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Old 07-19-2007, 06:34 AM   #11
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 346
England
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Re: Saito Sensei 1964 22 kata?

Very nice. I too was surprised by how "standard" the aikido looked (apart from the fact that where I was expecting ikkyo ura, I saw gokyo!).

The thing that struck me was Saito Sensei's posture, which looked more "natural" than I have seen in other (perhaps more recent) clips. He bends his front knee when he cuts with the sword, which is in contrast to what I have often seen in "Iwama style" where the hips are rotated forward while keeping the front knee almost straight. I wonder whether Saito Sensei changed his body movement as the long-term effects of the training in "Hell Dojo" set in later in life?

The question of timing in shomen-uchi ikkyo omote is indeed fascinating. To start with I didn't see Saito Sensei initiating the technique in this clip at all, as it looked as if uke was delivering the attack. Watching it again, though I noticed that Saito started moving first, even if his hand was only at chest height when his uke's shomen-uchi started, and uke seemed to make no attempt to deal with Saito's hand movement, instead delivering a normal shomen-uchi. This is quite different from what I have seen in the Yoshinkai (and also in Kanetsuka Sensei's teaching), where tori starts with a very definite strike directly to uke's face.

Alex
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