Rokusai / Sai dai Ichi Kata – First Sai Form

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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.

Below are a few other versions of Sai dai Ichi as well as a freeze-frame step-by-step breakdown and PDF reference sheet.

Enjoy!


Soke Takayoshi Nagamine Teaching Sai dai Ichi

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.


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.

Opening Sequence

Yoi. Musubi-dachi (North). Both Sai in L-hand closed by side.
1B) Rei (bow).
2A) Raise L-hand sai closed. Step out L Hachiji-dachi. Take one Sai in each hand.
2B) Lower Sai closed, like Pinan’s Yoi.
3A) Raise Sai double open chest blocks. Announce: Roku Sai
3B) Return Sai down by sides closed.

First Set of Repeating Sai Sequence (N)

4A) R step forward Shizentai-daichi. R chest block.
4B) L step forward Shizentai-daichi. L chest block.
4C) R step forward Shizentai-daichi. R chest block.
5A) R step forward to R Zenkutsu-dachi. R closed low block.
5B) L Gyaku-zuki. R chamber.

6) Pull back R Neko-ashi-dachi. Double closed center low split block (knuckles together). [Push out toward the sides keeping sai vertical, on each of these blocks.]
7A) R-step Zenkutsu-dachi. Double closed punch (high).
7B) Double open high down strikes (collarbones).
8) Turn L into shiko-dachi (facing W looking S). Sweep double open low strikes (S).
9A) Stay in shiko-dachi (face W). L closed side low block.
9B) R-kaku-zuki (square punch) (S).


Second Set of Repeating Sai Sequence (S)

10A) R step forward Shizentai-daichi. R chest block.
10B) L step forward Shizentai-daichi. L chest block.
10C) R step forward Shizentai-daichi. R chest block.
11A) R step forward to R Zenkutsu-dachi. R closed low block.
11B) R Gyaku-zuki. L chamber.
12) Pull back R Neko-ashi-dachi. Double closed center low split block (knuckles together). [Push out toward the sides keeping sai vertical, on each of these blocks.]
13A) R-step Zenkutsu-dachi. Double closed punch (high).
13B) Double open high down strikes (collarbones).
14) Turn L into shiko-dachi (facing E looking N). Sweep double open low strikes (N).
15A) Stay in shiko-dachi (face W). L closed side low block.
15B) R-kaku-zuki (square punch) (N).

Side to Side Sai Strikes

16) R step forward shiko-dachi (face N look E). R open side strike (E).
17A) Shuffle R shiko-dachi (E). R closed side low block.
17B) L-Kaku-zuki L (E). R chamber.
18) Shuffle L shiko-dachi (W). L open side strike (W).
19A) Shuffle L shiko-dachi (W). L closed side low block.
19B) R-Kaku-zuki (W). L chamber.

Third Set of Repeating Sai Sequence (N)

20A) R step forward Shizentai-daichi. R chest block.
20B) L step forward Shizentai-daichi. L chest block.
20C) R step forward Shizentai-daichi. R chest block.
21A) R step forward to R Zenkutsu-dachi. R closed low block.
21B) L Gyaku-zuki. R chamber.
22) Pull back R Neko-ashi-dachi. Double closed center low split block (knuckles together). [Push out toward the sides keeping sai vertical, on each of these blocks.]
23A) R-step Zenkutsu-dachi. Double closed punch (high).
23B) Double open high down strikes (collarbones).
24) Turn L into shiko-dachi (facing W looking S). Sweep double open low strikes (S).
25A) Stay in shiko-dachi (face W). L closed side low block.
25B) R-kaku-zuki (square punch) (S).

Fourth Set of Repeating Sai Sequence (S)

26A) R step forward Shizentai-daichi. R chest block.
26B) L step forward Shizentai-daichi. L chest block.
26C) R step forward Shizentai-daichi. R chest block.
27A) R step forward to R Zenkutsu-dachi. R closed low block.
27B) R Gyaku-zuki. L chamber.
28) Pull back R Neko-ashi-dachi. Double closed center low split block (knuckles together). [Push out toward the sides keeping sai vertical, on each of these blocks.]
29A) R-step Zenkutsu-dachi. Double closed punch (high).
29B) Double open high down strikes (collarbones).
30) Turn L into shiko-dachi (facing E looking N). Sweep double open low strikes (N).
31A) Stay in shiko-dachi (face W). L closed side low block.
31B) R-kaku-zuki (square punch) (N).

Side to Side One Legged Sai Blocks

32) Turn L (face N look E). Raise R-leg, foot behind L-knee. R open side low block (E).
33A) Drop/shuffle-R into Shiko-dachi (face N look E). R closed side low block.
33B) L-Kaku-zuki (square punch) (E).
34) Raise L-leg, foot behind R-knee (face N look W). L open side low block (W).
35A) Drop/shuffle-L into Shiko-dachi (face N look W). L closed side low block.
35B) R-Kaku-zuki (square punch) (W).

Forward Stabbing Sequence

36) R step forward Nekoashi-dachi. R open chest block.
37) L step forward Nekoashi-dachi. Leaving R open. L open chest block.
38) R step forward Zenkutsu-dachi. R stab forward crossing L open chest block. Kiai.
39) R step back into L-Nekoashi-dachi (face N). Close both sai.

Side to Side Split Blocks

40) Shift L Naname-zenkutsu-dachi. L high block horizontal. R low block vertical.
41) Shift R Naname-zenkutsu-dachi. R high block horizontal. L low block vertical.

Closing Sequence

42A) Pull L-foot toward R into Hachiji-dachi. Double open chest blocks. [Note: Stance here should be Hachiji-dachi, as seen in next photo.)
42B) Close both Sai by sides.
43A) Step L to R musubi-dachi. Bring R-hand sai to L-hand.
43B) Lower Sai horizontal across solar plexus in L-hand. R-hand palm up below.
43C) Then both hands to sides.
43D) Rei (bow).

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.

Download Rokusai / Sai dai Ichi Kata PDF Reference Sheet

Rokusai-Sai-dai-Ichi-07-01-21


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