Wednesday 18 January 2023

水手 from Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei

 My final self-practice today in the dojo was dedicated to SUISHU (Mizu no te). Below are some images from the session. There was also a video filmed within the training. 

I thought to quote Asai Tetsuhiko on Suishu Kata. I will do so in Japanese first, then in translate into English:

" 水手。この型は、時には静まり返った水面のごとく、時には荒れ狂う水流のごとく、生と動の攻防の技を織り成した、型である。"

"Water hands.  This kata is a formal exercise that interweaves the offensive and defensive techniques of life and movement, sometimes like a calm water surface and sometimes like a raging current". (Please note - I have emphasized some points in the translation to provide clarity from Japanese, which actually isn't clear without doing so).

To conclude, the Suishu that I have inherited, like many of the other kata from Asai Sensei, is different. Incorporating the flow of water into taijutsu was the prime training purpose of this kata; moreover, this is not form but effectiveness as 'bujutsu'. The current mainstream form of Suishu has lost this point and, in doing so, has become nothing more than 'another kata' (set of moves for performance) which is, of course, pointless and so very sad.

We must work hard together to preserve Asai Sensei's teachings, that of the old JKA, and also the origins of Shotokan.

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2023).

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