Wednesday, November 15, 2006

more shingu dojo 1973

Here’s another clip of training at the Shingu(Kumano Juku Dojo) in fall of 1973. Hikitsuchi sensei is leading the class. Notice how sustained and continuous is the pace of the class. Often times he would demonstrate the techniques once right/once left , sometimes with a string of ukes. In one sequence the ukes for irimi nage are: Anno sensei, Yanase sensei, Mary Heiny, myself, and Linda Holiday. After the technique is demonstrated, you see a short clip of Anno sensei training and then Yanase sensei. Even though they are doing the same technique and are from the same dojo, you’ll notice how different the quality of their movement is. Both are fantastic in their own way.

One thing Mary Heiny stressed to us when we first arrived in Japan is that often times people pick up a style too quickly, often times at the expense of gaining real substance.
It is really tempting because you like a certain style of movement to try to copy it. This can be useful in the learning process, but truth in motion can never be gained by copying a style. Yanase sensei was dynamic, solid, and was like trying to attack whirlwind of sharp blades. Anno sensei was fluid and you could feel the movement of nature(wind, waves, water) in his motion. Tojima sensei had a relaxed weight and could be very explosive. When you trained with one of them, you just gave your all and tried to pick up whatever you could. Hikitsuchi sensei had a very subtle and mysterious quality to his movement. You could see something again and again and yet it always seemed out of reach.



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