SITUATION AND INTENTION.
An opponent who is sitting on your left side shows harmful intention. Turning 90 degrees to the left take Nukitsuke as in Ippon-me.
Diagram shows the sitting position in relation to the opponent
A This position is taken in Seiza. However the original position was in B sitting on the same line facing right.
A] Sitting in Seiza facing 90 degrees to the right.
B] Start drawing the sword and rise onto the toes on both feet to grip the ground. Then turn 90 degrees to the left using the right knee and left foot as an axis.
C] As soon as the body is facing Shomen take one pace with the left foot and immediately execute Nukitsuke.
D] The swing then swings up to Jodan posture then proceed with Kirioroshi on the centre line.
E] Zanshin is the same as Ippon-me. Take Chiburui and stand up bringing the back foot to meet with the left.
F] Pull the left foot one pace backward and begin Noto the same as in Ippon-me, but with the foot in a reversed position.
EXPLANATION OF MAJOR POINTS
TURNING TO THE LEFT
This technique is with the intention of executing Nukitsuke at an opponent sitting on the left side. The most important point in Nihon-me is turning to the left.
In turning to the left;
Put the left hand around the Koikuchi and the right hand on the Tsuka.
Lightly draw the knees together.
Move the Metsuke gradually towards the opponent who is sitting on the left.
Turn the body 90 degrees to the left using the right knee as a centre pin. At the same time the right foot with toes up is moving to right back. Whilst the body is turning the left foot lifts a little and is brought near the right knee. These five movement must be done simultaneously in turning to the left. The diagram displays further details.
Metsuke on the opponent is with the eyes only. The head (neck) must not turn to the left. Metsuke with eyes only leads to body movement.
Put both the hands on the Tsuba and bring both knees together. (Diagrams a, b, to d, e).
Start to raise the hips. At the same time start to draw the sword then turning to the left, rest the body weight on the right knee (d) Bring the right toes lightly to (f) and move the left toes to (g).
When all parts of the body have turned 90 degrees to the left, Nukitsuke action is taken towards Shomen.
The left foot moves one pace forward as Nukitsuke is taken.
Speed in turning is not so important. Proceeding with caution against adversaries from any direction is more important when commencing action. Paying full attention is one thing, but turning with full spirit and Tanden power is more competent. To express this feeling an appropriate maxim is, Just like a cat weighs up a mouse. Metsuke, spirit and form must work together.
One element of doing this form properly is to make sure that all the toes are on the ground. This is an essential part of the technique. Another element is to analyse each component of the action part by part to understand its logic, movement and technique. Metsuke etc. etc. An experienced Iaidoka who also teaches should understand that every individual has their own skills and weak points.
POSTURE IN TURNING
As stated Shin, Ki, Ryoku (heart, spirit and power) and Tanden power must be present when the body turns. A flexible posture is required to react towards any demanding situation. Posture during a turning movement should suit each individual situation. In particular bending the upper body within this action looks inadequate and inappropriate.
The most significant concern is the relationship between turning and Nukitsuke. At what point of the turn should one begin Nukitsuke? When the body is at ten, twenty, eighty or ninety degrees? The best point equals Shomen and stepping forward with the front foot. The harmony and combination work of:
1, Turning the body.
2, Facing Shomen
3, Stepping forward with the front foot are the main matters for everyone. The execution of Nukitsuke depends on the turning speed. If one commences before the body comes to face the opponent the Kissaki will not reach out far enough to cover the target. On the other hand if Nukitsuke begins after positively facing Shomen the attacking opportunity will be too late and could be advantageous to the opponent. The ideal timing to draw the sword could be;
Nukitsuke just before reaching 90 degrees or,
The moment the turn reaches 90 degrees. Both these methods seem sensible and logical because the drawn out Kissaki appears to be aiming for the side of the neck. Yet practically at this point the body is still turning to the left. Therefore when the blade comes out of Saya completely the body angle and hips are almost facing Shomen. As a result of this technique Nukitsuke is almost the same as Ippon-me. It is rather difficult to experiment with this movement. It could be useful to try doing it slowly.
NUKITSUKE and THE HIP TWISTING MOVEMENT
As mentioned this is a rather difficult movement as turning the body and Nukutsuke must be embodied together. It is important to twist the hip to the left when the body starts to turn to the left. When taking Action be sure that the sword encounters the target correctly. If body turning energy still exists at the target point the body will perhaps turn more than is required. Nukitsuke after the completion of the body turn is exactly the same method an technique as Ippon-me. Therefore there is no effectiveness in practising Nihon-me, Sanbon-me or Yohon-me as separate forms. Additionally it could be a useful study to practice these forms with a Bokuto/Bokken (Editors Note) to avoid any unnecessary accidents. Even better use a dummy on the floor as an opponent.
TURNING, ATTACKING AND PROJECTING THE SPIRIT FORWARD
Performing Nukitsuke and turning is a very difficult manoeuvre indeed. If mental preparation is insufficient the result will be a drab uninteresting performance. To avoid this it is necessary to clearly move forward in action to fully cover the target even if it is moving.
FURIKABURI (SWINGING THE SWORD UPWARDS)
To take Jodan, Kirioroshi, Chiburui. These actions are the same as in Ippon-me. Noto is almost the same as well apart from the opposite footwork. Right foot in Ippon-me is left in Nihon-me.
Note: Bokken refers to a wooden sword whereas Bokuto refers to a Japanese wooden sword.