Mr. Fugaku Ito
Godan Ito leads Brown Belt/Black Belt practice in Vancouver
On August 17th 2001, Mr. Fugaku Ito of Shintaido led our Friday night Brown Belt/Black Belt practice in Vancouver. Mr. Ito received a Godan from Master Egami while he was attending Chuo University in Tokyo from 1961 to 1965. About twenty people attended this special practice, including members from Kamloops and Seattle.
Mr. Ito led us through various exercises to help us relax and loosen our shoulders; one of those practices is called wakame (“wakame” means “seaweed”). During wakame practice, one side closes their eyes and tries to imagine that they are wakame while their partner pushes on various parts of the wakame’s body. The wakame side tries to react as they imagine seaweed reacts to the motion of the water. This practice is to heighten your awareness and relationship with your partner while teaching you to relax completely.
After leading various relaxing exercises, Mr. Ito went on to describe how Master Egami taught tsuki. He explained the evolution of the form of fist which Master Egami taught and then led us through various practices to help us develop an extensive feeling. We practiced oizuki using several steps to complete one punch, and then practiced running oizuki and running gedanbarai. These practices involved having one member standing in oizuki form in the middle of the dojo and having everyone approach, executing their technique while running. During this practice, Mr. Ito told us to imagine penetrating ten or twenty opponents, not just the one who was before us.
After oizuki, we practiced running “kirikomi”. In this practice you approach an opponent who assumes oizuki posture similar to that in the running oizuki practice described above. As you pass the opponent, you cut with a chudan attack using an imaginary sword.
As practice drew to an end, we faced each other from opposite ends of the dojo and ran to meet each other in the middle, one side cutting chudan the other jodan as we continued to run past each other. After several exchanges, we switched to oizuki. As in the above practice, two people approach each other again from a long distance and execute a long oizuki as they pass by each other.
After practice, as is the tradition, we all adjourned to Chongqing Restaurant for Chinese food and conversation, where we were treated to more stories about practice with Master Egami. Many thanks to Mr. Ito who took time out from his busy schedule to lead us in a very informative and enjoyable practice, and for enlightening us about practice with Master Egami.