In 2012, March 2012

Thoughts from Japan

Having had a couple of training sessions with Soke, as most of you are aware, he has spoken of “kaname”. I won’t go into translation of that, as there are those far more qualified to do so. But I will share my experience and thoughts on it. One definition could be thought of as “essence”.  I carefully watched Soke, and looked for this sense of kaname. I am not sure I can share what it is, but what I did see, was his ability to hold the uke suspended, and then as uke recovered, he touched a point, or moved a certain way that of coursed, caused either another suspension, or uke to ungracefully fall. It seems to be one step more advanced from last year,  the 1 point, 2 point, more points, to affect the body. He spoke of playing, like a cat playing with his prey, this sort of feeling. Here a few images I hope may give some impression of this.

This first image may not be clear, but his hands are at his side. He is affecting uke with his position and shoulder.

Here, Soke has turned, and very lightly placed his right hand on uke’s shoulder. Between the 1st and 2nd move, uke has attempted to recover slightly. Soke gives and then takes away again.

Notice how deeply he steps behind, affecting purely by his position, no power.

Awkward and difficult ukemi to fall from the position above. Hence the “ungraceful” fall!

I would like to share from Cinzia Dolcini from Italy, who was in Japan earlier. What she wrote captures very well what I felt and saw from Soke this trip. This is what she had to say:

“The theme of the year: KANAME and in general a broader expression, see my site in:

Soke used also expressions like KANAME NO IDO: “the movement of kaname” (I feel that is connected with the movement of oneself around a pivot, for example. Or the movement of the pain “main point” in different places. Or counter-attack moving kaname from me to the opponent.)

TOMEI NO KANAME: “the transparent kaname”. Some people have translated like “invisible”, but invisible in Japanese is another word. In this case Soke used “tomei” that is transparent, so maybe it has a slight different aspect.

KUKAN NO KANAME: “the main point of the space”. (I could just see it when an opponent was in the ground and he was about in standing up and Soke has controlled gave me the idea that the main point of his control was located in the space between the feet of Soke and the opponent’s body. Just for example)”

Thank you Cinzia for that contribution. Very clarifying and I think also helps to give others the feeling by reading it.