Sanjugokajo-29 The body of an autumn monkey – Feb, Kim Taylor, Renshi, CI Sei Do Kai Guelph ON, Nanadan

The teaching of the body of an autumn monkey says: if you try to stick to the body of your opponent, you should imagine that you have no arms.

Without this attitude in your mind, you can easily distance yourself from the body of your opponent, so that it is necessary to stretch both arms. If your arms are stretched out, your body will move away from your opponent.

When you are sticking, you could use your upper left arm to attack, you should however under no circumstances use your forearm.

The rhythm of this sticking-to-your-opponent is the same as that of the previous article.

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Doubtless you will come across the story of the long armed monkey who reached for the moon in a reflection and drowned in a pond. In this case you should strive to be a short-armed monkey, or one with no arms at all.

If you reach out with your arms you will stop your body from being like laquer and glue, you will cause a space between you and the opponent which will give him room to maneuver and attack.

On the other hand, Musashi tells us that we can use our left shoulder to attack the opponent, and we will learn more of this in article 31, “the teaching of the folding door”. For now consider that by turning the left shoulder forward we can slam the opponent backward. If we can get him moving back onto his heels we can run him until he trips. In no case should we use our forearms for this body strike, remember that the long sword can be shortened by, for instance, gripping the blade half way down with the other hand (half-swording) and the short sword will be within its range at an arm’s distance. Use the body to strike, not the arms.

This article is very much the same idea as the previous, and the next two are also concerned with this sort of body positioning during a fight.

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