Saturday, March 02, 2013

The Kata we Practice: Shuji Nu Kun

Shuji No Kun is the first okinawan weapon kata people learn at our dojo. This kata comes from the Yamane Ryu Bojutsu lineage as taught by Kishaba Chogi Sensei to Shinzato Katsuhiko Sensei.

Yamane Ryu is a very dynamic form of Bojutsu. The movements are flowing and alive.  Footwork is essential to gain an advantage for distance and timing, and this is evident in the way the kata employs foot switching technique.

We actually practice two different versions of this kata at this time. The basic version uses larger swinging techniques, bigger koshi motion, constant adjusting the bo to maintain a distinct "front" that is longer than the "back" of the bo, and holding the bo close to the body.  The more advanced version focuses on relaxed stances derived from naihanchi, holding the bo in a more 50/50 way, and pokes instead of swings.

It's fun to teach this kata to beginners because bo is so different than empty hand kata for the beginner.  It really gives them a chance to learn things from a different perspective.  In reality, Bo kata and empty hand kata really aren't that different, but it takes a number of years of training to figure out why.

Shuji no Kun is not an easy kata to learn, and to do it really well takes years of training.  I like to teach it to beginners who are working toward their green belt, but it is something that students will continue to practice through black belt and beyond.

1 comment:

D said...

Is it just me Sensei or have you added more koshi movement to this kata? Should I practice it like this now?