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Session Feb 14, 2015: Fundo Kusari

Fundo Kusari exploration

Training today: – Chris

Another solo session during the weekend, which lasted about 2 hours. The last package we received from Otsuka-Sensei included two plastic training Fundo Kusari, as well as six soft Bou-Shuriken. In addition, the Fundo kusari jutsu Shodan waza dvd  was included. Here is a link on Youtube showing some of the content of the ni-dan dvd. I decided to explore the practice tools for about one hour, in addition to throwing “the daily 10 sets of 5”.

With the soft shuriken, I wanted to understand the flight pattern. I recorded several throws using my iPad to determine the angles of the soft Bou-shuriken while it was in the air. I cannot wait to try the soft shuriken with some of the Keikokai members.

From the Fundo Kusari dvd, I decided to practice the first kata, called Ippon-me. I noticed the importance of the left hand to be in the correct position so that it will not be hit by the weight. It seems and looks easy, but after a few tries, I realized it is more difficult than it looks. Although swinging the fundo kusari without power is not that difficult, returning it to the hand is an interesting challenge. With about one month left before the seminar, I decided to keep further training simple, as I want to let Otsuka-Sensei do most of the correction before it becomes too difficult to unlearn mistakes.

Today I also trained using full MSR dogi: the blue Keikogi I had ordered through Yamato budogu and my Hakama. My old regular hakama from Aikijutsu was too small, but my other more formal Hakama fits really well. I think I will be wearing both from now on for each MSR training session.

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Session Feb 10, 2015

Training today: – Darren, Jay, Chris.

This session lasted close to three hours again, it seems that time accelerates when focusing on shuriken-jutsu. Happily, we had received the package that Otsuka Sensei had sent us (thank you Sensei!), and it included two safety fundo kusari, three sets of bou-shuriken, as well as 6 soft shuriken. We also ordered two dvds covering the fundo kusari waza up to ni-dan level, but we have not had time to look at those dvds.

We started by exploring the soft shuriken and safety fundo kusari, but decided to start practicing those during our Monday evening sessions when we have more space. We then looked at the new bou-shuriken (cut from steel), and compared them to a forged set purchased through Yamato budogu as well as a set that was hand forged by a friend. The new sets are a bit different in style with a different tip, and we think slightly different weight.

We focused again on Shomenuchi, trying out the different bou-shuriken to get to experience the differences in feel, throwing, as well as grip. Each set feels different, and each of us had a preference for one kind.

Continuing from Saturday’s session, the focus was on accuracy. We used the grid pattern on a puzzle mat to focus aim and accuracy of the entry of the bou-shuriken, trying to accomplish an “A” entry, as explained in Shirakami Ikku-Ken Sensei book Shuriken-Do. After a while, we decided to use a traditional MSR target to switch training up a bit.

We also received the German translation of Otsuka-sensei’s book. It is very similar to the Spanish edition, with a few additions here and there (as it is a newer version than the Spanish version). It is  great book and will provide us with lots of content to philosophize about.

This was another great session, thank you everyone for showing so much effort. And… we may have another person interested in joining as well.

 

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