Kihon Happō IV
A constant admonishment from Senō Sensei is 段と段 – dan to dan – literally step by step. You need to make sure each taijutsu movement (step) is correct before moving on to the next one. Point A to point E involves moving though B, C and D. Moving through each step correctly means that you are able to arrive at the intended conclusion. People frequently see the final step and try to rush there as quickly as possible, resulting in confusion as to why the technique doesn’t work ‘correctly’ and a resort to the use of force.
Senō is constantly reminding people that they need to correctly navigate through the correct series of movements to build the foundations (kihon) for the intended result. Think of the lesson of juppō sesshō, successfully negotiating through the different (and ever changing) directions of movement. This approach is not just limited to kihon happō but applies to any technique. This is the method for practicing techniques in class, not randori. In randori (free practice, lit. grasping at chaos) the final result is unknown, but you work/negotiate through successful steps to a propitious conclusion.
With Senō’s movement he is always moving from one step to the next in the appropriate manner for that situation. This frequently causes confusion as to why Senō will move in a different manner each time he demonstrates a technique, however if you have the eyes to see what is happening, Senō is moving in the appropriate manner for each individual nuance of the attack, as every time uke attacks, whether it is the same or different uke, they move slightly differently, sometimes subtly other times overtly, hence Senō’s movements are altered each time. Like one of those ‘choose your own’ adventure books as a child, except that Senō gets to always seems to get a winning result…