Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dragons, Tigers, and Kihon oh my!

Well Happy New Year! Its 2010! Kind of hard to imagine huh.
So 2010 is actually 0. It is a new beginning! So I believe to understand Sokes art we need to go back to the beginning. No not to the days of beating the hell out of each other so it appeared that we were tough or powerful to attract people to the art. No I mean Kihon! Not necessarily Kihon Happo but simple kihon. And the most simple is our not so basic principles of distance, timing and angling or some would say positioning. They are basic in understanding, but not so basic in application. If you look at what goes wrong in most people’s taijutsu (including my own) it has something to do with one of these if not all of them being off. They all rely on each other and one creates the other. If we can not get these “basic” principles down how can we expect to move on to kukan or juppo sessho or such. Kukan is created, taken or manipulated through the use of timing and distancing together.

Now we have to understand that in taijutsu, distance + timing = position
Always remember this equation!

Now they are many other equations we can look at like position + distance = Kukan, but then you have to understand the measurement or some would say “shape” of the space between you and your uke in a 360 degree manor and then understand the next space once uke moves and the shape and distance while calculating all the potential space which is depending on a infinite amount of possible moves from you or uke that would cause you to be constantly calibrating. But this is a kihon blog so we will keep it simple. 
Btw there is a way to not only know all of the above, but create it as well. But that is for another day!

When we first learn our kihon, it is much different then when we have been training for 2, 10, 20 years or better. When we first start, we are training to develop specific motor skills and hand eye coordination all while trying to memorize some maneuvers or technique. Now when we “grow up” and train kihon these skills are present and refined, so then what are we acutely training when we do kihon at this level? I believe at these levels we throw the maneuvers out the window and start concentrating on how we use timing distance and positioning (angles) to create our “techniques”. (When practicing techniques) let me add here that I personally believe that its ok to practice technique as long as you realize its for the sake of training your kihon and that when the situation is real you throw it away and focus on principles and being in the moment, not technique!

These principles are so important to understand and to drill. Everything we do relies on them. Strikes are not delivered just for the sake of throwing them. They are dictated by all three principles of distance, timing, and positioning. You strike with what is appropriate in the space (distance), in the right timing from the right position. Now to take it a step further. through your understanding you will know that how the strike will create the next space that will lead to the next thing.

I believe that when we start to understand the interplay of these three principles and how they can lead us to victory or to death. Through them you can understand how to deal with any situation with any weapon so on and so forth. As you progress you will learn that you can not only learn distance, timing and positioning, but also how to create distance timing and positioning. Watch Soke, he creates the distance that creates the timing, which creates the position! Simple as that! Now once Soke has created these things then he cycles the opponent through CFP (see previous blog) and wahla! Of course there is more to it then that but for the sake of basic definition of what’s going on, it gives you an idea.

So for this year lets work on this aspect of kihon so we can better understand Soke’s art and thus be able to better share it with the world.

PS. Distance, timing, and positioning is not just a physical concept. It applies to mental and emotional as well!

In order to ride the white dragons tale in the year of the tiger, kihon will determine our grip!