Zoom with Ito Sensei: Requiem

Brad LarsonShintaidoLeave a Comment

In this time of Covid-19, one of the unexpected positive outcomes is that I can now meet with an international community of Shintaido practitioners nearly on a moments notice from my living room. Today Ito Sensei led the 2nd in his series of the form Taimyo Kata, with a theme “Requiem”, in rememberence of the 75th Anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

(If you’re not familiar with Shintaido, Ito Sensei is a master martial artist, part of the founding group of Shintaido, and one of the two who brought Shintaido to the U.S. It has been a rare opportunity over decades now to study with him when he travels nearby).

The overall gist was the Ito Sensei has developed a new approach to one of our central forms (Taimyo Kata) that is fit for a wider range of aging practitioners and the general public. The new approach will no doubt be described elsewhere, so I’m going to just list a few notes I took:

  • The soft approach (“yokitai”) can also be thought of as receving grace from nature
  • “Let it go.” A central theme to play with. At the end of the body twist with cut, don’t stop the cut parallel to your body.
  • Taimyo kata is an “integrated whole body movement — comes from the core”
  • Your arms overhead form a soft, open funnel. Let the energy come in.
  • A new step for me after the hands come down on top of the head — they then go back up again a couple hands’ width before coming down again
  • When the arms are crossed in front of the chest — heart chakra — is an opportunity to think of those who suffered unjustly, were killed in war, etc. The meditation becomes more outreaching than inward. Also can incorporate this in final hand position at the sides.

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