I really love the second kumi tachi. Some set forms can de difficult to keep the flow while doing the form due to very complex movements that can some times feel forced or out of place. However, kumi tachi #2 just flows perfectly. It’s easy enough that a beginner can learn in it in one class and advanced students can really work on timing, flow, spatial awareness, and connection.
The picture above shows one of the movements in kumi tachi #2. As the attacker thrusts moving his back foot forward, the defender brings his sword up to lightly deflect the thrust and at the same time moves his front foot back. This is followed up by an over head strike from the attacker, again from his back foot and the defender again moves his front foot back and deflects. From there the pattern repeats a few times. Simple, efficient, and beautiful.
At Aikido Mugenjuku we believe in constant focus on and polishing of our basics so it was a really good chance for our advanced students to focus on some easy movements and really work on improving any weak points.
Today’s class was a weapons class but for the first thirty minutes we practiced many types of Ukemi. In particular we practiced taking back break falls simulating a situation where you fall backwards over something. This kind of ukemi training is always interesting because the timing is very different from the nice controlled normal back break falls we do.
After ukemi practiced we worked on staff forms. 13 and 31 jo-kata and we ended the class with some kumi-jo (jo-kata with a partner). It’s always a challenge to give an honest atack with weapons because we’re afraid of hurting each other. Without an honest attack we can’t correctly learn the forms. But if we practice the forms correctly and slowly we can get give honest attacks safely and help our partner avoid developing bad habits due fear of getting hurt.