May 19 2008

What is Kihon?

In training with Oguri Sensei and Seno Sensei, I had a chance to experience their kihon.  This should not be confused with the kihon happo, simply the karada no kihon.

This is the basic way to move your body.  This involves things like the required flexibility to perform proper techniques.  After working on a tuski method for half an hour, Seno sensei had me translate that ‘Once you can do this basic movement, you can start to relearn the techniques while eliminating your bad habits’.

It’s hard to translate that and not sound like a jerk.  Seno sensei let us know that our bodies were in no condition to be chasing after advanced techniques.  To move freely we need to have control over our bodies, a control that we as budo-ka should have.  In the bujinkan we always talk about the importance of self training, but we always seem at a loss as to how to do this.

If your ichimonji can not be held with your rear knee at 90 degrees (pi over 2 radians Jason) moving forward to extend a tsuki over the width of a tatami then you don’t have a body flexible enough for Seno Sensei’s kihon.  Oh and this is with your back erect up and down.

If you can’t start from shizen and squat all the way down without going onto your toes or bending your back from the erect position, you don’t have the calf flexibility to perform Oguri Sensei’s kihon.

This is fair, I don’t expect that everyone should be able to do this.  That said, if you can’t, perhaps it’s time that you do some personal body training to get ready for the waza of the Bujinkan.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “What is Kihon?”

  1. Adam McCollon 03 Jun 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I have been following your (mis)adventures via the blog for a while, but this is the post that forces me to de-lurk.

    I couldn’t agree more re idea of the karada no kihon. Especially the example of squatting in Shizen-tai. I do expect everyone to be able to do this so begin every class with this very exercise. :-)

    This kind of squat, and other ‘simple’ range of motion and body weight movements, are great tools for honest evaluation of ‘condition’. Daily practice yields many benefits and also comes in handy when faced with using washiki (Japanese toilet).

  2. Jasonon 19 Oct 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Just came across this blog about a month ago, leaving a reply now.

    Curious, what do you think or feel about Nagato-sensei’s kihon….?

    I know what my answer is, do you? ;)

    Coupl’a nice things you’ve got on your blog.

    mainichi ganbatte kudasai

    bufuu ikkan

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