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Posted this in a forum, but decided to add to journal as well.
1st 1 hour Class:
quick warm ups, ukemi (ushiro, backward rolls, about 50), united basic movements (7 of them) interspersed with the ukemi (about 6 times), Jo stances (8).
Waza for first hour; katate mochi, nikajo, osae ichi (one hand grasp, 2nd control, pin # 1).
I can't remember if there was much of a break between 1st and 2nd class, but then the techniques were:
katate mochi, nikajo, osae ichi / katate mochi, nikajo nage (throw) / katate mochi, nikajo, kaeshi waza into kotegaeshi nage. Ushiro ukemi as a class to finish, about 50 I think.
Both classes were fast paced, 1st class is basic, 2nd class intermediate.
3rd class (advanced):
kihon dosa to kanren waza (united basic movements and applied technique) with partner which is six basic movements and six techiniques (sokomen iriminage, hijiate kokyunage, kokyunage, nikajo osae, shihonage ichi (omote), shihonage ni (ura) osae).
tanto tachi waza - hiza giri hichu giri
tanto with partner, 10 waza, 4 kneeling, 6 standing.
randori (it was a small class, so one person in the middle, all the others doing katate mochi attacks)
I haven't done 3 classes in a row for a while, so as you can imagine, I was rather tired by the end of this. I may have forgotten a thing or two...
I had the pleasure this past weekend of training with Ellis Amdur at the hombu dojo of the Itto Tenshin-ryu / Yamate-ryu in Maryland, hosted by Aikido of Northern Virginia and Jim Sorrentino. We trained for six hours each day Saturday (open hand) and Sunday (buki waza). Both days were absolutely fantastic, and definitely eye-opening. The purpose for this review, however, is not to give a blow-by-blow account of the techniques taught. Something much more important is going on here. Ellis is now working with the Itten dojo on their aikido curriculum, and is shaping their program in a very positive way, which I believe can have a huge impact on the way aikido is practiced and viewed as a martial art.
Revived Sword Kata of Toda-Ha Buko-Ryu
While the empty hand training is definitely my main motivation for writing this piece, I do want to spend some time speaking about the weapon training on Sunday, simply because it was so unusual. Ellis has full transmission in the classical martial art of Toda-Ha Buko-Ryu Naginatajutsu. He has revived some of their sword forms that have been lost to the membership of the ryu, and it was one of these forms that he taught on Sunday. He and Fred Little went through the forms as they exist now (tachi vs naginata, tachi vs bo), and then the sword form. But before we started working the kata, Ellis took us through a detailed set of suburi to establish the form for proper cutting (in terms of the Toda-Ha Buko-ryu). This set the platform for th