Koryu no kata – Dai Yon (3)

Oyo waza

Section 3 of koryu no kata dai yon is called Oyo Waza

Oyo Waza literally means “application techniques”, which means you are using basic techniques in different attacking situations. You are required to “adapt” the basic technique without changing the concept and principles.

Section 3 – Techniques 1-4

These waza don’t use a lock. The first 2 waza are using an atemi waza, an application of gyakugamae ate. The next 2 waza are using a wrist-grip.

Section 3 – Techniques 5-8

A lock is applied to perform a throw.

Section 3 – Techniques 9-11

Using “tenshikei” makes these throws an efficient aikido waza.

Koryu dai yon a basic training tool

From a technical point of view, koryu dai yon has a different view on aikido waza as promoted in 17-hon no kata or 17-hon no kata in Tomiki’s aikido method. Mostly it is associated with the Kodokan kuzushi concept. But looking at the content of this kata, the relationship with Daito Ryu is more evident. The use of the hand (tegatana) is the most important aspect in the kata. Examination of Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu waza, the use of Aiki-age and aiki-sage are important and basic skills. Without these skills, other waza are not efficient.

When Kenji Tomiki was involved in the creation of Kodokan Goshin Jutsu kata, he visited Renshinkan Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu dojo headed by Maeda Takeshi, student of Matsuda Toshimi. Matsuda sensei was a student of Takeda Sokaku. As a sidenote, founder of Hakko Ryu Aikijujutsu was a member of the Matsuda Daito Ryu lineage.

Tomiki Kenji sensei, a student of Ueshiba Morihei and Jigoro Kano, asked Maeda to see the real Daito Ryu.

By examining the Renshinkan syllabus, the resemblance with Koryu dai yon is remarkable. The use of “tegatana” is from the beginning a basic skill.

From a BAB movie: Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu Renshinkan Part.1 Zadori 〜Aiki in sitting position

Koryu no kata – jo no tsukai

The logic of the kata

Mike Rother wrote an interesting book on kata: Toyota Kata.

Toyota Kata defines management as, “the systematic pursuit of desired conditions by utilizing human capabilities in a concerted way.” Rother proposes that it is not solutions themselves that provide sustained competitive advantage and long-term survival, but the degree to which an organization has mastered an effective routine for developing fitting solutions again and again, along unpredictable paths. This requires teaching the skills behind the solution.

Teaching the skills behind the use of the jo

When reading the biography of Kenji Tomiki and Hideo Ohba, there are references to sword and other weapons schools. Some of those references are from the time when Kenji Tomiki and Hideo Ohba were in Manchuria. Both were exposed to military martial arts especially sword, spear, bayonet and short sword. In Koryu no kata the yari or juken is replaced by the jo, but of course the length of the jo is not fixed like the jo of the Shindo Muso Ryu jojutsu or Kendo Renmei Jodo.

Military Juken training

There are 8 jo no tsukai kata in Koryu no kata dai san and 4 kata in Koryu no kata dai roku. The 4 dai roku kata are an extension of dai san jo no tsukai kata.

All kata start with tori thrusting to the suigetsu (solar plexus) of the opponent (uke). Note the use of rolling feet.

Uke is avoiding and grasping the jo either with 2 hands or 1 hand.

All actions of tori after the grasping are following the same logic.

The study of kata is very complex and depends on harmonizing the action between tori and uke. By trying to describe all the actions in the kata, there is a danger someone will depend totally on the description and will deny the creativity of a human being. Remember the words of Gustave Mahler

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”
― Gustav Mahler–

Koryu no kata dai san – Jo no tsukai nr1

Koryu no kata dai san – Jo no tsukai nr2

Koryu no kata dai san – Jo no tsukai nr3

Koryu no kata dai san – Jo no tsukai nr4

Koryu no kata dai san – Jo no tsukai nr5

Koryu no kata dai san – Jo no tsukai nr6

Koryu no kata dai san – Jo no tsukai nr7

Koryu no kata dai san – Jo no tsukai nr8

Koryu no kata dai roku – Jo no tsukai nr1

Koryu no kata dai roku – Jo no tsukai nr2

Koryu no kata dai roku – Jo no tsukai nr3

Koryu no kata dai roku – Jo no tsukai nr4

Why practising with jo?

To understand the purpose of weaponwork in Aikido we must accept that development does not rely upon techniques or weapons, but on independence of it. If a sword is used, do not realize it as a sword. If using a Jo, do not depend on it, but feel the common harmony in body movement. 

By using a weapon there is a real threat towards the opponent or training partner. Unfortunately by doing too much shiai, the feeling of a threat not mentioned in the rulesbook will be ignored and some parts of the training can be spoiled by such an attitude. For this reason a balance has to be created between randori and kata, even if someone doesn’t see or ignores the purpose of kata training. Understanding the logic in the kata is necessary.

Koryu no kata – Dai Yon (2)

There are different opinions on the meaning of ura-waza.

  • reverse or counter technique, also called kaeshi-waza.
  • alternative performance of kuzushi with application
  • ……….

7-hon no kuzushi ura-waza

In Koryu no kata Dai Yon, the 2nd section is called Ura-waza. This section is build upon the omote-waza discussed in a previous article.
The start of the 7 waza are the 7-hon no kuzushi without the throw of the omote-waza, followed by an alternative action. Some of these actions are applications for randori (restricted free fight) or goshinho waza (aiki self-defence). The “kuzushi” element is a prime factor for a non-muscular approach.

Non- muscular actions

Movement is based upon muscular actions. When we say “non-muscular action”, we are talking about extending muscular actions, and not flexing muscular actions.
For a technical explanation see Encyclopedia Britannica.

Pulling and pushing are 2 different movements, but from a non-muscular point of view both are using an extensor action. Basically all “kuzushi” movements are based upon the non-muscular concept. The moment when we use a flexor action, opponent will intercept and can do a counter movement.

All non-muscular actions in koryu no kata dai yon are movements away from the centre to the outside.

Jodan aigamae & gyakugamae

 

Chudan aigamae & gyakugamae

 

Gedan aigamae & gyakugamae

 

Ushiro

Koryu no kata – Dai Yon (1)

A main component of Dai Yon is the (un)famous 7-hon no kuzushi. The 1st part of the Dai-Yon is about throwing an opponent after acquiring a perfect “kuzushi”. This possibility in a fighting situation will be very rare….although it can happen if…..

Koryu no kata Dai  Yon

  • Nage no kata – omote waza – 7 waza
  • Nage no kata – ura waza – 7 waza
  • Oyo waza* – applications – 11 waza

*Oyo waza designates applications build upon 7-hon no kuzushi basics. 

Nage no kata – omote waza

The 1st part of the kata is build upon the 7-hon no kuzushi. A throwing action is added after the kuzushi.
The focus is on the action of the hand and arm doing the kuzushi. The efficiency of the throw is depending on the elasticity of Tori’s body. When the body is stretched power is stored and can be released into uke’s body.
The dynamics of the kuzushi (loss of balance) will undergo the influence of gravity.
There is a mechanism we have to take in account when we use stretching and release.
With the muscular relaxation, the movement is immediate, in a single time, this movement is much faster than with the muscular system of contraction. If we try to throw with muscular contraction, opponent will sense your intention and will block your movement.
Using meguri and tenshi-kei is necessary to create efficient kuzushi.

aiki age sage009Jodan aigamae & Jodan gyakugamae

Kuzushi is created by using a rotational movement of the hand, followed by a body movement with the elbow as a transfer joint.
When you try to lift the hand and arm, Uke will feel and block your movement.
Jodan aigamae & gyakugamae are actions on the inside of Uke’s arm.

 

 

 

 

Chudan aigamae & Chudan gyakugamae

Kuzushi is created by using a rotational movement of the hand, followed by a body movement with the elbow as a transfer joint.
The skill is to turn opponent’s arm in hineri fashion without stretching opponent’s arm. Rotating the arm is the message.
Chudan aigamae & gyakugamae are actions on the outside of Uke’s arm.

 

 

 

Gedan aigamae & Gedan gyakugamae

Using downward power. No pulling action.

 

 

 

Ushiro

Keep centerline when rotating.

 

 

Ura-waza see in another article soon

Koryu no Kata

The purpose of Koryu no kata

First I have to mention, koryu no kata are practice kata rather than actual fighting kata.

There are 6 koryu no kata with each a different purpose. The origin of some koryu no kata can be found in Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu or other Japanese martial arts like Kito Ryu or Ryōi Shintō-ryū. Besides the many tai-jutsu waza (unarmed skills) some weapon skills are incorpared into koryu no kata. The weapon skills can vary depending on the weapon school of the chief instructor (shihan).

1.Dai Ichi no kata – basic waza based mainly upon prewar teachings of Morihei Ueshiba

2.Dai Ni no kata – an extension of Dai Ichi, more close quarters combat waza

3.Dai San no kata – partly based upon prewar teachings of Morihei Ueshiba & weapon skills. See also jo-no-tsukai

4.Dai Yon no kata – in general explained as applications of “kuzushi”. But explained in an alternative way as a skill to control the power of Uke.

5.Dai Go no kata – a study of “sen” and “hyoshi” based upon Dai Ichi and Dai Ni

6.Dai Roku no kata – influence of Kito Ryu originated from Ryōi Shintō-ryū. See also jo-no-tsukai.

Some observations

In an old manuscript Budo Renshu,(1933), published with the help of Kenji Tomiki,  many techniques are similar to Koryu no kata. 

Suwari waza or sitting techniques give the opportunity to practise without the help of the legs. Kyokotsu, koshi and tanden will do their job to create efficient technique.

Section A starts with oshi taoshi. It is also called ik-kyo or ik-kajo, first principle or first technique.

Budo Renshu (1933)

Technique 1 (Koryu no kata dai ichi – suwari waza no.1)

Shi (Tori) : Using the right hand, strikes for the face of his opponent and with his left thrusts to the armpit at the same time raising his body (Koshi) (to the Kiza position).

Uke : With his own right hand blocks Shi’s right handed attack.

Shi : At the same time as grasping his enemy’s right hand moves slightly forward on his left knee and pulling down with his own right hand uses hist left to suppress use’s elbow.

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