The person that initiates the kata is called Uchikata
The person that performs the technique is called Shikata
Mokuju versus Mokuju kata is started 9 steps apart
Starting from Chudan
3 steps each to issoku itto no ma (ten cm overlap of mokuju)
Uchikata tenses as if to strike, this makes a teeny tiny opening to Omote. This movement is almost imperceptible. Do it by tensing hand muscles more than anything else.
Immediately Shikata uses the opening to strike Uwado.
Hiki nuki zanshin starts with a large step back by Shikata, mokuju tips should clear each other by about 5cm.
Zanshin is completed by covering Uchikata’s front kote/wrist.
Uchikata starts moving back to issoku itto no ma in chudan and Shikata follows
Any steps required to return to centre are performed by both (normally not much for this kata)
Both lower the mokuju to Gedan
Both do 5 small steps back to the starting spot
Return to chudan
Simon’s Thoughts on the key points:
This kata is an illustration of sen-no-sen. This roughly translates to “taking initiative inside the initiative” or “attacking the attack”.
To display this concept well I think uchikata must ensure the distance at which everything starts happening is perfect for shikata. Uchikata is generally in charge of controlling the distance during kata.
Shikata, I think, must strike immediately the okuri is made by Uchikata. If uchikata tenses preparing to attack and then has to stop and wait for shikata to strike the kata doesn’t display what I understand sen-no-sen to be about. The tension should draw the strike immediately, for this to happen shikata must be 100% ready to react to Uchikata’s timing as soon as the third step completes.
I find this easier if I ensure that the second step of 3 when moving in is the definitive step. This is the back foot when the strike is to be made. I find that if I think about the third step I never achieve nice timing for my strike to uchikata. When I focus on the second step I can do the third step without paying attention to anything except the tensing of uchikata and strike with much better reactionary timing.
When I do Uchikata I try to make the tension which creates the opening by feeling like I am going to make a strike when I am off balance. All those times in jigeiko when I can see a target but am unable to make the strike due to balance issues finally have a use, I just copy that moment where my body tenses to strike but then can’t perform the strike.
I think that okuri (movements made before making an attack) is more emphasised in jukendo than other budo I have done and I think that in this kata the core concept to be learned is that okuri allows your opponent to strike if they are focussed and have no okuri.
Uchikata makes a deliberate opening rather than preparing to attack Shikata and “accidentally” making an opening.
Shikata shifts their feet around after the third step rather than just striking.
Hiki nuki zanshin is done with a small step backwards meaning shikata is not at a safe distance to perform zanshin.