The above video shows a practice session of the basic kobudo sai kata, Rokusai. While we call this kata Rokusai in our dojo it is also known as Sai dai Ichi (first Sai form) in Matsubayashi-ryu. Rokusai or Sai dai Ichi features a repeating series of basic sai blocks and strikes.
It is useful to periodically video your practice sessions in order to review your performance and continue to improve. As such, this video is intended as a work in progress snapshot in time rather than as a perfect example.
Rokusai / Sai dai Ichi Freeze-Frame Step-by-Step Breakdown
Rokusai / Sai dai Ichi is a Matsubayashi-ryu kobudo Sai kata which incorporates a repeating series of basic strikes and blocks with the Sai. This repetition helps drill the proper handling and manipulation of the Sai which takes more practice than the Bo.
First Set of Repeating Sai Sequence (N)
Second Set of Repeating Sai Sequence (S)
Side to Side Sai Strikes
Third Set of Repeating Sai Sequence (N)
Fourth Set of Repeating Sai Sequence (S)
Side to Side One Legged Sai Blocks
Forward Stabbing Sequence
Side to Side Split Blocks
Rokusai / Sai dai Ichi PDF Reference Sheet
The following PDF reference sheet is a single condensed page to use as reference while learning and practicing the Sai kata. It is useful to help you remember what all the moves are until they are committed to muscle memory or for review to remember them after returning to the drill if it hasn’t been practiced in a while. I had created this reference sheet when I was first learning the kata myself. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me.
Below is a video of Soke Takayoshi Nagamine teaching Sai dai Ichi in a home. Based on this video, it looks like our Rokusai has remained very close to the original, but does have a few slight differences from the original Sai dai Ichi.
And here is a performance of Sai dai Ichi by a young Takayoshi Nagamine.
Other Versions of Sai dai Ichi
There are a number of different versions of Sai dai Ichi (first sai kata). Some are based on Kyan no Sai which has some similar moves. Below is a video of Soke Takayoshi Nagamine performing Kyan no Sai.
In the next video Sensei Lara Chamberlain demonstrates a slightly different version of Sai dai Icihi.
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Arigato Gozaimasu (Thank You Very Much!) -Renshi Mike Scaramozzino