The fastest way to proficiency in jôdô is to have a good working knowledge of the twelve
jôdô basic movements (kihon). All of the jôdô kata (pre-arranged combative forms) are
based on this basic moments, therefore, it goes without saying that without a proper
understanding of and practice of these movement, a jôdô practitioner will not progress very far. Yes, you are doing them regularly at the beginning sessions. All the jôdô training sessions should start with this exercise. Why then, are there not more practitioners who have ‘’expert’’ proficiency in jôdô’? There is no answer to this situation. As you know, the kihon is practiced two ways, tandoku (without a partner) and sôtai (with a partner). When doing kihon tandoku, a practitioner, beginner or advanced, should pay less attention to what the movements are used for, that is, what the movements have been designed to achieve combatively against an opponent, and concentrate on the actual mechanics of how to manipulate the jô and his or her body in a harmonious combination. The kihon will take on realistic combative meanings when you practice the sôtai method. It is absolutely necessary to pay close attention to the technical detail of each movement in the kihon practice and strive to copy it without deviation because you should be tying to develop a pattern of handling the jô correctly.
There are reasons for all movements, some of which you may not understand or even agree with. The worst thing you would do is choose to disregard the technical advice of you’re teacher and attempt to stylise in your own particular way what you think is better. By doing this, you will missing the true essence of the jô mechanics and may even succeed in setting up bad habits which will be difficult or even impossible to break as you try gain more jôdô skill.
Many jôdô practitioners miss the opportunity of improving their jôdô techniques because they are not doing the kihon practice effectively. I don’t think they make the adjustments to their movements that their teacher recommends. They may do it for the next two or three moves but then go right back to their original incorrect movements.
This should be the time when learning takes place; the teacher cannot make the practitioner learn the correct movement. He can only introduce it to the practitioner who then must train him or herself to move the jô and his/her body correctly.
When you are doing the kihon think about how much you are really concentrating on the movements you are making and how much you are following you’re teacher’s corrections.