Wednesday, April 07, 2010

American Bo Form

This is showtime, it's spotlight week for those of us who are testing for new belts in April or candidates. I had the honor of performing the American Bo form as a solo for my class Monday night.  I felt good, I was fluent, energetic, and didn't stumble.  The class liked it and so did I.

The instructors however, exchanged glances after I finished, one of them got the nod, and I was taken solo into the next room for some help. It seems that Kyoshi had worked that very morning with the staff on bo form so they were very aware of some details that I was not doing right.  Here's what I'm focusing on changing. BTW, I love this sort of detail work. Thanks Mr. Vince.   Why? Well, as I've said before, Correct Me. If you are my friend.

1. Bo position. On many side to side strikes, in the finish position, the bo is completely straight forward and exactly horizontal. Not a little up or a little down, not a little to the left or right, completely straight forward and exactly horizontal. Also, near the start when I place the bo on my knees, this is a chance to discretely be sure that it is centered, not a little too far to one side or the other.

2.  On the cat stance positions, the bo points down 45 and straight forward. Again, not even a little to the left or right.

3. There are many different positions for the overhead strike, all exactly the same in terms of the bo and the arms. On the overhead strike, it is at the end, pointed up at 45 degree, left hand down at the hip, right hand turned over like a fist. The step where you cross your legs is an overhead strike and it should end exactly liek this. While the body is is a novel position, the strike is exactly like the others.  Ditto on the overhead strike when you spin around. Ditto on the first overhead strike from your knees.

4.  Directions, mostly very square with one brief section on the 45.  At times, the form is north, south, east, and west.  Starting at one high dragon, it is on the 45 but only until downward strike which is again north (ie, the position that I started the form in).

5. High and low dragon.  The bo moves down through the left hand like a pool cue for the low dragon, the shot is just past your back leg, and your stance (hard bow forward) remains that way for the up and down dragon. You only switch your stance and adjust your step on the next move.

6. The backwards steps starts with the rear left leg.  When we count the three steps backwards, it's based on the left leg stepping further back (one), followed by the right leg coming back to it. Then the left leg goes back again (two), and so on. Going forward, it's the opposite, the right leg steps first (one) with the left closing in afterwards.


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