29 Sep

Kata is Theory – part 2

Okay, so what? Tell me something about using it….

A few months ago, when engaged in ne waza (ground grappling) randori, or “rolling” as my GJJ practicing friends, training partners, and sons like to call it; I realized the Shishin Takuma ryu jujutsu kata were the antithesis of making grappling agreements. This was a very big “Doh!” after 20 years of (not enough) practice.

Reflecting on new meaning

These (not really) unarmed kata seem to be stylized and are difficult for us bigger lumbering types. The knee pains begin with the starting positions of seiza and “sagamai” or other kneeling evolutions including or similar to tatehiza and iaigoshi.

From there, the movements are meant to be sudden, light, and avoiding. The attacking hand positions are training for being attacked with weapons including a tanto or other type of hidden blade. The grabbing motions are meant to hold or distract you for being sublimely “shanked” or stopped from accessing your weapons.

Working on the movements in jujutsu kata many years ago…

 “Ukimi”, meaning floating body, is to be learned for the movements and management of an attacker….or for an attempted arrest relationship.

So what happened? I started to think about all the ways those katas taught me to “not be grabbed”, to “not be stabbed”, and to “not agree” to grapple. Of course, if you get caught by a good grappler, ground fighter, or jiujitsu guys like my sons… well you better be able to pass the guard or reverse a mount.

But…what if…I could use what I have been learning to move differently, play a different “chess” game than before, and take that matrix of movement from “olden time samurai” to keep out of the mangle? What if I breathe and move a little slicker than before because I learned a bunch of what seemed like difficult and awkward kneeling positions that allowed for in-between movements that are hard to follow?

I moved to not connect, by getting-closer-not-avoiding and letting the other guys get sweaty. I worked on getting out of the way from kneeling and prone, instead of swapping guards. Now… a lot more work ahead with the guys in the dojo. I’ll probably get a lot of it wrong until I get it right. Come join us if this kind of thing is maybe for you.

Training at the Dojo of the Four Winds in Encinitas in 2018.

 Ah so desuka,  sensei. Domo arigato gozaimasu! I think so very much!