How to connect the Japanese Sword from the draw to the cut! This month we will be covering the "furikaburi" or the movement of raising the sword between the nukitsuke (draw) and the kiritsuke (cut). This movement should be a smooth, circular, non-stop continuous connection of the two techniques. There are nine points in this motion that are covered one by one.
There are also several drills to define and improve your technique starting with the 2 step bundling drill. This drill shows what each hand is doing and when it is doing it! The next drill, named the first position continuity drill is designed to prevent people from stopping the sword at its high point before it drops into the attack.
I cover these points and more in the second chapter of the DVD video based on Muso Shinden Ryu Iaido with the title "Secrets of Japanese Swordsmanship - The Hidden Movements". Although the video is based on the MSR, the many of the points are universal and can be applied to any style you may practice. The video took the 5 major movements of the sword in order as they appear in the kata and detailed them individually point by point. The video begins with the Nukitsuke, containing 25 points and continues through the furikaburi, kiritsuke, chiburi and noto. As I said in May's blog, I believe that in order to develop ones technique first they have to understand how their technique works! Without this understanding there is no path to mastery of the Sword and sadly no functionality in its' movements. There is no free, flowing reaction to teki (enemy) and consequently no "Mushin". Loosely translated, Mushin means action without thought. Engagement without thought is essential to successfully reacting to an opponents challenges.
It is my hope that through this series on the "points of technique" of the Sword that I might shed some light on the inner mechanics of how each of these 5 essential movements is done. I am attaching a youtube clip for your convenience to follow along if you would like to see this info as well as read it. The video details the furikaburi and the positions of the sword as it moves from the draw through the upward position and down into the cut.
I hope that you will find these points useful in your training! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me through the contact page and I will be happy to help!
You can find the Secrets of Japanese Swordsmanship "The Hidden Movements" at Mountain Teachings.
The "Hidden Movements" of Iaido