A guest post by Goran Posta, student at the Namiryu Dojo
I wanted to write a few words about my understanding of techniques that we find in our martial art, building blocks and principles.
At the bottom of it are kamae. They are more than just stances, I see them as principles.
Through these we learn:
- proper posture (keep back straight)
- protect yourself (put your hands in certain position)
- stay in balance (put 70% balance on the back foot 30% front in Ichimonji, 50/50 in jumonji,hira...)
On the next level we have Gogyo (Sanshin) no kata.
Five kata that we practice without the opponent; Chi (earth), Sui (water), Ka (fire), Fu (wind) and Ku (void).
What I learned from them:
- they deepen our understanding of kamae and how to move through them (for example, Chi no kata teaches stability, Sui no kata teaches circular movement...)
- teach us how to extract power for a punch (Chi up/down, Fu back/forward...)
Now that we know how to move and punch, we add something new to our training : opponent.
In Kihon Happo we have eight techniques that utilise all that we learned so far and
- actual resistance when you hit someone
- damage that your punch/kick/lock does to a person (also by feeling it on ourselves - because feeling the technique done on you is just as important as doing the technique on someone)
- how your basic movement aligns with kyusho on the opponent
I'm not going to expand on every kata we have here but you can see obvious connections between Ichimonji and Sui no kata, Ura gyaku and Ka...
There is a lifetime of study in practicing just those points and I'm still not sure of how techniques and katas from other schools fit into these building blocks or what comes next.
But through it I discovered there is so much more there :
- "stupid" resisting opponent
- "smart" resisting opponent
- weapons (like ropes) that don't care what you intended to do... but their application is only as good as your basic movement
Everyone has their own learning patterns and what I think is that through other katas or weapon study we become aware of a new principles that we should have had in our Kihon practice all along.
So then, we repeat our kamae, gogyo and kihon happo with that new principle in mind...
The more you train, more you get to train (does that make sense?).
Training in itself is its own reward.