Sueyoshi no Kon II – Taira Shinken’s own description (Bojutsu Kata Series)

I wrote about Sueyoshi no Kon previously. Here I present Taira Shinken’s own description of the kata, in photo and text (my translation). You can also view how it is performed here, while I tried to leave out the typical performing habits that usually distort a clear assessment.

Note that some of the main Okinawan Taira lineage schools do not practice this kata. In one of the main Taira dojo they asked a friend and sensei of mine to show the kata to them, which they then filmed. In other words, they don’t know it and have no personal tradition in it.

So here it is for your comparison.

Sueyoshi0001Ill. 1
Stand in musubi dachi and hold the Bō under your right Armpit. Bow (rei). Place the feet in the parallel stance (heikō dachi) and adopt the position of attention (yōi). Now first let your both hands hang down [, such that the Bō untwines. Grab the Bō with your left hand] and continue the movement by lifting the left hand in front of the forehead, as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0002Ill. 2
Leave the right foot in its place, and place the left foot one step backwards. Assume prep for a defence to the middle level (chūdan uke yōi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0003Ill. 3
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the posture of a defence to the middle level (chūdan uke) as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0004Ill. 4
Both feet remain in their previous position. Lift both hands overhead and assume the posture of the rising defence (jōdan age uke) as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0005Ill. 5
Swing the Bō around circularly and strike to front to the lower level (migi gedan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Now pull your right hand to your left shoulder and simultaneously lift your left hand up to the front into the posture of the ascending strike (uchiage).
Sueyoshi0006Ill. 6
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume prep for the strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0007Ill. 7
Both feet remain in their previous position. Pull back the left hand to the left hip and simultaneously strike downward from above with the right. Like this you assume the posture of the right strike to the upper level (migi jōdan-uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Now assume the posture of mid-level defence (chūdan uke).
Sueyoshi0008Ill. 8
Leave the right foot in its place, and place the left foot one step forward. Bring the right hand in front of the right shoulder and simultaneously swing the left to the front. Like this you assume the posture of the reversed horizontal strike to the upper level (jōdan yoko gyaku uchikomi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0009Ill. 9
Leave the left foot in its place and place the right one step forward. Pull the left hand in front of your chest and strike forward with the right. Like this you assume the posture of the horizontal strike to the upper level (jōdan yoko uchikomi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0010Ill. 10
Both feet remain in their previous position. Raise both hands above your head and such assume the posture of the ascending defence (jōdan age uke), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0011Ill. 11
Both feet remain in their previous position. [Swing the Bō circularly and strike to the front on the low level, and] like that assume the posture of the right strike to the low level (gedan uchikomi), as is shown in photo. [Now pull the right hand up to the left shoulder and] simultaneously raise [the left up to the front] into the posture of the ascending strike (uchiage) [Gyaku-furi-age-uchi].
Sueyoshi0012Ill. 12
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the prep for a strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0013Ill. 13
Both feet remain in their previous position. Pull back the left hand to the left hip and simultaneously strike with the right downward to the front. Like that you assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Now rotate the right wrist inwards and like that assume the posture of the right defence on the middle level migi chūdan uke).
Sueyoshi0014Ill. 14
Leave the left foot in its place, transfer the right foot one step to the right, and turn [90°] to the left. [Change the hands (mochi kaeru) and] and lift the right hand in front of the forehead and simultaneously thrust the left forward below. Like that you asume the posture of the defence to the low level (gedan uke), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0015Ill. 15
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan-uchikomi) towards the left side.
Sueyoshi0016Ill. 16
Leave the right foot in its place. Assume the posture of the ascending defence (jōdan age uke) and raise the left foot until close to the knee joint. From this position now assume the posture of the defence to the low level (gedan uke).
Sueyoshi0017Ill. 17
Leave the right foot in its place and place the left back in its previous position. Simultaneously assume the posture of the defence to the low level (gedan uke) [, by lifting the right hand in front of the forehead and simultaneously thrusting the left forward below] , as is shown in photo.
Sueyoshi0018Ill. 18
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan-uchikomi). Then assume the posture of the ascending strike (uchiage).
Sueyoshi0019Ill. 19
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi). Now rotate the left wrist inwards, so that – in a circular movement – you assume the posture of the defence on the middle level (chūdan uke).
Sueyoshi0020Ill. 20
Both feet remain in their previous position. Turn around [180°] to the right. [While turning, change the grip (mochi kaeru), lift the left hand in front of the forehead and simultaneously thrust the right forward below.] Like that you assume the posture of the defence to the low level (gedan uke), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0021Ill. 21
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi) as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0022Ill. 22
Leave the left foot in its place. Assume the posture of the ascending defence (jōdan age uke) and raise the right foot until close to the left knee joint. From this position now assume the posture of the defence to the low level (gedan uke).
Sueyoshi0023Ill. 23
Leave the left foot in its place and place back the right foot in its previous position. Lift the left hand in front of the forehead and simultaneously thrust the right forward below. Like that you assume the posture of the defence to the low level (gedan uke), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0024Ill. 24
Both feet remain in their previous position. Pull back the left hand to the left hip and with the right simultaneously strike downwards to the front. Like that you assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Now assume the posture of the ascending strike (uchiage) [by pulling up the right hand to the left shoulder and simultaneously raising the left hand up to the front].
Sueyoshi0025Ill. 25
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the posture of the right strike to the upper level (migi jōdan uchikomi). No rotate the right wrist inwards, so that in a circular motion you assume the posture of mid-level defence (chūdan uke).
Sueyoshi0026Ill. 26
Leave the left foot in its place, and place the right foot back one step towards the back (kōmen) of the Enbusen. Take the right hand in front of your chest, the left hand diagonally in front of the hip. Such assume the posture of the defence to the low level (gedan uke no kamae). [Perform Nuki-tsuki]
Sueyoshi0027Ill. 27
Both feet remain in their previous position. Turn [180°] towards the back and assume the posture of the sweeping defence to the low level (gedan barai uke) as shown in the photo [by taking the left hand in front of the forehead and thrusting the right hand forward below.]
Sueyoshi0028Ill. 28
Both feet remain in their previous position. From out of the posture of the ascending defence (jōdan age uke), circularly strike downwards by pulling the left hand under the right armpit and simultaneously strike with the right hand from the left side to right front below. Like that you assume the posture of the strike to the low level (gedan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Continue and assume the posture of the ascending strike (uchiage) [Gyaku-furi-age]
Sueyoshi0029Ill. 29
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Continue and assume the posture of mid-level defence (chūdan uke).
Sueyoshi0030Ill. 30
Leave the right foot in its place. Grip change [with the right hand] into the reverse grip (gyaku nigiri). Place the left foot one step forward. Take the left hand above your left shoulder and simultaneously strike forward with the right hand. So you assume the prep posture for the [left] reverse strike ([hidari] gyaku uchikomi yōi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0031Ill. 31
Both feet remain in their previous position. Pull back the right hand in front your chest and clamp the Bō under your armpit. The left hand remains in the reverse grip (gyaku nigiri) and strikes to the front. Following this strike, form a ring with [the fingers of] your left hand and with the right hand thrust through it on mid-level.
Sueyoshi0032Ill. 32
Leave the left foot in its place and place the right foot one step forward. Raise the right hand above the right shoulder and push the left hand forward in front of your chest. Such you assume the prep posture of the right reversed strike (migi gyaku uchikomi yōi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0033Ill. 33
Both feet remain in their previous position. Pull back the left hand in front your chest and clamp the Bō under your armpit . The right hand remains in the reverse grip (gyaku nigiri) and strike to the front. Like that you assume the posture of the right reversed strike (migi gyaku uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Following this strike, thrust to the mid-level with the left according to the sequence of No. 31.
Sueyoshi0034Ill. 34
Both feet remain in their previous position. Change grip [with the right hand] into the regular grip (jun nigiri). From the posture of the ascending defence (jōdan age uke), circularly strike downwards by pulling the left hand under the right armpit and with the right hand from the left side simultaneously strike to the right front below. Like that you assume the posture of the strike to the lower level (gedan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Continue and assume the posture of the ascending strike (uchiage).
Sueyoshi0035Ill. 35
Both feet remain in their previous position. Assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo. Continue and assume the posture of the defence to the mid-level (chūdan uke).
Sueyoshi0036Ill. 36
[Change into reversed grip (gyaku nigiri)] Leave the right foot in its place. Turn [counterclockwise on the right foot as an axis] to the front direction (shōmen) until both feet are parallel. Raise the Bō above the head with both hands. Like that you assume the posture of the horizontal defence to the upper level (yoko jōdan uke) in reversed grip (gyaku nigiri), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0037Ill. 37
Both feet remain in their previous position. Lower the Bō to hip level. Like that you assume the posture of the horizontal defence to the low level (yoko gedan uke), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0038Ill. 38
Both feet remain in their previous position. Place [the tip of the Bō] Bō next to your right foot. Pull the left hand to the left hip, and with the right hand simultaneously strike from the bottom upwards to the front. Like that you assume the posture of the right ascending strike (migi age uchi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0039Ill. 39
Leave the left foot in its place, place the right foot one step to the front and thrust with both hands to the mid-level (chūdan). Like that you assume the posture of the thrust to the mid-level (chūdan zuki), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0040Ill. 40
Leave the left foot in its place. First pull back the right foot to the left foot and then place it out to the right again. Place [the tip of the Bō] Bō next to your left foot. Pull the right hand to the right hip, and with the left hand simultaneously strike from the bottom upwards to the front. Like that you assume the posture of the left ascending strike (hidari age uchi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0041Ill. 41
Leave the right foot in its place, and place the left foot one step forward. Thrust with both hands to mid-level (chūdan). Like that you assume the posture of the mid-level thrust (chūdan zuki), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0042Ill. 42
Leave the right foot in its place and transfer the left to the left [and turn 90° to the right]. Assume the reverse ascending defence to the upper level (jōdan gyaku age uke) as shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0043Ill. 43
Both feet remain in their previous position. Pull down the left hand to your left armpit and simultaneously press down with the right hand – still in reversed grip (gyaku nigiri) – from above, as it shown in the right pressing down posture (migi oasekomi) in the photo.
Sueyoshi0044Ill. 44
Both feet remain in their previous position. Thrust to the front with both hands and thus assume the posture of the thrust to the middle level thrust (chūdan zuki) as shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0045Ill. 45
Both feet remain in their previous position. Turn around [180°]. The left hand – still in reverse grip (gyaku nigiri) – placed forward. Like that assume the posture of the reversed ascending upper level defence (jōdan gyaku age uke), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0046Ill. 46
Both feet remain in their previous position. Pull down the right hand to your right armpit and simultaneously press down with the left hand – still in reversed grip (gyaku nigiri) – from above, as it shown in the left pressing down posture (hidari oasekomi) in the photo.
Sueyoshi0047Ill. 47
Both feet remain in their previous position. Thrust forward with both hands and assume the posture of the mid-level thrust (chūdan zuki) as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0048Ill. 48
Leave the left foot in its place, and place the right foot one step to the front. Still in reversed grip (gyaku nigiri), assume the posture of the low level defence (gedan uke). Continue by changing the grip [of the right hand] into the regular grip (jun nigiri) and raise both hands above your head. Like that you assume the posture of the ascending upper level defence, as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0049Ill. 49
Both feet remain in their previous position. Bring the left hand under your right armpit, and simultaneously strike from the left side circularly to the front below. Like that you assume posture of the low-level strike (gedan uchikomi). Continue and assume the posture of the ascending strike (uchiage).
Sueyoshi0050Ill. 50
Both feet remain in their previous position. First raise your right hand above the right shoulder in a clockwise rotation. Then strike downward to the upper front. Like that you assume the posture of the upper level strike (jōdan uchikomi) as shown in the photo. Continue and assume the posture of the mid-level defence (chūdan uke).
Sueyoshi0051Ill. 51
Leave the left foot in its place. Transfer the right foot to the left direction, on one line with the left, and turn [90°] to the left. First execute the horizontal defence to the upper level (yoko jōdan uke), then the horizontal defence to the low level (yoko gedan uke). Now continue and again rotate counterclockwise [a) left foot as the axis, place right foot backwards, b) right foot as the axis, place left foot backwards], the right hand above the shoulder, the left in front of the left shoulder. Such assume the prep for the strike to the middle level (chūdan uchikomi yōi) (see photo).
Sueyoshi0052Ill. 52
Drop on your left knee. Bring the left hand to your left Armpit, and the right hand simultaneously from the right [to the front], so that you circularly strike to the front. Like that assume the posture of the mid-level strike (chūdan uchikomi), as shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0053Ill. 53
Both feet remain in their previous position. From the posture of the ascending upper level defence (jōdan age uke), bring the left hand under your right armpit, and the right hand above the left shoulder, and strike (uchikomi) from there. Like that you assume the posture of the low-level strike (gedan uchikomi), as shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0054Ill. 54
Both feet remain in their previous position. Stand up. Raise the left hand in front of your forehead, the right hands thrusts forward below. Like that you assume the posture of the low-level defence (gedan uke), as shon in the photo.
Sueyoshi0055Ill. 55
Both feet remain in their previous position. Pull the left hand to your left armpit and [simultaneously] strike with the right hand from above the shoulder to the front. Like that you assume the posture of the right upper level strike (migi jōdan uchikomi).
Sueyoshi0056Ill. 56
Leave the right foot in its place and place the left foot well backwards. Using the approximating grip (yose nigiri), assume the posture of the ascending upper level defence (jōdan age uke). Continue and with both hands swing the Bō overhead and around, so that a large momentum is generated, until you have assumed the posture shown in the photo of the strike to the lower level (gedan uchikomi).
Sueyoshi0057Ill. 57
Leave the left foot in its place and pull back the right foot to the left [into musubi or heisoku-dachi]. Let the Bō rotate backward first on your left side, then your right side, with large movements striking out above the head. Place the right foot one step forward in prep for an upper level strike (jōdan uchikomi yōi).
Sueyoshi0058Ill. 58
Leave the right foot in its place and pull back the left into the closed stance (heisoku dachi). Assume the posture of the strike to the upper level (jōdan uchikomi), as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0059Ill. 59
Leave the right foot in its place and place the left foot well backwards. Stretch the right hand to the front. Pull back the left hand to the hip, at which the right hand forms a ring through which the Bō is being letting slipped.
Sueyoshi0060Ill. 60
Both feet remain in their previous position. The right hand forms a ring, through which a frontward thrust to the upper level (jōdan zuki) is executed with the left hand, as is shown in the photo.
Sueyoshi0061Ill. 61
Pull back the left hand from the thrust back to the hip and simultaneously assume the posture of mid-level defence (chūdan uke), as is shown in the photo. Continue and pull back the right foot to left into musubi dachi, and lock the Bō under the right armpit. The execution of the bow (rei) is the last act.

© 2016, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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