Since Saito Sensei's visit, we've been working on the suburi, almost to the exclusion of everything else in the weapons curriculum, just to make the details he stressed feel more natural.
In the first photo Goto Sensei is adopting the opening stance. His feet are in the close hanmi Saito Sensei prescribed, and his body is aligned, relaxed, and open.
The second photo shows the trick of angling back the lower part of the jo so that it can be captured by the right hand as the left foot enters forward. This was the move that caused so many lightbulbs to flash across the faces of students at the seminar. It meant that there would be no need to reach awkwardly with the right hand to grasp the jo at the beginning of the move. What is important, Saito Sensei emphasized, is that the body movement and jo capture occur at the same time, as one move.
The next photo in the series demonstrates the drawing back of the jo with the right hand, which has slid to the back end of the jo. The jo swings back so that eventually the left hand guide has slid all the way to the front of the jo.
Finally, as both hands find their respective ends of the jo the right arm/hand snaps the jo into the thrust, the right hip swings around to the rear and the body finds Hitoemi posture as the thrust completes, radiating zanshin.
The last photo is a shot dead on from the front, showing Goto Sensei occupying the single plane which characterizes Hitoemi.
After the seminar with Saito Sensei I had whined a little bit, complaining that, while it was great to see Saito Sensei, we are always only able to barely scratch the surface before he is gone until the next visit. In the back of my mind I was aware that students who want more exposure can always visit Saito Sensei's dojo in Iwama. Meanwhile, Tatoian Sensei replied, "if you simply practice the fundamentals that he shows in these short visits, then you'll have a built a stronger basis for more advanced training, and you'll pick up more next time he comes around."
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