Thursday, November 8, 2012

Weave of the Spider...

  We've recently began having some of our (Kyu-rank) student's start their training on (Taika's) SpiderWeb exercise. It was only during the final year (that he was alive) that I believe he completed (finalized?) it. He (Taika) had taught various pieces (exercise #2, Kumi awasei, etc.) of it prior, but for the last year (that he was alive) he had been teaching (this) as his finalized version.
  Unlike the other (traditional) kata/exercises, this exercise was purely conceived for the students of/for RyuTe®. I'm sure several of the individual's who quit (or were kicked out) are familiar with the earlier versions (not that it makes too much difference, LOL). It's merely a flow exercise, using the taught applications (not exactly a big secret, LOL).
  I like Spiderweb, mainly because it's comprised of motions from all of the previously taught/learned motions (from prior exercises). Also, as it is being taught (at least to our students, LOL), we explain what (exactly) the motions represent.
  Once the student's are familiar with the entire exercise, they can be directed to work on individual sections/pieces of it (with one another) and/or the entire exercise (as well as solo).
  With this exercise, one begins to get the feel of what combining all the previously learned motions (into one continuous motion) starts to feel like. 
  Unlike many kata/exercises that I've observed (being practiced by other systems) the uke (though obviously imaginary, LOL) in this exercise is presumed to perform the kinds of motions one would expect during an actual altercation (pull-backs, striking attempts with their other hand/arm, etc.). The motions are (individually) easily transitioned to 2-person practice/application as well.
 Over the years, the "basic" manor of how kata performance has be done has varied (often including between instructors as well as schools/dojo). Recently the "RyuTe® Board" has decided that the association shall recognize (only) the ("Basic") manor of kata performance that was done on the video tapes some 20 years ago (by Taika) for use during any promotion exams.
 Though Taika provided numerous versions of the kata (for students to practice), it was only the basic version that was the (actual) correct version of the kata. Taika's additional versions were only to teach different principles to the students.
 Personally, I believe this to be a good decision. Even when Taika was still alive, there were different versions of the kata being taught to students (making it difficult to determine what qualified as being basic/official). 
 Though not considered to be a "kata" (per say), the Spiderweb exercise is a very important practice tool for student's of RyuTe® (and in my own opinion, proves more practical for application to the new student).  

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