Walthall County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the reported shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in the Darbun community. The shooting occurred about 11:20 a.m. Sunday. Deputies said the child was shot in the chest by an air gun being handled by another child. The girl was taken to Marion County Hospital, where she later died. The shooting is believed to be accidental, and Walthall County Coroner Shannon Hartzog said an autopsy has been ordered. Authorities did not release the name of the girl.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
- Work your way through the name of the thing. Work on finding ways you can throw this thing in every direction.
- Do it part of the time with only one hand and part of the time with only the other hand – like #6 and #8 in Hanasu no Kata. Practicing this with only one hand makes you move your body thru the right arc or you lose it. Don’t cheat by learning shihonage with the illusion of control afforded by using both hands.
- If it goes bad toward the beginning, try flowing into maeotoshi or sumiotoshi. If it goes bad toward the end, try flowing into aikinage (A.K.A. iriminage) or ushiroate.
- We use a crash pad when we practice binding the arm and throwing forward (i.e. hijikime) or when we set it up then step under the arm from the outside to the inside for a floating throw. These are severe falls and represent a severe risk to the shoulder if there is anything wrong with the ukemi.
- Going back to the name, consider Beth Shibata’s article in which she suggests that it might be more appropriate for learning purposes to call the thing the 'all-directions release' instead of the 'all-directions throw'. How does what you call the thing affect your execution of it?
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
- ROM and ukemi (including reps of 2 buddy falls)
- Hanasu with emphasis on moving forward on #3
- Chain #2 including R2→R1→oshitaoshi
- 2 variations of Ichikata ushirowaza kotegaeshi (ducking under the arm) and R1→R2→kotegaeshi.
- Nijusan kotegaeshi and oshitaoshi (step aside at the end of the line)
Monday, April 28, 2008
In some schools, there is this talk of omote (superficial techniques taught to anyone) and ura (deep, hidden teachings only taught to the initiated) but Musashi in the end of the Wind Book writes about there being no internal teachings and no gate:
There is no "interior" nor "surface" in strategy.
The artistic accomplishments usually claim inner meaning and secret tradition, and "interior" and "gate", but in combat there is no such thing as fighting on the surface, or cutting with the interior. When I teach my Way, I first teach by training in techniques which are easy for the pupil to understand, a doctrine which is easy
to understand. I gradually endeavour to explain the deep principle, points which it is hardly possible to comprehend, according to the pupil's progress. In any event, because the way to understanding is through experience, I do not speak of "interior" and "gate".
...Accordingly I dislike passing on my Way through written pledges and regulations. Perceiving the ability of my pupils, I teach the direct Way, remove the bad influence of other schools, and gradually introduce them to the true Way of the warrior. The method of teaching my strategy is with a trustworthy spirit. You must train diligently.
…In my Ichi school of the long sword there is neither gate nor interior. There is no inner meaning in sword attitudes. You must simply keep your spirit true to realize the virtue of strategy.
Order your copy of Musashi's Book of Five Rings:
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Three trends that concern many older adults are health care (in 2004, boomers averaged $2700 per year in healthcare spending), finances (fixed incomes and rising cost of living), and personal safety (Things seem to move faster and violence seems harder to deal with). The perfect solution for these problems is my aikido class.
.If you are an older adult living in Southwest Mississippi and want an affordable way to get a little reasonable, moderate exercise and learn to protect yourself in an increasingly chaotic and violent world, come check out my aikido class.
Fees are both reasonable and negotiable, and you can learn a martial art designed by older adults for older adults, taught by an adult, and proven effective in countless real-world instances for use as personal protection by older adults.
You don’t have to be trapped by your own fear and you don’t have to spend a fortune to learn a martial art with the potential to really change your life for the better. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get you set up or I’ll try to help you with whatever other information you need.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
- ROM & ukemi
- Tegatana emphasizing synching arms with rise-fall of body and movig the center and building a stance underneath it.
- hanasu #1-4 with emphasis on releasing as brush-off. The idea was to make #1 feel like #3 and the strong side to feel like the weak side.
- Nijusan kote hineri
- Ichikata tachiwaza #3-4 (Release 5 into tenkai kote hineri and release 3 into mawashi oshitaoshi)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I enjoyed his discussion of the eidetic teaching style of OSensei. I've talked about that elsewhere. I think (I'm guessing) that what Ueshiba and Kono were calling the "Yin and Yang" solution to the aiki problem is the same thing that we're talking about when we refer to the Kito principle - the idea that energy waxes and wanes. You can read more of my ideas on the Kito principle here and here. I also find it interesting that he mentions the idea that real aikido is driven by getting your mind straight - not through years of physical practice. Here is an interview in which he expands on this a little.
- Tegatana playing with the idea of grouping 2-3 movements as one thing in your mind. The kata changes in meaningful ways when you change the groupings. We also played with the idea of otoshi-guruma and back hand as the do-er instead of the front hand.
- Hanasu #1-8
- Aiki evasion and brushoff working into release-synch-ping-brushoff and release-synch-ping-tenkan The tenkan was remarkable. We were getting some of that feel of the wind of uke's passing blowing tori out of the way. That real kokyu feeling.
- The first two standing techniques of Ichikata as the cool ninja techniques of the night. release #1 to oshitaoshi and release #1 to tenkai oshitaoshi.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
- Practiced grips and measuring: pencil→gyakute, pencil→sakate, pencil→gyakute→honte
- Practiced upward and downward scrubbing strikes using Woodreaux to simulate an aggressor to the rear. The idea was to step away into gyakute, scrub the jo up either leg, separate, then scrub the jo downward onto any advanced target. Worked like a charm.
- Praticed an upward scrubbing buttstroke from pencil through sakate into the centerline of an aggressor (Woodreaux) close in front.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Today was the graduation day and judo demo and family night for the end of our first season of Kid's judo here at Mokuren. If you're coming into this story late, we decided to run kids' judo on a seasonal sports model, like teeball or soccer, since so many of the parents around here understand that sports model better than the usual 2-3 classes/week all the time model. We ran the season from last September till today and will take off during the busy baseball season and the intolerable heat of summer, to begin again this coming September. We practiced once per week and had club judo tournaments each month. It was a lot of fun and the kids learned a lot and we all had a lot of fun.
Following is the text of the program for tonight's judo demo for those interested:
Judo Embu (Demonstration)
In Feudal Japan, samurai warriors learned jujitsu, a form of empty-hand combat, as a backup plan in case they were disarmed on the battlefield. But after the Restoration of the Meiji Emperor to the throne in 1868, Japan began to pull itself out of feudalism through a long process of westernization and modernization. During this modernization, the old feudalistic samurai arts, including jujitsu were considered no longer necessary, and perhaps even backward. Hundreds of years of refinements of the jujitsu arts were in danger of dying out within the space of a generation.
In the 1880’s, Jigoro Kano, a master of several of the ancient jujitsu arts, came up with the idea to preserve the aspects of jujitsu that were still beneficial to individuals and to society - qualities like strength and courage and discipline. Kano took some of the techniques from the ancient jujitsu arts and used them to create a wrestling sport, which he called Judo. Judo rapidly grew in popularity in Japan, Europe, and throughout the world as both a sport and a form of self-defense.
Tonight you will see a demonstration of some of the skills that your children have learned over the course of the last few months; demonstrations of their maturing strength, technique, persistence, and courage. Thank you for joining us in this celebration of their achievement.
- Line-up, salutes, and warm-up
- Safe falling skills (forward roll, forward fall, left fall right fall, back fall)
- More falling skills with a spotter (deashibarai, teguruma, hizaguruma, seoinage)
- Throwing skill: osotogari (the big outside reap), that we call the “1-2 throw”
- Holding skill: osotogari→kesagatame (the scarf hold)
- Escape skill: osotogari→kesagatame→uphill escape
- Ground grappling skills: crawling man contest
- Standing wrestling skills: standing randori
Presentation of certificates and new belts
- All students will be presented with certificates, and the older students will be presented with new belts. The younger students’ new belts are on back-order and will be presented during a post-season play-day during the Summer.
- Gavin - Yellow Belt - Gavin is the oldest, and because of the age and mass advantage, had the coordination and strength to do well. Gavin especially improved in his mental control of his frustration when someone (like Whit) would grind him or play rough.
- Whit - Yellow Belt - Whit is naturally athletic and coordinated. Particularly agile on his feet, he was able to dominate much of the standing work. Whit developed a good osotogari and a fair deashibarai this season and he is making progress in learning to control that alpha-male ego thing that he has going.
- Mason - Yellow Belt - Mason is nearly indomitable on the ground because of his fierce persistence. He absolutely refuses to lose if there is anything he can do about it. He has also shown a great deal of control over natural frustration when he is dominated to the point of exhaustion on the ground by a larger opponent (like Gavin). Mason also has a naturally good leg pick.
- Knox - White&Yellow Belt - Knox is the kind one. He has enjoyed being able to develop and express a more vigorous aggression in randori this season, but tonight in standing randori he absolutely refused to throw Emma because he thought he might hurt her.
- Emma - White&Yellow Belt - It's hard (impossible?) to keep the attention of kids this young, but Emma has done very well and has improved her attention span greatly. She has had a lot of fun especially in the randori and groundwork games with Knox and Quin.
- Quin - White&Yellow Belt - Got a late start this season, and was handicapped by his small size (a 000 gi swallows him), but he has a natural aggression and a will to power that will serve him well in judo as he picks up a little more mass and coordination.
Congratulations to all of our newly advanced students!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
- Reviewed moving from pencil grip, which is her normal mode of holding the cane, into honte, gyakute, and sakate postures and measuring the distance to the opponent. She is improving on the measuring stick idea.
- Worked some strikes - pencil→sakate→ushirotsuke, pencil→gyakute→gyakuteuchi (to shin or knee or extended wrist)
- Worked on moving from pencil to sakate and using the structure of the forearms and stick like a cowcatcher to brush off and roll the ball.
- Showed her a cool addition to the stab-the-foot move that she has been working on - if you miss, use the stick as a reference and step forward onto their foot, then use their reaction to roll the ball and brush them off.
- I took out a quarterstave and worked some of the same concepts against Woodreaux.
- ROM and ukemi with emphasis on landing position and rolling back to standing smoothly
- Hanasu #1-4. Rick has excellent motion.
- Rick asked about randori so we played releases #1-4 in a limited randori, then started broadening the scope of the randori as we talked about the randori concept. The rest of the night was randori.
So far as I know, this bruising was common to most everyone who did judo and it was benign, though I’ve wondered about the possibility of impact hemolytic anemia in judoka (BTW, that would be a great medical study to run if anyone wants to give me credit for the idea.)
But anyway, in answer to the question implied by that search term, bruising in judo is common, normal, and probably benign in young judoka who play rough. Abrasions, on the other hand, can become seriously infected. If you get mat burn or gi burn a lot, keep your mats as clean as possible and keep a can of Solarcaine (or other spray antiseptic) handy in the dojo.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
- ROM, ukemi
- tegatana emphasizing balls of feet, tsugiashi, recovery steps
- hanasu #1-2 emphasizing getting out of the way, turning to face the attacker, putting your hands up, and getting behind him
March was very frustrating ... Not much fun ... April is looking up: my son was born April 1st and the wife and kid are both doing well. I hope to get back in the swing of things in a week or two, but sleep is short right now, so bear with me.
Friday, April 11, 2008
...if, nine days hence, the rosy morn
Shall with unclouded light the skies adorn,
That day with solemn sports I mean to grace:
Light galleys on the seas shall run a wat'ry race;
Some shall in swiftness for the goal contend,
And others try the twanging bow to bend;
The strong, with iron gauntlets arm'd, shall stand
Oppos'd in combat on the yellow sand.
- pistol shooting
- horseback riding
- free running
- horseback or bicycle
- judo, wrestling, or jiujitsu
- boxing or karate
- pistol or rifle
- schlager fencing or pugil sticks
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Called sokumen irimi in aikikai, or perhaps parting wild horse’s mane or slanted flying or single whip in Chinese (i.e. taichi) terminology, gyakugamae is one of the three fundamental forms of atemi taught early in Tomiki aikido. Here are a handful of hints I try to keep in mind in my practice.
- If you do this technique as a strike, you may or may not do enough damage to end the fight but your hand will recoil off his face and you’ll have to find him again to push him down. This is what you see in the stick version of gyakugamaeate in goshinjitsu in judo – a strike, then reacquire the face, lay the hand on, and throw. Instead of striking and recoiling, lay your hand on him and push instead of hitting.
- Drape a bent wrist around the bridge of his nose like a pair of sunglasses and push. This obstructs his vision, is disorienting, and is a good pushing position.
- Be sure to push forward through uke by dropping your center forward onto him. Don’t throw by pushing sideways.
- Try the gyakugamaeate that you see in Gokata – I have found this more generally useful lately. Enter to the inside, as if for shomenate but wrong-side forward, strike the face with the hand nearest uke, and push yourself off of uke to get back to maai.
- Alternates might include pulling the hair backward instead of striking/pushing the face – or perhaps pushing the philtrum under the nose – but this is not as good because you don’t get the startle associated with attacking the eyes.
- we worked on the Sankata knife stuff. I enjoy getting his CSSD Modern Arnis ideas at work on the aiki knife stuff.
- Laps of the mat with silly walks for warmups.
- ukemi, including the demonstration forms and the crash pad forms
- osotogari→kesagatame→uphill escape
- ROM & ukemi
- tegatana with emphasis on using some ideokinesis ideas to improve posture and relaxation of the shoulders.
- hanasu with emphasis on loose, relaxed shoulders
- hand randori
- 2-3 of the Rokukata knife-taking and knife-retention techniques
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
- ROM and ukemi
- Tegatana with emphasis on relaxing the shoulders down and back throughout the exercise
- Hanasu with emphasis on the stick and rope model - that is, releases #1 and #3, the connection is like a stick - you can only effectively push forward along the length of the stick, lining the stick up between your center of mass and the point of contact. Releases #2 and #4 work like a rope - you can't push a rope, only pull it with both centers of mass lined up with the rope. What this does is minimizes all moments of torque around the shoulder joint.
- nijusan #1 - shomenate
- Sankata tantodori #2 and #3, Sakate yokomen gyakugamaeate and sakate hidari wakigatame - both of these with emphasis on evading and brushing off - minimizing the amount of time you are in the meatgrinder. #2 (at least the way we were playing it tonight - similar to the kokyunage pictured above) is another one of those super-cool ninja invisibility tricks.
If you learn the knife aspect of the art first (like in CSSD) or if you manage to convince yourself that every opponent is as dangerous as a knife guy (like we try to do in aikido) then you don’t develop the laxness and complacency that comes with thinking that there are some empty-handed opponents who are simply not a threat to you.
Monday, April 07, 2008
That is one of the great secrets – you don’t have to teach perfect blending. Adequate blending is sufficient to make it much harder to successfully attack tori and it also amplifies the effect of the other principles (kuzushi, atemi, etc…) when they come into play in aikido.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Saturday, April 05, 2008
- ROM and ukemi
- tegatana - the first half of the exercise with emphasis on evasion
- partner evasion exercise
- wrist release #1 from the perspective of tori attempting to evade and brush off and uke being fast and accurate enough to grab and stop the evasion, causing relese #1.
- oshitaoshi (the arm push-down, A.K.A. ikkyo omote)
- stab-twice randori with emphasis on evasion and brush-off back to ma-ai
Friday, April 04, 2008
During the past year the following 8 articles were the most popular ones (considering hits, comments, and links back) of anything I've written on this blog. If you are looking for a good sampling of what Mokuren Dojo is all about, check them out...
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
- Warmed up with the kids with a contest to see who could run across the mat in the silliest way. There was a lot of arm flailing and head wagging, hopping, and wiggling of butts. In short, good warmup.
- Ukemi with me throwing/spotting the kids into the crash pad for about 20 minutes before class started. Then the kids bailed and the grownups showed up and continued with the ukemi in the crash pad, emphasizing forward roll falling from a reflexed position.
- Tegatana emphasizing rapid recovery, bringing the back side of the body with you, and doing it as near-instantaneously as possible.
- hanasu #1-4 emphasizing tori staying centered on the power hand and uke flowing with tori.
- knife evasions, aiki brush-off, and stab-twice.
- The brush-off led into the tantodori section of sankata, including the ushiroate brushoff, the udehineri, the kotegaeshi, and the stab-the-knee gedanate.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Now this guy is not exactly mixing it up in the octagon, but he is displaying impressive, viable skill. What is really remarkable about this guy is how little what he is doing looks like “real karate.” For the most part, he does not move like most “modern karate” practitioners (as Dan Paden calls them). He is still doing karate but he is certainly not doing young man’s karate. In fact, this old man’s karate really looks a lot like aikido!
I don’t know any way of getting this info in quantitative, empirical form – if any of y’all do, please jump in to the conversation – but I would suspect if you looked at the median age of participants in different martial artists, you’d have a progression in age something like this:
Judo athletes seem to peak in their 20’s and 30’s. It is not uncommon to see extremely-high level karate masters who are in their 40’s and 50’s. In our aikido organization, nearly all the greatest masters are in their 60’s and 70’s and they have a goodly number of students their age or older. The stereotype for taichi is the little old man or the tubby old man in the park.
Of course there are exceptions, but the exceptional nature of these folks (like in the film above) just proves the rule – different age groups tend toward different arts. There is also the possibility that these various arts simply interest different segments of the population such that the groups are self-selecting. But, as I said, I think that the structure and content of the various arts plays at least part of the role of selecting that art to an appropriate age group.
Some anecdotal evidence:
- In the mid 90’s, I ran a class of about a dozen 75-85 year-olds in an aikido class who did well. They did no falling and worked out in normal clothes and shoes with an otherwise regular aikido syllabus.
- Starting in the late 90’s I have had a series of judo and aikido students in their 50’s who have all done exceptionally well.
- Starting this year I have been bombarded by friends concerned for my welfare when I announced that I was planning to compete in judo in my late 30’s and early 40’s. Sure enough, I competed and won, but got busted up and took longer than a month to recover.
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