Why Kihon and Sanshin Are Important
In most things in life there are basic principles you need to know in order to progress further or understand more complex things. For example, with math you need to learn an practice how to count before you can add or subtract, and then you need to practice addition and subtraction in order to multiply and divide, etc.
With taijutsu we need to know and understand our sanshin no kata and our kihon happo if we want to even hope to understand anything more in taijutsu.
Now here is the secret that is written in invisible ink on the scrolls. Sanshin at first teaches you correct posture by forcing us to keep our back straight and not to stick our butts out. From there we learn how to use our legs to move us forward and to engage our hips to deliver a strike effficiently and properly. So with sanshin we learn basic body movement.
In my opinion, this should be the most important thing you practice. You can ask any of the black belts, or even Jeff, Rob, and Josh, and they will tell you that they still practice the sanshin (believe me, I have asked).
The kihon happo (basic eight) teaches us our basic 8 techniques in the art. The kihon teaches you the more combative aspects of the art, such as strikes, wrist locks, throws, and grappling. Here we also learn about the stuff that our teacher always say to us: our timing, distance, and positioning/space. At the end of the day we still need the sanshin to even attempt to do our Kihon and to me this is a good way to learn how to apply our sanshin.
Back to my math model. Before we can do the kata for the different ryu-ha we need the sanshin and kihon happo. At the end of the day the kata are just different combinations and applications of the sanshin and kihon. This principle also goes for things that are shown in class.
So no matter if we like it or now we need to practice our basics, since nothing in Budo is given easily attained.
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