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Old 01-11-2012, 03:43 AM   #1
dapidmini
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bokken suburi questions

how should we do shomen uchi using bokken? should we open our elbows like in this video of Morihiro Saito Sensei http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y1iXm89jI0 or should we form a triangle with our elbows and body so that the elbows are closer to each other and not to bend our elbows?

I know that different Sensei can have different bokken kata.. but shouldn't the basic stays the same? some people teaches the latter part which makes me wonder why it is different from the one being taught by Saito Sensei and all other references I found for that matter..

Last edited by dapidmini : 01-11-2012 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:36 AM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Hi David,

Can you post a video of the other style?
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
Cliff Judge
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Um. Don't let your shoulders rock forward and up like Saito Sensei seems to be doing in that video clip.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #4
Rob Watson
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
David Santana wrote: View Post
Not sure who AikidoEnth is but that whole channel is one big copyright violation. Buy the DVDs from Stan if you want but don't rip and post them on youtube. Heck, sens me a SASE and I'll loan you mine.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
dapidmini
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Hi David,

Can you post a video of the other style?
not really. this is the first time someone teach this method so I haven't found a video of it yet.. and I'm too shy to film myself doing it

the other method is to keep both elbows straight at all times when lifting and lowering the sword.. so that when the hands reach the highest point, the inner elbow will touch our face. this is blocking my vision to the sides..

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Um. Don't let your shoulders rock forward and up like Saito Sensei seems to be doing in that video clip.
is he doing it wrong? being a 9th Dan?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Not sure who AikidoEnth is but that whole channel is one big copyright violation. Buy the DVDs from Stan if you want but don't rip and post them on youtube. Heck, sens me a SASE and I'll loan you mine.
who is Stan? is he a member of aikiweb? if so, I'll try to contact him later.. thanks for the info

Last edited by dapidmini : 01-11-2012 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
Cliff Judge
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
David Santana wrote: View Post
is he doing it wrong? being a 9th Dan?
I know, right?

yeah I really don't know what's going on here, but it sure looks like his shoulders are stiff during those cuts. That's the usual thing that I find causes my shoulders to pop up and rock forward when I cut. Not sure why he is jerking his bokken to a halt in front of him.

Seriously though are you sure this isn't a "what not to do" demonstration?
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:39 PM   #7
sorokod
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I know, right?

yeah I really don't know what's going on here, but it sure looks like his shoulders are stiff during those cuts. That's the usual thing that I find causes my shoulders to pop up and rock forward when I cut. Not sure why he is jerking his bokken to a halt in front of him.

Seriously though are you sure this isn't a "what not to do" demonstration?
I assure you that this is not a "what not to do" demonstration. Could you post a link to a video which demonstrates the first suburi as you believe it should be done?

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Old 01-11-2012, 07:45 PM   #8
Cliff Judge
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Re: bokken suburi questions

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
I assure you that this is not a "what not to do" demonstration. Could you post a link to a video which demonstrates the first suburi as you believe it should be done?
I dunno what that is. The topic of the thread is how to do a shomen cut for suburi.

I'm having trouble parsing Saito Sensei's body organization during his cuts in this video. It looks like he is tensing his shoulders and arms at the end of his cut.

If he is, then I need to figure out why that is not terrible. If he is not, then I need to figure out what he is doing that makes him look like he is tensing his shoulders.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:52 AM   #9
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Re: bokken suburi questions

The Iwama weapons system has 7 ken and 20 jo suburi. In the linked video, the ken suburi are demonstrated. The first ken suburi is a shomenuchi. Could you post a link to a video which demonstrates the "first suburi"/"shomenuchi suburi" as you believe it should be done?

BTW, the jo suburi include the uchikomi series which includes shomenuchi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9U04EU_Qp8&t=1m30s

Last edited by sorokod : 01-12-2012 at 12:59 AM.

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Old 01-12-2012, 03:36 AM   #10
dapidmini
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Re: bokken suburi questions

anyway, if we can get back to the OP, do you think we should practice suburi as taught by Saito Sensei or the weird one being taught by that certain person? my Sensei said that he was taught that way too by his sensei so my Sensei also teach that suburi. in one hand I want to respect my Sensei and practise his way of suburi so that when the time comes when I need to perform it, I will be able to. on the other hand, I don't want to ingrain a wrong form into my muscle memory..

what do you think I should do? Sensei won't be coming to dojo and teach for about a month so I can't ask him about this.. also, I don't want to waste time postponing practice. I'm burned up right now and I don't know if I'll still have the same urge to practice suburi anymore if I don't start soon...
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:01 AM   #11
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
... tensing his shoulders and arms at the end of his cut.
This is exactly what I was told to do when I practiced with people who do Iwama ryu. And this is what makes the ken bounce at the end of the cut.

I myself learned doing shomen uchi in different way: More soft, not tensing anywhere. And no wringing movement at the end.

By now I do it a little bit different from what is shown in the video.

It's not aikido, but what gives me an impression or an image of kenjutsu is swordwork like this.

As for opening the elbows: We don't open the elbows. We grasp the tsuka in a natural way, with arms completely relaxed. And in no movement we purposely open the elbows. This would be corrected immidiately.
Nevertheless I don't see a way that my elbow touches my face during shomen uchi?

My experience:
I only practice sword directly wiht my teacher if I don't exactly know what to do. It's too subtle to learn it alone. (Or from videos of one teacher or another.) And what to do depends so deeply on the line of tradition or school it stems from.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 01-12-2012 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:05 AM   #12
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
David Santana wrote: View Post
anyway, if we can get back to the OP, do you think we should practice suburi as taught by Saito Sensei or the weird one being taught by that certain person? my Sensei said that he was taught that way too by his sensei so my Sensei also teach that suburi. in one hand I want to respect my Sensei and practise his way of suburi so that when the time comes when I need to perform it, I will be able to. on the other hand, I don't want to ingrain a wrong form into my muscle memory..

what do you think I should do? Sensei won't be coming to dojo and teach for about a month so I can't ask him about this.. also, I don't want to waste time postponing practice. I'm burned up right now and I don't know if I'll still have the same urge to practice suburi anymore if I don't start soon...
Hi David,
Try looking forward weapons work of Chiba Sensei on Youtube.One thing I would advocate is do NOT use excessive strength, keep shoulders RELAXED,do NOT over reach with arms and most importantly, keep elbows close to your main body at start . The primary hand in bokken work is the left hand.This SUPPLIES the power, right hand DIRECTS THE POWER.The hand nearer to the body in weapons work is the hand which is POWER HAND> Cheers,Joe
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:06 AM   #13
sakumeikan
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
David Santana wrote: View Post
anyway, if we can get back to the OP, do you think we should practice suburi as taught by Saito Sensei or the weird one being taught by that certain person? my Sensei said that he was taught that way too by his sensei so my Sensei also teach that suburi. in one hand I want to respect my Sensei and practise his way of suburi so that when the time comes when I need to perform it, I will be able to. on the other hand, I don't want to ingrain a wrong form into my muscle memory..

what do you think I should do? Sensei won't be coming to dojo and teach for about a month so I can't ask him about this.. also, I don't want to waste time postponing practice. I'm burned up right now and I don't know if I'll still have the same urge to practice suburi anymore if I don't start soon...
Hi David,
Try looking for weapons work of Chiba Sensei on Youtube.One thing I would advocate is do NOT use excessive strength, keep shoulders RELAXED,do NOT over reach with arms and most importantly, keep elbows close to your main body at start . The primary hand in bokken work is the left hand.This SUPPLIES the power, right hand DIRECTS THE POWER.The hand nearer to the body in weapons work is the hand which is POWER HAND> Cheers,Joe
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:48 AM   #14
sorokod
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
By now I do it a little bit different from what is shown in the video.

It's not aikido, but what gives me an impression or an image of kenjutsu is swordwork like this.
I think that Katori Shinto ryu is beautiful but as you say, It's not aikido. How do you reconcile your weapons training with your taijitsu?

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Old 01-12-2012, 07:54 AM   #15
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
The primary hand in bokken work is the left hand.This SUPPLIES the power, right hand DIRECTS THE POWER.The hand nearer to the body in weapons work is the hand which is POWER HAND> Cheers,Joe
Hi Joe,
I disagree completely with this statement. Hands are only transmitters (of power or directions and they work in equal degree for transmission, otherwise your cut will be unbalanced and body not harmonized). Power of the cut is created by putting your ‘weight/intend' into the sword, it can be done in many different ways depending of you advancement level. Simply stated, you let sword cut by itself, if you put a particular attention to any part of your body (particularly hands), you start to force a cut and you lose all sophistication.

Nagababa

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Old 01-12-2012, 07:57 AM   #16
Cliff Judge
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
The Iwama weapons system has 7 ken and 20 jo suburi. In the linked video, the ken suburi are demonstrated. The first ken suburi is a shomenuchi. Could you post a link to a video which demonstrates the "first suburi"/"shomenuchi suburi" as you believe it should be done?
I don't spend enough of my youtube browsing time looking at Iwama folks to have such a thing for you.

Can you offer an explanation as to why the shoulders should lift up and rock forward at the end of a shomen cut? And why the tip of the bokken wobbles around like it is the end of a spring?

I had the chance to look at the video with sound last night and the thought occurred to me that the tension might not actually be in Saito Sensei's shoulder muscles, but rather in his whole body, as he is expelling a fairly forceful kiai as he completes those cuts. it still really looks like his sword and arms are separating from his center at the end though.

I just don't know what to make of this.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:34 AM   #17
sorokod
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I don't spend enough of my youtube browsing time looking at Iwama folks to have such a thing for you.
Actually I was hoping for an example from whatever lineage you are following.

Last edited by sorokod : 01-12-2012 at 08:37 AM.

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Old 01-12-2012, 08:45 AM   #18
grondahl
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Can you offer an explanation as to why the shoulders should lift up and rock forward at the end of a shomen cut? And why the tip of the bokken wobbles around like it is the end of a spring?

I had the chance to look at the video with sound last night and the thought occurred to me that the tension might not actually be in Saito Sensei's shoulder muscles, but rather in his whole body, as he is expelling a fairly forceful kiai as he completes those cuts. it still really looks like his sword and arms are separating from his center at the end though.
Probably a side effect of to much tanren uchi (on a tire).
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:18 AM   #19
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Re: bokken suburi questions

It is probably worth mentioning that in Iwama ken suburi, the sword is treated as a striking and not cutting or slicing weapon. I am not sure that this is the case in other systems.

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Old 01-12-2012, 10:03 AM   #20
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Re: bokken suburi questions

instead of worry about suburi stuffs, here is another approach that personally i think would help your aikido better. i am borrowing a basic exercise from Mike Sigman; he used a water bottle but you can use your bokken.

hold your bokken straight up above your head. let the weight of the bokken pushes down to your feet by relax your body so that your feet feel the pressure of the bokken. stand there for awhile, like 10-20 min. if any part of your body feels pain, then you are tensing it. work on relax those places. once you are comfortable with that position, then drop the bokken down (arm almost straigh out) to about your eye brow level. repeat the above. then drop to your shoulder level, repeat above. drop to your solar plex level, repeat above. then belly button. then as far as you can lower your hands. the key thing you need to focus is to make sure your are pushing from underneath no matter what position your arms are at. this is the important thing, because if you cannot do that, then you miss the whole point of the exercise and might as well not doing it at all. when you are comfortable with the static standing stuffs, then move around slowly and do the same as above. one thing, don't try to hold a heavy bokken at the beginning, try something light. the lighter the better. when you are getting better at it, then you can increase the weight incrementally, but in small increment. if you can master that in a year time, then you are better than i (took me 2 years. actually, still working on it but with some additives).

this exercise looks simple and doesn't look like much, but eventually allows you to get under people without changing much of your physical position and to drop your weight on someone in the same manner.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:39 AM   #21
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Re: bokken suburi questions

This sounds like an atrociously difficult exercise to do, but how is it related to ken suburi?

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Old 01-12-2012, 11:41 AM   #22
phitruong
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
This sounds like an atrociously difficult exercise to do, but how is it related to ken suburi?
to be able to do suburi at full power and speed of your ENTIRE body in a relax manner, stop on a dime without tensing any part of your body, and cut again quickly and do that 1000 times in a row without your arms falling off. and someday to be able to move like Kuroda sensei, then sign-up for a starting role in the next Seagal's movie "Machete 2: Mark for the Dalai Lama"

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #23
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Iwama Saburi by Hitohiro Saito

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6UjPDsdPso
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:41 PM   #24
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Re: bokken suburi questions

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post

Not sure why he is jerking his bokken to a halt in front of him.
I see this a lot. IME this is mostly caused by the user stopping the sword rather than letting the sword stop naturally. Other causes are poor grip, lifting shoulders, and by "cutting air" rather than cutting a specific target. The way I fix this is by keeping metsuke/eyes on the target and cutting (emphasizing power) only in the target area; once the sword has cut the intended target it continues to travel and stops cold somewhat horizontally (depends how good your grip/tenouchi is), with no twitching or jerking at the end like you see in the video.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:53 PM   #25
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Re: bokken suburi questions

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
The primary hand in bokken work is the left hand.This SUPPLIES the power, right hand DIRECTS THE POWER.The hand nearer to the body in weapons work is the hand which is POWER HAND> Cheers,Joe
I once heard a teacher say that the whole "left hand power" can be used as a tool to teach some beginners to let go of their natural right-hand preference when it came to deliver power say in a shomenuchi/kirioroshi, but that in true you don't want to have a power hand, you want power in both hands (if you're using both hands to cut).
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