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To Calais with a sword – a travel diary part 5

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Day 5

This is part 5 of my travel diary to the Ken Jutsu and budo seminar in Calais. Today: Kassen Tachi. You can find the other parts here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 6, part 7.

In the morning: lecture about Misogi

Araya Kancho talks about Misogi
Araya Kancho talks about Misogi

As always the morning session starts with a lecture. Aray Kancho talks about Misogi (ceremonial purification) and explains what this is all about. On Friday we all will have a Misogi ceremony together at the beach and everybody is listening closely. Briefly summarized, the aim of Misogi Harai (purification ritual or ceremony) is to reach the state of Gen Ki. Gen Ki can be translated as state of healthy and strong (gen) will power and motivation (ki) to achieve the things you consider important and right. We try to reach inner clarity and to have the energy to achieve our goals.

Ken Jutsu at the afternoon – Kassen Tachi

Today, the advanced group does the 5. series: Kassen Tachi. Kassen means

Heute steht bei den Fortgeschrittenen die 5. Kata Serie auf dem Plan: Kassen Tachi. Kassen means verybody together & to fight. In other words: battle or battlefield katas. For practive we leave the dojo and move outside. Fighting on the battlefield also means to cope with all the other conmditions: irregular and uneven ground, sun, wind, goinf up- or downhill and so on.

Preparation for Kassen Tachi. Markus with Hachi Maki in front of the other advanced participants.
Preparation for Kassen Tachi. Markus with Hachi Maki in front of the other advanced participants.

As protection from the sun many of us wear a bandana, a Hachi Maki. Kassen Tachi is performed from a larger distance. You quickly approach the opponent and uke (attackedr) tries to attack very intensively. On the defending side and at the final control it is important to assume that the attacker is armored and only few vulnerable spots remain. Good targets are the side of the neck, the armpits and the groin. It is going to be a very intensive class and everybody is sweating freely.

Udagawa sensei explains many details of the katas but it is really helpful if you had some previous exposure to the series. Otherwise the sheer amount of information is quickly becoming too much. After two hours of battle everybody is pretty tired.

8. Kassen Tachi Kata: Fudoken, control at the end. Some of the katas end with the attacker on the ground.
8. Kassen Tachi Kata: Fudoken, control at the end. Some of the katas end with the attacker on the ground.

 

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