Guelph Seminar tech notes
These are my technical notes from the seminar. They are long, full of errors, boring, dry and also I made these notes for myself, so they may be meaningless to anyone else. There are a lot of uninteresting observations from my first real contact with Eishin ryu style, and how it differs from what I'm used to.
I may have confused left and right a few times.
Please do not be offended, this is an almost literal transcript of things scribbled on the spot in a notebook I hide in my gi.
It seems the ushiro nukitsuke is a continuous draw again. The left foot is placed forward in a distinct separate step, but this could be a jikiden thing. This whole place is crawling with jikiden people. Uke nagashi is changed again to a less fluid form with a more explicit block. The block is higher, tip is about ear level during the block. Cut is to the shoulder. Stepping straight back remains the same. Tsuka ate atemi not too high, because the person could be seated. As reaction to the atemi the person will drop back, you will cut him the moment he straightens up again. He is to be given time for this, don't cut too fast, carefully look first. This is giving him a chance to escape as well. Properly return the left foot brefore the cut. Watch that the right hand doesn't lower during the tsuki. People here tend to stomp rather loudly, maybe a jikiden thing. More saya biki everywhere; it appears there is to be a full saya biki again during ukenagashi, morotetsuki and even soete tsuki chiburi. Change: the soetetsuki thrust must follow the turn more quickly. General: On turning movements the hips should be used more. On stepping the trailing foot should be pushing you forward, not be dragged behind (this point was much emphasised).
In jikiden version of sato and uto (migi, hidari?) there is no more moving forward after nukitsuke. Also the aft foot is moved forward immediately on standing up during chiburi. Again turning from the hips was emphasised. The weight should be on the knee so as not to bend forward while turning. In jikiden, after a turn the foot is placed forward together with the cut, after the turn it is still next to the knee, in Shinden this is a continuous move and part of the turning. Something else I noticed is that a proper jikiden noto (as done by Oshita sensei I mean) keeps the sword in a fixed angle, using mostly the saya (just as in Shinden in a way, only vertical) instead of making these strange ninja movie style big circling motions with the sword. 'Do not concentrate too much on technique, work strong and slow. One can do any kata if one would just understand the situation.' Koryu nukitsuke goes wider than in seitei and moves beyond the shoulder. (everyone seems to say seitei around here). In Shinden the target of nukitsuke is always the wrist, while the opponent is drawing. After that he is chased and cut down.
From here the comments were mostly by Sephen Cruise (referred to as 'he') and for Muso Shinden ryu.
There are differences in furi kaburi depending on teacher. He uses the approximate seitei one. Hidari jodanshould be with the sword straight up, to tilt it is kendo influence (kote). Inyo shintai first chiburi is done by him also while dropping on the knee. Noto is as in jikiden for ryuto, junto and gyakuto. For ryuto the feet are first placed as in ukenagashi. Turn strongly to the left. The right foot steps sideways, not back. Never rest the sword on the shoulder. He cuts to the center, not as far as Lee sensei it seems. First turn the feet parallel, then chiburi. Junto: don't forget to keep attention on the victim. Keep the sword tip out of his field of vision on raising the sword. After the cut he makes a sawing motion, pulling the sword towards him, and then pushing back as well. One can cut at 3 occasions; when the victim takes the tray to sit on, when he bends forward to sit on it, and when he is busy with the knife. The chiburi can be interpreted as using the hakama to wipe off the blade (with the right hand inside the hakama). Tsuka is released more casual in junto. Gyakuto: rise first, draw downwards with the foot next to the knee, quickly raise the sword to the block. He chases in jodan instead of chudan. Push after the second cut, raise the sword fast and strong while pulling back the foot, as if stabbing the ceiling. There are variations on the last move. Push strongly with the hand against the mune and pull upwards sharply until the hand and elbow is level with the shoulder, then lower slowly. Here too the hakama can be used to wipe off the blood. 'Think more about the tip, not about the hands.' Seichuto: the first cut is done as in morotetsuki, do not extend too far, there is no pause between rising and cutting. First look down (at the shadow on the floor in front) then up to the right. Koranto was completely different; first grab the tsuka and bend the knees, take 3 small quick steps forward. Keep the hips on the same height throughout. There is a small stop after nukitsuki. The walking variation is probably an interpretation from another teacher. On furikaburi the hands should not move too far up our back. The cuts finish with the tip as high as the top of the tsuba, remember to keep straight wrists. During chiburi the hands should stay within the field of vision, not too far back. For batto, bring the sword back parallel with the saya, the knees move towards each other during furikaburi, not before. Our Chuden noto seems to be used for Okuden, Omori-like noto is used here in Chuden, foot is withdrawn slowly. The right foot makes a small half circle at the end of noto in Okuden, this is to move the toes out of the hakama, and should not be larger than needed. General: Speed is very much not emphasised here.