Okikukai Headquarters -
Similar format to Wednesday - the test group off to one side, the rest of us working on kata with the senior teachers. I belive Tamayose Sensei joined us that day, as is Yonamine Sensei. At the end of the workout was a lengthy discussion on the direction of the three step-offs.
Imagine a triangle with vertices a, b, c - where O is the midpoint between A & B and D is in the same x axis as B and the same Y axis as C.
Point "O" is where you end up after your double strikes in sanching kata - for the sake of this discussion in a left sanchin stance.
Now - here are the options we discussed:
Some step directly on the same line and end up at point A, then turn and end up on the same line at point B and for the final point end up at point C.
Others step more offline. They start at position O - step forward between points A/C, the forward again between points B/C and finally between points C/D.
Still others go offline the other way. They will start at point O, pass point A on the outside of the triangle, end up close to point B for the second step and close to point D for the third.
The teachers at the Okikukai reccomended that you stay within the triangle. First step to point A, second step to point B, and third step to point C.
Another interesting sanchin check - a side snap kick to the thigh after a step off.
The other suggestion made was that students up to a certain rank (shodan/nidan/sandan) should step and post after the step off before the block and bushiken strikes. After the student is well coordinated the student should execute the block movements as they turn and step - and the retraction should be completed by the time the feet and body stop moving.
This was also the day that Mr. Tomoyse dropped by to greet us and brought along a giant box of traditional Okinawan donoughts!!! They were very yummy, still warm, just smaller than a softball and quite tasty!
After the Okikukai workout we bowed out and picked up with our Demo practice. We'd started learning how to line up and enter the day before (hands up in fists ladies!) and were trying to decide just what we were going to be doing. The women on the tour had been asked to submit their planned demo contribution before we left - so now it was a question of bringing it all together - no simple task for 30 women who mostly hadn't trained together before and mostly didn't do demos. And - the show was set to go on at the Marine base the next day!!!
(no pressure - really)
So we lined up, jogged on turned, bowed, made mistakes (SHOMEN REI - ONE TWO) and did it again until our observers were satisfied. Then came opening sanchin and staying together as a group. Did you know there were about 1 million ways to count sanchin? But only one way was going to make us look professional for the demo.
When to turn, when not, when to strike, when to hold, how to close gate, when to bow - when to turn to exit. All these things needed to be timed out.
Two hours later we were dripping in sweat and got a 30 minute break to find lunch. I ended up at a lovely little soba house just down the street from the dojo. Noodles and pork, a little veggie tempura, a little sushi, and a little citrus gelatin all came with the meal - along with a nice cool iced barley tea. Heaven. It tasted like absolute heaven after almost 5 hours of straight training.
By 2:40 we were back on the floor. We did the group kanshiwa and then it was time to work out the individual groups. We had a bo kata, seisan bunkai, yakosuko kumite, self-defense demo, kotekitae, sanseiryu as a small group (which ended up being saved for the next demo) and I think that's all...just trying to get down the order for all these changes and events took us until 5:30. Then we piled on the buses and headed north to visit the Miyagi dojo. We had been scheduled to go see the Futema Shrine and the Uechi family grave that day - but the demo took precedence