Well Saturday was mainly spent hauling parts of my company office around Tokyo. Fortunately I had a rather fit South African gentleman called Pieter to assist, and as soon as we had finished we rushed off to Ibusuki Sensei's class.
This was a real treat, because I usually don't take this class; the fact of the matter is I usually get hauled into a meeting or some sort of admin issue, and when I don't I am usually too exhausted after black belt training. Because of my very modest abilities, I put everything I have into one class and there is not much left in the tank for having people kick me in the knees or smack me in the side of the head with their elbows...
Which is a good segue into Ibusuki Sensei's class!
The Good Old Days: Post-War Waseda
...you know when people start talking about the "good old days" either they're on their fifth drink or they are not focused on making the best of today. Which is why Ibusuki Sensei is so refreshing- he never says the Karate he learned at Waseda is better or more authentic than the systematic and systemic refinements introduced and standardized by Nakayama Sensei. If you read Ibusuki Sensei's article in The Shotokan Way, you'll see what I mean. He is particularly interesting on Kata.
In fact, as an aside, Ibusuki Sensei and YS do seem to differ on Kata. YS regards Kata as actual battling an imaginary component. He is ruthless about stripping out anything that he thinks detracts from the efficiency of this. IS regards Kata as culture and subject to interpretion. Both are strongly against the fut-phooting robotic sports-type Kata. Personally, give me folk dancing over robotic sportsmanship anyday.
OK, moving ahead...
...Away from Kihon Mania
I decided to sumit this entry as an antidote to the last entry. We are not wedded to Kihon and sometimes we put in the reps. Mind you, after about 150 shinsuku, you've got to be hurting whether you are an athelete or (like me) a donkey. If you aren't, you are just cheating yourslf. So what's the point, go home...
But KWF Honbu has another secret weapon- Ibusuki Sensei. Training with him is a taste of what Shotokan was like before Nakayama Sensei systematized it. Remember, Shotokan was a wilder, looser, snarling animal before the JKA.
For example, yesterday's kihon was just great! It actually made Onnitsuka san, who is a graduate of Boeidai (Japan Defense Universy) sick.
Double Trouble Drills
Here is an example of the "Non-Standard" stuff we got up to yesterday
*Shizentai kara, chokuzuki-nikai, kamae
This is really difficult to explain, but Ibusuki Sensei karate is what I would call double trouble. He says, in English, mind you, "Disagreements should reach settlment by ippastsu, but if not, make sure to deliver a follow-up." That's to say, Ibusuki Sensei believes that you should hit twice, just in case the first hit doesn't deliver the message as effectively as you had anticipated. To avoid disappointment, or disagreement, hit again! Well, that's a real hit with me, anyway ;-)
* Maegeri nikai, jodan chudan (later we just did nidan geri anyway!)
* Chudan sote-uki (empi) rib smash leap and empi-head smash.
Oh god, I love this; this reminds me when Lenny McClean shouted at me when I was trying to learn how to work the bags at the Craven-on-the-Hill, "Get stuck in son, put the elbow in, and if that don't work, the 'ed!" Ibusuki Sensei wants us to really launch into that second elbow smash.
* Soto-uke => Kizami-zuki => (optional headbut) ushiro-geri
Oh what fun we had; the thing about this is that the soto-uke is actually an elbow smash and then the kizami-zuki is palm up. Ibusuki Sensei then suggests that if you are close you grap and headbut then as you push them down, kick them to make sure
* Soto-uke => ushiromawashi-uraken => crossblock throat smash (optional headbut)
If you don't get to ram into the throat, steam in with a headbut!
* Knee strike to groin, overarm chin smash, headbut
You get the idea!
We finished off with Jutte and Gankaku.
Not your average day in the dojo