Traveling with Diamond Eight Cut (DEC)

Dear Taimyo brothers & Sisters,

Traveling with Diamond Eight Cut (DEC):

Soon after formally I studied the DEC with Masashi Minagawa at the Reims event, Nicole and I flew back to spend the summer in San Francisco.

While there I had three opportunities to deepen my understanding of this kata:

  • It formed a core part of my summer teaching program – 2016 Taimyo meditation classes – at the Day Street Dojo in San Francisco
  • I shared it with Jim S., Connie B., Shin A., Sandra B., Rob G., Chris N., David S., and Mike S. at the Pacific Shintaido Kenjutsu workshop held in San Rafael, August 20–21
  • I tested it by doing lots of hitori–geiko under the wilderness night sky during my four day camping trip with David S. and Chris N. in the California Trinity Alps*

While visiting the Wellness Resource Center (WRC) ** (an Aiki-Do and massage school) in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts at the beginning of September, I had two more opportunities:

  • I taught it to the experienced Aiki-do instructors at the WRC
  • I shared it with four east coast Shintaido instructors who came to visit me at the WRC

These are my insights:

  • Everyone likes the first movement, because it is very much like the Diamond Mudra in the 10 Position Meditation sequence
  • DEC was really appreciated as a present from “Ten” by the Taimyo practitioners, as we celebrated our 15th anniversary this summer
  • The whole sequence can be used as a simple warm up exercise, if practiced very slowly and gently, for those who cannot do aerobic body movements
  • If you practice DEC with the movement of your eyes – even without moving your arms – it becomes a strong program of great image work
  • It can be used as an Oharai *** akin to Japanese Shinto rituals
  • Practicing in a chair, I really feel as if I’m doing Toitsu-Kihon in the space/sky. I imagine that I am riding a Space Ship of Intention (I guess I’ve been inspired by watching the Paralympic Games)
  • And most important, I feel as if I go beyond the Universe/Dai-Uchu to the other side of Creation as I make a super slow number 8 movement, cutting the big sky ****

Looking forward to sharing my latest inspiration with all of you when I see you next time!





**** The following is my analysis:

Dai-Jodan Kirikomi, or Kirioroshi:  a 90º movement cut

Chudan Kiriharai = a 180º movement cut

#8 movement of DEC: becomes a 180º movement cut when you sway your body from one side to reach behind yourself

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