Tsuzukiwaza 8


Attacking multiple times from the same side

The predecessor of Tsuzukiwaza 8 was Taigi 3. It was the first Taigi to break up the scheme of an attack first on one side and then the same attack on the other side. Here Uke attacks first three times with his right hand and then three times with his left hand. After that, the attacks are carried out in the usual pattern, i.e. alternating from the left and the right.


In the examination program for the 1st Dan.
First, Uke attacks quickly three times. That's why he always uses the same hitting hand, the right one. Nage tries Sudori (dodging) twice. First, by moving his arm protectively forward and going forward, turning his back to Nage. The second time, by quickly bowing down (ojigi) and then moving forward. The third time, he takes Uke down with Kokyunage Irimi.
The video shows the first sequence in original speed and the second sequence in slow motion. As always, the video is intended to help memorizing the sequence and to encourage practice.

footwork tsw08

Footwork in the triple Yokomenuchi

Precision in evading is best achieved when Nage and Uke only take the necessary steps. It may be tiring to read the description of the footwork, but perhaps you may compare your own sequence of steps with the one described here.
1. Starting position. In Hanmi, Nage stands with his right foot forward. Uke has his left foot in front and will strike with his right hand.
2. While Uke takes a big step forward with his right and strikes, Nage jumps forward with his back (left) foot, lifts his arm for protection and passes Uke clockwise with his back to Uke. Nage touches down with the left foot and pulls the right foot behind his left foot, so that he ends with the left foot forward. Without further steps he turns to Uke, who also turns to Nage.
3. Starting position for the second strike. Nage with the left foot forward, uke with the left foot forward, too.
4. Uke strikes again with his right by taking a step forward on the right. Nage buckles in the hip and bends over in a flash. With a step forward to the right, he passes Uke's right side, anticlockwise and with the back to Uke. He pulls his left foot closer, so that he ends with the left foot forward again.
5. Uke has missed Nage and is looking the wrong direction. He turns 180° left on the spot and looks in Nage's direction.
6. Starting position for the third strike. Nage stands with his left foot forward, Uke has his left foot forward.
7. Uke takes a right step forward and strikes. Nage puts his left foot forward, lifts his left arm and leads his tegatana into the crook of the elbow of Uke's right arm to Kokyunage Irimi. Nage's right hand towards Uke's upper body protects him against a strike by Uke.
With these exercises you develop MAAI (間合い), the correct distance in space and time.


Departures 2008

Daigo Kobayashi is a cellist in an orchestra in Tokyo. When the orchestra is disbanded, he loses his job. He decides to give up his career as a professional cellist and to sell the cello, which he had previously bought on credit for 18 million yen (approx. 150 thousand euros). He and his wife Mika move to his hometown of Yamagata to look for a new job.

One day he discoveres a job offer that is roughly titled "Helping with the trip". It is only during the interview that Daigo realizes that his potential employer is not a travel company, but a coffiner company.
After some initial difficulties, Daigo begins to like his work. When his wife discovers what he is doing, she begs him to quit. Daigo refuses and Mika leaves him. His long-time childhood friend Yamashita also avoids him after learning about Daigo's job.
When Yamashita's mother dies shortly afterwards, Daigo prepares her for the wake in front of Yamashita, his family and his own wife. Yamashita and Mika begin to understand Daigo and to respect his work.
The Japanese film title is a combination of the verb okuru, i. e. "say goodbye", "escort", and the noun hito "man". It is not a common word, but the resulting meaning is something like "one who says goodbye to or guides the other". The English version was given the title "departures". The German title is the name of the company in which the protagonist works: Nōkan (納 棺, nōkan). It means "coffin-laying" and is mentioned a few times in the film.
The film is based on the autobiographical book Nōkanfu Nikki (納棺夫日記, Diary of a Coffin Layer, 1993) by Aoki Shinmon (*1937). The preparations for the film lasted ten years. The main actor Masahiro Motoki learned playing the cello especially for the film and also learned the art of washing corpses and laying them in the coffin. Since death and burial in Japan are on the one hand a ceremonial - as shown in the film - and on the other hand are taboo subjects in public, the director initially did not expect the film to be a great commercial success.
Okuribito is a very nice film for anyone who is able to deal with this topic.