Maki Uchi

For me a most interesting and enjoyable aspect of studying Katori Shinto Ryu is that there is always more to learn. Even just looking at one form you can always find nuances that you may not have seen before.

The system as I have learnt it is taught in layers. A beginning student is at first to focus on getting the stance and cuts right. The first kata of kenjutsu is learnt, and once the general gist of the form is understood, however simply, the real training can begin. When the steps become reactions, we move beyond working from memory, it becomes clearer, a little at a time, why the Kata is the way it is. There seems to be no end to this as such. Once you understand the Kata you can realize that there is another deeper level of understanding. In this way we can retain our beginners spirit and be constantly looking for what we may have missed till now.

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Although Katori Shinto Ryu is a complete Martial System we tend to focus on basics. The Kenjutsu must be understood {at a basic level}before studying the next weapon {bo}. After Bo is Naginata. I think there must be a good reason for this. Perhaps it is third as it contains principles found both in Ken and Bo and so by studying Ken and Bo first the student is better prepared for Naginata practice. The Naginata is longer than the bo staff with a curved blade on one end and a solid blunt end on the other. It is held in the middle and the forms usually contain both striking and cutting movements thus in a way it is a combination of both ken and bo. It is somewhat reassuring that so much thought went into creating these methodologies. Similar considerations can be found in most Koryu Arts. Each principle builds on the next, allowing the student to build a stronger base for their training continuously.

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We train Katori Shinto Ryu, Monday 11am till 1 and Thursday from 6pm till 7.30. Extended training at least once a month. aikijoseph.wix.com/kenjutsu-ireland

 

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