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Kukan no Kyūshō 空間の九勝: Twisting Around a Moment in Space

Blue Biker, Kyoto. photo by nWevurski
Lately I've been studying Kukan no Kyūshō 空間の九勝 in my classes. When Hatsumi Sensei introduced this idea at the 2011 Daikomyosai, not many seemed to have heard of it before, but it made sense in the way elegant mathematics make sense. In other words it just felt right. But that doesn't mean I knew what to do with this feeling.

I decided to look into what I felt and observed from Sensei's classes. What is a good way to study kukan no kyūshō? If you've been receiving my keiko kiroku training notes you have seen me describe various strategies for doing this. To get my mind around this concept and be able to use it in my taijutsu requires studying it from many angles.

One idea we were working with the other night was a movement Soke described as 撚り型 yorigata. This involved spinning the sword through the kukan after twisting the body. The twisting action begins with with exposing your own 隙 suki to discover or open up suki on your opponent. For example if you want to strike the opponent's left side you first expose your left side. Then when you twist or pivot there is the opportunity to connect to kukan no kyūshō in that moment.

Hatsumi Sensei describes what may happen in that moment as "二転三転 niten santen," which is to change again and again or be in a state of flux. The truly odd part about this is if you have found the right kyusho in the moment, these changes will be hidden from your opponent. From there you can strike or act freely, without danger. Soke says,
The place where one cannot see, it's here where changes to the extraordinary happen.
I definitely witnessed these extraordinary changes while in Sensei's classes. And in my own training there have been moments from this study that have surprised me and created wonderful results. Those moments are some of the gifts to be found in our training. You can find them too- they are just there waiting for you in the kukan!

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