, the feeling would be our lead hand cutting his center through his hands, and the 2nd arm is sort of carrying his centerline through his bent arm. As we cut into him, we drop our outer hand downwards, and uke should be unable to do anything but follow you down.
Since we've done a lot of tenchinage before we won't explain much on this now. For sayonage, we start almost like tenchinage but then reverse the hand to execute the throw.