Summary of class 16/04Samenvatting les 16/04

Last week and yesterday class was led by Jouke-sempai, who was in the Netherlands for last weekend’s EKC. Where we usually practice upwards of six techniques a night in 2x(2×5) bouts, he now had us repeating the same technique in a 2x(5min) setup. Instead of doing one technique five times twice, we now keep going back and forth until “Yame!” is called.

This dramatically lowered the amount of different things we got to try, but there are two huge benefits:

  1. Muscle memory
  2. The time to reflect

During kihon practice we focused on men (both oki and hayai), hayai kote and kote-men and finally hiki waza. The following points were made:

  • When receiving a kote strike, do not simply turn the shinai to the left. Instead raise your shinai as if deflecting a strike to men. This opens up your kote in a much more credible sense.
  • This is why we practiced hayai kote in two ways. First we pressure and simply go for kote. Then we pressure for men and when motodachi opens we strike kote.

Tsuyuguchi-sensei spent a lot of his time explaining hiki waza to me. Most of it was in Japanese (probably because I had given the impression that I speak it) so I missed big parts of it. However, the essence of what he tried to convey is this:

  1. Keep your hands low and lock the tsuba.
  2. Tsubazeriai is all about the hips, push from the hips.
  3. Put strong pressure against your opponent and push away.
  4. Did I say it’s about the hips? Because you need to work from the hips!
  5. Where you strike depends on the reaction of your opponent, on where his hands and shinai go to.

I really appreciate the effort he put into explaining these things to me! It’s the first time we’ve really spoken, so I went up to him after class to thank him again. Point #3 is a bit confusing for me personally, because I have often been told not to put any pressure in tsubazeriai. Not until you actually push off for your strike.


  1. De vorige keer gaf jouke als reden op dat je dan kunt focussen op betere techniek en minder op het afmaken van de set. Dus dan krijg je automatisch meer tijd om te reflecteren inderdaad.

    Verder is de “pressure” bij punt 3 van je tsubederiai pointers dezelfde soort pressure als bijvoorbeeld die je naar men moet geven als je voor kote wilt gaan om ervoor te zorgen dat die kote open komt.

  2. Wat betreft punt #3 gebruikte Tsuyuguchi-sensei het woord “push” en niet “pressure”. Hij bedoelde echt fysieke kracht en niet ‘seme’ en duwde dus
    ook hard tegen mijn handen tijdens het “zoeken”. Dat is wat ik bedoelde
    met wat er zo anders was: voorheen werd mij vaak gezegd juist geen kracht
    te uitten bij het voelen/zoeken.

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