A lesson from Soke Takamatsu

In a previous post I wrote about the importance of ukemi in your training, here is a quick story about Soke Takamatsu during his travels and adventures in China.

“While in China he fought in several battles. In one of these battles a mounted soldier was charging at him. Takamatsu was at this point not armed, but a sword lay on the ground before him. As the horseman started to draw a pistol intending to shoot, Takamatsu ran forward, did a dive roll, picked up the sword, and sprang into the air cutting off the man’s head. He later told his students that it is of the greatest importance to be able to roll correctly in as many different ways as possible.”

Now let’s glean a few training tidbits here:

1)      “Greatest importance to be able to roll correctly in as many different ways as possible” , so true in many ways. In your training practice on a variety of surfaces, add obstacles and learn to control the direction of your roll, tumble or fall, as well as be able to change direction and or stop on a dime.

2)      Note: that he rolled, grabbed a weapon then leapt to decapitate his opponent. Here again is a more advanced lesson to add to your training. Place tools/weapons on the training area fllor dive, roll, fall then grasp them and in a seamless flow, throw, engage your opponent, roll to a new location etc. Make your ukemi alive here!

One of my favorite pass times is throwing projectiles of all types. Shurikens, blades, tomahawks, and so many other items just because. Well, my son and I were practicing the other day and it reminded me of earlier practices were my students and I would run , dive, roll, and throw shurikens etc. at a variety of targets. Throws were done in the air, after the roll or from the fallen position. Well just another thing to keep in the training program!

Bufu Ikkan

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