Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Do suru? UNSU .....Part I

Tonight was a special lesson aimed at Bryan Dukas Sensei whose tokui kata of his tokui kata is Unsu.


Basically it was a 70 minute breakdown of each move with some special jumping practice, which both Bryan and Ohtsuka Senseis had never seen before.

As Bryan is already excellent at this kata, as he demonstrates vividly time and time again, we struck a deal: he is going to write his version of the key 20-30 points YS focused on tonight and I am going to try to knit them into a narrative. So, I'll have to wait until he types out his version of events and sends them to me, which may be until after the weekend when he is recovering from the horribly long flight back to SA.

YS commentated that of all the kata, especially in public performance, Unsu is perhaps the most difficult spiritually because it is so demanding, and the JUMP is waiting for you like the executioners chair near the end. Time and time again, said YS, people start Unsu dramatically and full of confidence, but the kata gradually defeats them as niggling little worries (did I do that well enough, that not strong enough, etc.) build up and gradually sap the confidence.

With Unsu you have to turn up dressed to impress and perform it magnificently, absolutely magnificently with brimming power and grace, passion and quietude, explosive energy and kime- or just don't bother- do Sochin or something instead. Unsu the Yahara way brings out the passion and the artist in the performer, as well as the killer dispatching enemies beautifully.

As YS explained this, his eyes just radiated passion and energy- it was incredible and awesome to be there.

Kick Strong, Jump High- not one or the other!
One of the most interesting parts was seeing the belt and pad training method. As YS explained, Unsu is a fiendish kata for eating away at the concentration of the performer- the jump is the focus but it is tempting to rush or ignore the minor mistakes that build up before the jump. But you have to jump high! And you have to kick strongly? So what's the solution?

Anyway, Brian Sensei will be filing the main content for Part II next week, I hope.

I can't wait, for one.

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