Thursday, October 12, 2017

Each release can be divided into 3 motions (for beginners)

There are a lot of different modes that you can do most martial arts exercises in.  They seem to be made to be played in different ways under various conditions.
One of the ways that we work aikido wrist releases (shichihon no kuzushi) is to divide each technique into 3 key points, or positions that you have to move through, or heuristics that you have to apply.  In any case, each move has 3 pieces.
For instance,
Releases 1 & 3

  1. Get off the line of attack and set your grabbed wrist, your front foot, and both of uke's feet on the same line.
  2. Turn to face uke and get both hands up between your face and his
  3. move with uke wherever he goes for 1-2 steps
Releases 2 & 4

  1. Get off the line of attack and set your grabbed wrist, your front foot, and both of uke's feet on the same line (Just as if you were doing release 1)
  2. turn to face uke with your hands generally between you and him.
  3. get behind uke, raise your hands above your head, and yell, "Praise the LORD!" Actually that last piece is optional, but it helps.
Sure, releases are an amazing exercise and training method, and they cannot be released to these 3-step katas, but we have found them a pretty good way to get noobs emulating the release motions so that they can then be corrected and adjusted.
Additionally, the 3-step releases provide a good framework for talking to noobs about where there is a problem - for instance, "In step 1 try to get more on line with his feet," or "In step 3 try to get more behind him."

Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

Patrick Parker

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Medieval European walking and Japanese walking

Here are a couple of interesting videos to watch.  I think they might be important to your martial research, not because I agree with every point in both videos.  In fact, I find a lot of the first one doubtful and the second fellow sounds like a paranoid schizo in much of his lecture.
But there is something in these two videos.  Perhaps just gleanings.  Maybe important gleanings. Watch these videos and let me know what you get from them.

Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

Patrick Parker

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Solo karate kata are useful

One of the things that can seem alien to a karate guy beginning in aikido or judo is the idea that each of the kata in judo and Tomiki aikido involves two people - tori (or nage) and uke.  All of the kata moves are actually done on an actual person's body.  There are no solo kata in judo or aikido.
Even in karate bunkai, where there are actual people standing in front of you to interact with, you are still pulling or controlling your punches.  You're not actually hitting actual people in karate kata.  That's why they hit makiwara and heavy bags and why they break boards.
2-man kata adds an aspect of reality and complexity to judo and aikido kata that can be missing from solo karate kata, but there are definite positives to solo karate kata.
Because there are no solo kata in aikido and judo, it can be a pain to actually practice. you have to go find a partner and a mat to work on, whereas, karate kata can be done virtually anywhere and anytime.
I recommend that aikido and judo guys find a karate buddy and ask them politely for a few lessons in kata.  It doesn't matter which kata - I promise, if you delve deeply enough into any kata you can find interesting lessons and stimulating commonalities between karate, judo, and aikido.
My favorites include tekki (A.K.A. naihanchi), the taikyoku/heians, and sanchin.
Even if you think kata is useless and doesn't help you learn to fight, I encourage you to learn 2-3 of them and keep them in reserve for next time you're injured and have to rehabilitate yourself or after some life event waylays your practice routine and you need something martial to begin building your fitness back up till you can get hands on a real partner.

Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

Patrick Parker

Friday, October 06, 2017

Connections between Junokata, Koshiki, and Nanatsu!

You know what is really cool?  When you have both enough time in a body of work, and the opportunity to step back from it far enough that you can see the themes and motifs running through it.  Judo is like this.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

My crazy names for Hirano's crazy exercises

Naming conventions for martial arts techniques and kata vary from art to art.  Some folks like the ultra-simple thing-1, thing-2 sort of ordinal naming system, while others like more descriptive names for things like, the "arm-crushing cross-shaped armbar," from judo.
I personally like poetic names, like "Dragon whips its Tail" or "Willow in the Snow."

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tokio Hirano's unorthodox genius

Tokio Hirano was one of the, if not THE winningest competition judoka in history.

The story goes that he racked up 4300 competition wins in 6 years in western Europe in the early 1950's.  That's more than 700 wins per year, year-after-year!  Who among us modern mortals can even conceive of attempting 14-15 shiai matches per week for 6 years?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Aikido Ground Fighting by Walther G. Von Krenner

A relatively new addition to the body of literature about aikido is Walther G. Von Krenner's, Aikido Ground Fighting.  This is a really interesting book in a couple of ways.

Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm doing a new thing -

Martial Arts are not the only thing I do! I know - hard to believe. Like the rest of ya'll I juggle a few other activities like family and scouts and travel and sports and work.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Removing commas

I heard an interview on the radio today that was really interesting.  The subject was a fellow who translates Haruki Murakami works into other languages.  The interviewer asked him, "When do you know that a creative work is done?  That is, when do you stop fiddling with your translations and adjusting and fixing things?"

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Aigamaeate by the numbers

Lately in class we have returned to an emphasis on kihon - that is (IMO) making sure that you get all the steps in and making them as distinct as possible.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A shadowy chicken and egg thing

A doctrine that is often attributed to Kano and his successors is that a technique is composed of three (some say 4) parts - kuzushi, tsukuri, kake (and some people add zanshin).

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Big techniques can teach you BIG spirit

It's amazing how every old dead wise guy seems to say such amazing-sounding stuff.  For instance, I've been told that one old dead wise guy once said, "If you do small techniques you will have a small spirit, but if you do BIG technique then you can have a BIG spirit!"

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Shomenate by the numbers

Per my last post, we've started working Junana in more of a kihon mode.  That is, static uke and explicit emphasis on making each phase of the technique (kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake) as distinct as possible.  This past week we worked shomenate and we've already seen some interesting aspects crop up in our practice.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake in kihon no kata

Every teacher and organization and group and subgroup has its own distinctive practices.  Things they do because of the way they interact or the particular way that they happen to think about the art we are doing. It is easy to look at other artists doing this thing that you thought that you had the exclusive truth about and think, "That guy sucks."  If you're looking for videos of people sucking at aikido - they are super easy to find!  Heck, I guarantee I could show you a video of Tomiki Sensei and your response would be, That dude is a white belt!
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