Miyamoto Musashi, an undefeated dueler and masterless swordsman who lived in 17th Century Japan authored The Book of Five Rings in 1643, one of the classic texts on conflict and martial strategy that has arisen out of the Japanese warrior culture. In the earth scroll section of this dissertation, Musashi makes an interesting observation: "Know the rhythms of spacial relations, and know the rhythms of reversal. These matters are specialties of martial science. Unless you understand these rhythms of reversal, your martial artistry will not be reliable." A couple years ago, I perused Musashi's words, and in an effort to better understand his point, I decided to learn all of my katas with reverse rhythm (i.e. backwards). 'Twas a difficult but rewarding enterprise, and from it not only flowed a new channel of bunkai, but an understanding concerning the exhortations of a 17th Century samurai. Know the rhythms of reversal.
Below, is a video clip of me performing Tekki-Sho backwards at Mt. Everest Base Camp in Tibet (17,000 ft+ in elevation). Before being too critical of the obvious sloppiness, consider that the ground was very rocky, the wind was ferocious, and the air was extremely thin. Notwithstanding, note the rhythms of reversal, and seek your own understanding concerning Musashi's exhortation.