Sensei’s class on Friday was slightly above my level of understanding. I opened the class with a defense against tsuki using several mini steps and changing hands and directions, and sensei developed it to teach the essence of it.
To make myself clear, I couldn’t do the movement I demonstrated after he “cleaned” it.
In his explanation sensei used two images:
土埃 (tsuchibokori), cloud of dust; and
中心 (chûshin), pivot, or axis.
Using the metaphor of the cloud of dust, Sensei explained that we have to be perceived like an innocent cloud of dust by the attacker. There is nothing strong only dust. As he cannot see the danger, uke doesn’t react to our invisible actions. When watching him do it, it felt like he was doing nothing at all. His movements are so soft and non aggressive that uke was trapped before knowing it.
Sensei added that moving like a cloud of dust in the wind, we had to match Uke’s movements by moving slowly and using a simple 中心, axis of the body. Being show is the secret of speed and power.
This axis became the center of gravity of the situation and allowed him to use the 空間 kûkan around and within the space between the opponents. It was some sort of a dynamic 空間軸, (Kûkanjiku), spacial axis. When uke understand the danger it is already too late. To achieve this, one has to remain totally relaxed and do whatever is unfolding in front of him without trying to do any specific action.
Dust is flying in all directions and didn’t follow a plan. Dust is pushed by the wind. We have to learn how to move like a cloud of dust. Nothing is preconceived.
Sensei ended his class explaining that we ended this year the cycle of 42 years and that he has been teaching everything that he received from Takamatsu Sensei and that from this year onwards, he is teaching the kami waza, the techniques of the gods.
Which is why this year’s theme is Shingin Budō.