The five primary parts of Shoshin Ryu
Atemi Waza (Blocks, Kicks, Strikes)
Atemi is the foundation for much of Shoshin kata and self defense. These basics build the platform which enables a student to build their martial abilities. Shoshin encourages constant repetition, constant refining of the basics to engrain precise and accurate movements. This platform’s intended goal is to maximize the effectiveness and power while taking advantage of structure of the body.
Jujutsu (Locks, Pins, and Nage Skills)
Shoshin Ryu Jujutsu incorporates a plethora of pinning and locking waza which can be used to incapacitate or contain an assailant. These waza offer the practitioner a wide range of techniques and leverage based applications that can be used and applied on various joints of the body. Nage waza are techniques with the specific aim of throwing your opponent to the ground. The roots of this practice come from Judo, a Japanese based sport. In Shoshin Ryu having the skills to throw someone to the ground is functional from a self defense perspective because it uses someone else’s weight and force against them and it can be a highly effective strategy for two reasons: The impact of an assailant moving at a high rate of speed into the ground, a wall or object can stop the attack all on its own. Second, once an attacker is on the ground with the Shoshin practitioner having the more dominant position, the assailant becomes much less of a threat.
Ne Waza (Ground Skills)
Based on Brazilian martial art techniques and principles, ne waza builds a set of skills enabling a practitioner to move well and defend themselves well against a variety of attacks on the ground should they choose to go or be forced to go to the ground. Groundwork teaches fundamental skills of weighting, leverage, position, breath, technical proficiency, and strategy that serve as a compliment to upright training.
Kata (Forms)Kata is putting the basics in motion. It teaches movement patterns and gives the practitioner the ability to string together movements which can translate into self-defense. Kata also teaches a person how to move their body efficiently; to learn to organize the body as a singular and powerful unit. Originally, kata was used as a tool to practice and retain self defense moves. Part of a student’s practice was to identify self defense techniques hidden in kata.
Shoshin Ryu teaches several different types of weapons.
1) Tonfa (stick with a handle)
2) Bo (6 foot staff)
3) Jo (4 foot staff)
4) Iai (drawing of the sword)
5) Tanto (knife)
6) Ni tan Bo (double sticks)
7) Cane (walking aide with a curved handle at the top)
Some of the principles taught with weapons are:
Mai (distancing), speed vs power, suppression, keeping the tip alive, breath, and Heiho (Strategy)
These all combine together to support self defense as the primary goal of these 5 parts of Shoshin Ryu.