Yamaguchi-sensei Lesson 3: Mae tsuki mae

By Simon Larsen and Emily Jackman

Again, if you haven’t already seen and practiced the exercises from lessons one and two, it’s worth reviewing them before taking on this extension. In this exercise we’re now starting from outside of ma-a which requires an additional step in to reach distance before doing tsuki mae. If you’re well practiced in lesson one then this should be a simple addition and focuses mostly on getting your footwork correct. Once you’ve mastered adding the new mae you can apply it to lesson two and practice mae tsuki mae tsuki – ie shuugisha attacks from to-maai with mae tsuki mae and receiver responds by catching the strike, deflecting and making an omote strike of their own.

Notes for the motodachi:

  • This is not the same as lesson one, there is only one step back to absorb and it needs to be large to accommodate them moving in faster
  • No bunny hops – keep the knees bent as you receive and use a smooth movement to move backward. Moving up and down will make it difficult to catch their mokuju in the correct position
  • Pitch your upper body forward to receive the thrust

Notes for shuugisha:

  • For this exercise try removing the fumikomi. Keep the footwork smooth by using suriashi instead
  • Suriashi enables swift, smooth steps; start with the knees bent to prevent a bouncing movement, ensure that your knee doesn’t bend past your toes and the heel should be flat to the ground, not raised as it moves.
  • Make sure the back foot is moving in quickly and not being dragged behind

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