Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
In reply to petes e-mail, just to prove that a picture can show a thousand words:
8 BOKKEN SUBURI
1. Shomen Uchi
This is done ‘on the spot'. With right foot forwards, drop bokken all the way behind the head. Slide slightly out to the right with right foot, and swing left foot behind (moving off centre line and facing at an angle towards centre line) and simultaneously cut. Step across the ‘centre line' perpendicularly, with the left foot, slide right foot behind, and, facing at an angle toward the centre line, but on the other side (and left foot forwards), cut. Go from side to side, remaining in the same place.
2. Shomen Uchi Komi
As shomen uchi, but the sword does not move straight up and down between cuts. Instead, after the first cut, turn the sword blade up (clockwise) whilst lifting your wrists towards your left temple (you should be looking down the blade, and the blade just below horizontal). Swing the tip of the blade round in a horizontal plane (clockwise, if looking from above), and, when blade is behind head cut down (whilst your feet move into position). On the next cut, your wrists are brought up to your right temple (anti-clockwise, and the fore-arms actually cross over), and the blade turns anti-clockwise on the horizontal plane. Cut down (and right foot should now be forward again). The purpose of this move is to blend with the incoming blade, and therefore do not pull the point of the blade behind your head too quickly when swinging it round.
3. Sword of Universal Ki
From right hanmi (stance), bring your right foot together with your left foot and bend the knees whilst the body completely faces the front and you hold the bokken vertical (blade away from you). You breath in whilst raising the bokken directly vertically and absorb ki from the ground (through your feet) and the sky (through your blade), breathing into your hara. Once the sword reaches full extension above your head, you let it drop behind your head and to the right side whilst taking a large step back with the right foot. Your right foot points out to the right, with your weight mostly on it, and the knee bent directly over it (to the right), whereas you left leg is almost straight (therefore a moderately low posture). Your bokken is horizontal, the blade facing the right, hands just slightly away from your side, tip pointing backwards. During this movement you drop your weight and push your breath further into your hara (1 inch below navel). Then, in one movement you lift the sword directly over the centre of your head and cut down, stepping strongly forwards with your right foot, whilst releasing this breath in a large kiai (shout).
4. Shomen Uchi
Identical to the 1st suburi, however it is moving forwards. Therefore you slide forwards on your right foot (and off centre line) as you cut; then step across the centre line and forwards with your left foot to cut the opponent from the other side etc.
5. Shomen Uchi Komi
Identical to the 2nd suburi, except you step forwards (and off centre line) rather than from side to side.
6. Shomen Uchi Komi Tsuki
Identical to 5th suburi except, after cutting (with right foot forward), you slide forward again with your right foot (and left foot following behind), pushing the point of the blade forward in a stabbing potion towards the bottom of the opponents ribs. Blade should be towards your open side (i.e. left side if your right foot is forward), and horizontal. You then raise your wrists to your left temple for the blocking motion and cut. NB. You don't STEP forwards when you tsuki (thrust), you slide forwards i.e. after a left footed cut you slide forward on your left foot.
7. Shomen Uchi Komi Hidari Tsuki
This is similar to the 5th suburi, although you step forwards with the tsuki. Once you have done the first cut, with the right foot forwards, you step forwards (and slightly to the left of the centre line) with your left foot whilst stabbing directly forwards (and blade facing right). Then you move into the block position, raising your hands to the right temple, and cut stepping forward with the right foot. Notice you cut always with the right foot, and tsuki always with the left foot forwards.
8. Shomen Uchi Komi Migi Tsuki
Identical to the 5th kumitachi, but on the othe side. Therefore you start with the left foot forwards, cut first on the left, tuski on the right, and then cut on your left etc.
In this the following definitions are used:
Shomen = normal cut (often sliding forwards a little e.g. following the turns)
Shomen uchi komi = a ‘block' with a cut
Tsuki = a thrust
Step = stepping forward with the back foot
Slide = moving forwards, but keeping the same foot forwards
Turn = your hips turn 180 to the open side (without feet moving -- so there's really only one direction you can turn) as you raise the blade directly over your head.
(L) = left foot forward after movement
(R) = right foot forward after movement
NB. In all the tsukis in this kata, you step forwards
The kata is continuous, but after each set you should be in the same starting position
Start with right foot forwards and blade in front of you (normal stance)
1. Slide and Shomen (R), Step and tsuki (L), turn and shomen (R), slide and shomen (R), step and tsuki (L), turn and shomen (R)
2. Step and Shomen (L), Step and tsuki (R), turn and shomen (L), step and shomen (R), step and tsuki (L), turn and shomen (R)
3. Step BACK and Shomen (L), Step (forwards) and tsuki (R), turn and shomen (L), step BACK and shomen (R), step and tsuki (L), turn and shomen (R)
4. Step and Shomen (L), Step and tsuki (R), turn and shomen (L), step and shomen (R), step and tsuki (L), turn and shomen (R)
5. Step forward BUT TURN TO THE RIGHT (bringing your right foot round behind your advanced left foot) and simultaneously Shomen uchi komi [defending from an attack to the right, and then cutting them on their right wrist] (L), step and tuski (R), turn and shomen (L), Step forward BUT TURN TO THE LEFT (bringing your left foot round behind your advanced right foot) and simultaneously Shomen uchi komi [defending from an attack to the left, and then cutting them on their left wrist] (R), step and tsuki (L), turn and shomen (R)
I'm afraid, I'm finding it very difficult to explain the next few moves of this kata! Maybe I'll get it videoed sometime. However just practising these will help develop hip movement.
Happo giri - 8 Direction cut
There are different methods of doing this. I follow Saito's method.
1. Slide and shomen
2. Turn and shomen
3. Slide your back foot round to your rear 90 degrees clockwise (from above), turn your hips ALL the way round so you now face the direction of the foot you just moved, and shomen.
4. Turn and shomen
5. Slide your back foot 135 degrees to your rear (i.e. its just to the left of where your left foot is now!), turn your hips ALL the way round and shomen
6. Turn and shomen
7. Slide your back foot round to your rear 90 degrees clockwise (from above), turn your hips ALL the way round so you now face the direction of the foot you just moved, and shomen.
8. Turn and shomen
9. Slide your back foot 45 degrees to your rear, turn your hips ALL the way round i.e. so you now face the starting direction, and shomen.
Notice there are actually 9 cuts, but only 8 directions, since the first and last cut are in the same direction. I.e. N, S, E, W, SW, NE, NW, SE, N.
Another 8 direction cut
This is to develop different types of cut.
Start in ready posture
2. Thrust towards throat with tip of blade
3. Bring up left foot and place feet at same level, shoulder width apart:
4. Slice horizontally from left to right (making sure blade tip doesn't go behind body)
5. Slice horizontally from right to left
6. Draw point up to top left corner of you and slice diagonally from top left to bottom right
7. Retrace path, slicing from bottom right to top left
8. Draw point up to top right corner of you and slice diagonally from top right to bottom left
9. Retrace path, slicing from bottom left to top right
10. Step forwards with right foot and shomen
Now, this is only really 7 directions of cut, but you have a thrust as well.