''Catching incoming strikes with your everyday scarf is a basic combat skill anyone can learn. Whether for service staff or civilians.'' - Marc Cooper
Last Wednesday at Hayabusa Ninjutsu was all about learning the basics (Kihon Happo - the fundamental techniques). It was slightly different than my first experience where I was introduced to the katana and bo. This time, I got to shadow a black belt and learn from him. ''Everything starts from the basics'' is something I heard quite a lot during the class. All of the basic movements without weapons are the same movements you would use if you had weapons such as the spear or the katana. I thought that was a really interesting concept and it only got clearer when he demonstrated a basic fundamental movement without a weapon and then with a bo.
''We can not rush the process of budo! The more you practice correctly, the more doors will become open for you.'' - @ClassicalJapanseMartialArts
Learning the basics is a repeating theme as I visit the different gyms, studios and dojos in Ottawa. The elite have mastered the basics. Once you've learned the basics you can then progress - not the other way around. Even when you've mastered the basics you should still keep practising them. Even Marc and some of his blackbelt colleagues are at weekend intensive camp right now learning and practising.
''Practice, practice, practice!'' - Marc Cooper
My time with a black belt was done. I was then partnered up with a fellow white belt. Oh did I mention that I received my first martial arts belt? Here's a picture for proof!
As I was saying, the other white belt and I then worked on our Kusarifundo techniques (see first picture). Here is Dr Kacem Zoughari demonstrating the use of this technique:
Of course it didn't look anything like that because we were beginners. However, I succeeded in intercepting an attack with a piece of rope. I felt accomplished. Even more impressive, as I watched Doctor Strange last night, I noticed the hero used the Kusarifundo technique to disarm his opponent.
I'll be back next Friday and I was told that we would continue improving the basics (Kihon Happo) and this time we would add knife attacks (don't worry mom they're made of wood and plastic). Also, after my Ninjutsu class, I'll learn the art of archery.
HAYABUSA NINJUTSU will sponsor and fund a separate entity specializing on combat archery which is not Japanese related but will follow recurve bow principles and target instinctive shooting. Stay tuned, more to come...