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What is judo


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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Training log

Kids' judo
  • ukemi
  • Gracie Games: crazy horse, spiderkid
  • crawling man
Judo
  • warmup with footsweep control drill
  • kouchigari
  • kouchigari-to-ouchigari combo
  • kouchi-ouchi-deashi combo

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Training log

Judo
  • taiotoshi, ukiotoshi, and sumiotoshi
Kids' judo
  • Gracie Games - sharkbite, snakebite, crazy horse
  • newaza randori
Aikido
  • off-line evasions, aiki brush-off, shomenate

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮 ____________ Subscribe now for free updates from Mokuren Dojo ____________ Send me an email or let's connect on Facebook or Twitter

Mac McNease on gari vs gake

My favorite judo teacher of all time was the late, great Mac McNease of Beaumont TX. Great man, great friend, and great martial artist.
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If the stories (legends? apocrypha?) I've heard are true, Mac didn't start judo until he was around 40 years old. He started judo to be doing something with his son, who eventually dropped out, but Mac kept going and ended up being very highly ranked in both judo and aikido.
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[UPDATE 2/26/2013 - I just found out from his son that Mac would have been around 31-32 when he started judo, and his first instructor was Hal Hubbard (around Nidan at the time)]
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Mac was an amazing competitor (folks joke that he was the reason they outlawed kanibasami) and an outstanding teacher. Mac is remembered by many folks by his smile and his laugh and his amazing ability to flatten your spleen on the mat or to come within millimeters of pulling your arm off. I remember fondly his tokuiwaza of throwing uke out of jigotai using oguruma and his outstanding haraitsurikomiashi. Mac was also a great guy to sit on the porch with and drink whiskey with and listen to.
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Mac was responsible for my personal tipping point in judo. For years I had beat my head against judo and had just gotten more and more frustrated. Mac came along and told me, "Pat, if it's not easy then you're doing it wrong. Judo is supposed to be the gentle way. You have to try to do it unnaturally to make it hard." The light went on for me and I started reorganizing my judo around that maximum efficient use of power ideal instead of just paying lip service to that ideal, and it made all the difference in the world in my skill and in my enjoyment of the art.
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I suggest that if you ever get access to a sensei and friend like that, take time to sit with them and ask questions and listen, because you won't have them forever.
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Regarding gari vs. gake, Mac told me one time something along the lines of, "You have limited practice time in judo, so don't worry about gake. Practice gari instead." For years I took that advice at face value and disregarded gake completely, but by the time I was pretty comfortable with gari and ready to think more about gake, Mac was dead. So I never got to find out the details behind why he wanted us to disregard gake in favor of gari.
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What do y'all think about that? Why do you suppose Mac told us that?


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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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What is aikido?


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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Skaterdude sensei teaches balance exercises

Have you thought much about how to improve your psychomotor skills and attributes that go into making you better in martial arts?  I mean besides the regular dojo-type stuff you've been doing since day 1.  If you have, I bet you're probably thinking along the lines of strength and flexibility and power and endurance, that sort of thing.  But have you played with a balance trainer?  Here's a film that some skaterdude did on how to improve balance.  The first of these - the slackline - looks like a blast.  The other 3 I think are a bit crazy/dangerous to me.

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Gari vs. gake in judo

In judo ashiwaza (leg techniques or footsweeps) there are several distinct types of action that can be used to knock uke down, including...
  • slips - you make uke's foot slide farther than it should
  • trips - you stop uke's leg earlier than it should and he falls over it
  • reaps - you cut uke's weightbearing leg out from under him
In Japanese, the reaps are called gari, and there are four primary gari techniques:
  • osotogari
  • kosotogari
  • ouchigari
  • kouchigari
But there is another class of leg techniques that you can call gake (hooks). The main difference between gari and gake is where you are pushing and where you are pulling.
  • In anything named gari, you are generally pulling his upper body to you and pushing his lower body away from you.
  • In anything named gake you are generally pushing his upper body away as you pull his lower body toward you.
For example, consider kosotogari vs. kosotogake...
  • in kosotogari you pull his upper body toward you (and generally downward) as you use your leg to push his foot out from under him.
  • in kosotogake you are using your foot to either hold his foot in place or pull his foot toward you as you push his upper body away and downward.
The same sort of general push-pull actions apply to the osoto, ouchi, and kouchi versions of gari vs. gake.
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More to come soon on gari vs. gake - stay tuned.
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Training log

Kids' Judo
  • Gracie Games - crazy horse, crazy legs, tackle the giant
Judo
  • review of all yellow belt material
  • newaza randori



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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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What to do about a stinky judo partner?

Recently I received an e-mail from a BJJ student with a question of a noxious nature...
...over 1/3 of the guys I roll with stink so bad the smell is just about enough to make me tap. I don’t think they wash their gi's. If they do, it is probably so infrequent that the stank has already fortified itself against single washes. The stank alone is almost enough to make me quit. To me, it’s not considerate of your partners or respectful to your art or you dojo/gym. The disregard for others and apparent lack of respect for themselves bothers me.
Boy, that's a problem that we've all grappled with, Dear Reader!  Grappling partners so incredibly nasty that you are tempted to turn them into Homeland Defense for domestic terrorism using chemical weapons of mass destruction!
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And you're right...  The stank does fortify itself after a while such that even if you do wash your gi, the stank goes stealth and hides until you put the gi back on and get hot and start to sweat again - then the heat-activated stank returns with a vengeance!
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So, what to do?

  • First, Dear Reader,  I recommend not rolling with those guys any more.  Rolling around with someone who wears bacteria-laden rags to work out in is just not safe.  We are all constantly getting minor (and sometime severe) gi burns and mat burns and smearing infectious sweaty pitstank into your abrasions doesn't seem that great an idea.
  • Second, tell them.  They might not even know because stank that bad kills brain cells.  Be direct.  Say something like, "Dude, you stink.  You are so repulsive that you make me want to puke.  I will not roll around in your disgusting crotch with you smelling like that."  Perhaps they will get the message if it is that forthright.
  • Third, If someone tells you that your gi has been invaded by the stank, don't get defensive.  It happens to the best of us every so often.  Here's what you should do...  Wash... Your...Uniform!!!  In vinegar. Throw your gi in the wash with some washing soap and a cup of vinegar.  The acid will kill the growies that are infesting the cloth of your pits.    And a touch of DO for the BO before class won't hurt either.  Your grappling partners will thank you and you'll thank me.

P.S. ...and this is only marginally relevant to the topic.  Whenever you feel ill to the point that you think you might urp,  Do NOT say, "I'm nauseous."  This actually means, "I'm so disgustingly repulsive that I make other people feel like puking."  If you yourself are sick, then it is proper to say, "I am nauseated." Just sayin...
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(Photo courtesy of Parrhesiates)


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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮 
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What Patrick Parker sucks at

I don't think it's a good idea to beat yourself up about all of your doubts and shortcomings, but I do think it's a good idea to assess where your particular weaknesses lie from time to time...
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When it comes to aikido, honestly there's not too much that I absolutely suck at (except maybe modesty ;-).  Sure, I have good days and bad days and I have techniques and concepts that I'm better at than others.  But in general I think I have a pretty good handle on what we're supposed to be doing and how to do it.  One thing that I don't really understand is how to get from our current level of pretty-darn-goodness to that aiki ideal of magical awesomeness.  Other than just a couple more decades of practice, I don't know if there is anything we should be doing that we're not doing to facilitate our transcendence from the mundane to the magical.
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In judo I'd have to say that I suck most at competition and competition-style training.  That's just not all that interesting to me, especially with the judo competition rules getting more and more ridiculous every time they fiddle with them.  Frankly I'd rather delve into self-defense, fitness, and personal development aspects of the art than worry about winning any more medals or trophies.  If you think you want to do grappling tournaments then I think you ought to get into BJJ instead of judo because their ruleset actually makes sense.
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But the one thing that I think I really suck at most in the domain of the martial arts is delegation.  I hate to turn the class over to junior instructors.  Even though I know it is necessary for their continued education and growth and for the continuation of the art, it's just one of my personal glitches.  I want to get better at delegating teaching duties when appropriate.
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So, there you have it.  If you're looking for a mystical guru who knows how to guide you to transcend to the magical realm of aiki, I'm not that guru.  If you're looking for a judo champion to coach you on how to be a judo champion, I have no interest in that either. 
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If neither of those sound like what you want to get out of martial arts, then come on down and work out with me and I think you'll have a pretty good time and get some pretty good results.

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Training log

Kids' judo
  • Gracie Games: Spiderkid, Tackle the giant
  • ukemi
Aikido
  • tegatana, hanasu w/ emphasis on 5-8
  • junana with emphasis on 6-17 and particularly 14-17

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Fanatical crazy psycho karate killers

Where did all the psycho karate killers come from and where did they go?
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Karate used to have a oriental mystique to it and it used to be associated in popular thought with fanatical trained killers under the tenuous psychic control of their mysterious deadly sensei. Karate had a bad reputation; no parent would dare let their kid do karate for fear it might turn them into a crazed killer. This reputation had slipped greatly but was still hanging on as late as the mid-1980's when I started Taekwando. I actually had older people warn me about how dangerous that "crazy Jap crap" was.
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But now, in the post-UFC era, karate is a barely even a stifled joke among the BJJ and MMA and reality-based self-defense people.
  • "LOL! WTH! Krotty sux! MMA Rulez!
  • "You take karate? My 6-year old nephew is a black belt too!"
  • "Oh yeah, I heard they're making a new karate kid movie."
  • "Hey! I used to do Tae-Bo, but now I'm trying P90X Kenpo! (Let me sell you this carrot juice protien smoothie!)"
Sure, karate didn't deserve the bad rap, but at least it had respect. What happened and what would it take to regain the respect without the bad reputation?
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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What is karate?

Interview with Sensei David Gomez..
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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My judo kids warm-up with locomotion

One of the hallmarks of the kids' judo program at Mokuren Dojo is an emphasis on locomotor skills and bodyweight calisthenics. I want my kids to explore moving their bodies through space and against gravity in many different ways. We warm up with several of these types of exercises every class.
  • walk, run, skip, hop, jump, gallop, heel-to-toe (fwd, back)
  • laterals, grapevine
  • knee walking (shikko, kyoshi)
  • crawl, low-crawl, bear crawl (fwd, back, sideways)
  • turnovers, crabwalk (fwd, back, sideways), seal walk
  • inchworm, shrimp, logroll
  • forward roll, backward roll
  • cartwheels or roundouts
It also doesn't hurt adults to do some of these every so often as a warmup and a reminder that we are not necessarily locked into our habitual movement patterns by the time we're teenage.
 
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Training log

Judo
  • taiotoshi, ukiotoshi, sumiotoshi
  • osoto-koshiguruma-ouchi-kouchi-seoiotoshi combo
  • Saw an interesting interaction between koshiguruma and ukigoshi.  Koshiguruma could be used as an easy-to-learn intro to ukigoshi.  Something to think about...
  • talked about the otoshi-guruma idea

Kids' judo
  • warmup and ukemi
  • base battle
  • uchikomi for osoto, deashi, kouchi, sasae
  • talked about difference between slips, trips, and reaps
  • (reaps are like cutting flowers with a stick!)

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮 
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Helpful handful: 5 things judoka could learn from aikido

Yesterday I gave you a handful of suggestions for ways that aikidoka could improve themselves by taking some lessons from judoka. Today the tables are turned. You judo guys want to improve yourselves too, Right? It's be good to be more well-rounded in your knowledge and skills. Try some of these ideas from aikido.
  • Partners instead of opponents - work slower, softer, and more compliantly for a larger percentage of your practice and you will make more progress faster.
  • Hamarejudo instead of kumikata - learn to take control of the opponent using taisabaki and kuzushi as he passes through ma-ai instead of clenching and/or fighting for a particular grip with him.
  • Strike them down with atemiwaza - not your grandfather's karate punches, but a detailed study of how and when and in what direction to strike uke to take him completely off his feet. Study how to throw by striking - how to strike them down!
  • Judo's tewaza are sort of like aikido's kokyunage - many aikido throws could be classified as tewaza, and you could get a pretty good education on techniques like seoinage, taiotoshi, sukuinage, and sumiotoshi by spending some time working on the aikido analogues of these judo techniques.
  • Stop fighting duels - learn a bit about multiple opponents and weapons instead of one-on-one matches constrained by referrees.

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Helpful handful: 5 things aikidoka could learn from judo

I thought I'd throw out a few suggestions for things that aikido folks could probably learn from judo folks to make themselves more well-rounded. Fear not - tomorrow I'll give you a few suggestions for ways judo guys could lean from aikido guys.
  • pressure makes diamonds - add in some form of resistive or competitive training and you'll get a lot less of that "aikido sux" nonsense from the MMA knuckleheads.
  • koshinage - what you call one throw (admittedly, with several variations), judo calls many different throws (each with several variations). Judo has simply made a more detailed study of hip throws than has aikido and judoka cut koshinage into many distinct slices, each worth studying.
  • ashiwaza - just like with koshinage, judo makes a detailed study of ashiwaza (leg techniques or footsweeps) that are mostly ignored in aikido. This is unfortunate because footsweeps teach you an immense amount about balance and timing and footwork.
  • sutemiwaza - a third class of techniques that is mostly ignored in aikido is the sacrifice technique. You can think of these as sort of a last-ditch backup plan in case an aggressive opponent overwhelms your ma-ai and your taisabaki.
  • newaza as another backup plan. You're already practicing suwariwaza - you can just think of newaza as an extension of that practice.
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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What is judo?

Pretty good introduction to Kodokan Judo.  Only down-side to this video is the REALLY ANNOYING violin music!  Definitely watch the vid for the judo content and not the music.

That's why we practice aikido!

Now this is aikido I can identify with.  None of that crazy throwing yourself on the ground for your partner nonsense.  Sometimes (oftentimes?) aikido is not supposed to be pretty and mystical-looking like osensei's demos!  Sometimes the aiki thing to do is to chop the enemy in the head and knock him down.

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Paradoxes in aiki; kuzushi

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Do you do kuzushi or does kuzushi do itself?
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What I mean is this... In an encounter, does tori impose his will upon uke by forcing uke into offbalance, or does tori pay more attention to his own structure leaving certain options open such that it's easier for uke to flow into unbalance than to flow toward strength and stability?
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Do you get behind the horse and push him out the door, or do you stand nearby and slam the door when he walks outside?
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What do you think of this paradox?

(Photo courtesy of CharlesFred)
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Training log

For a long time now on this blog I've been trying different things with respect to training logs. It's a funny thing; I started this blog as a training log for me and my students and it quickly became a whole lot more. For a while now I've stopped posting training logs because although they are helpful to me and my students, they are mostly meaningless to all my other readers.
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But they are so helpful to me that I really want to keep doing them. I've thought about doing a different blog just for training logs, or perhaps microblogging the training logs on FB or Twitter, but I think that'd be just one more thing for me to have to keep up with and I don't need that.
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So, if you don't like the training logs, tough noogie! Skim past them to my other content.
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Judo
  • newaza randori w/ emph on flow instead of clenching
  • footsweep control w/ emph on shortening the 3rd step
  • deashi barai
  • deashi-to-kosoto combo w/ emphasis on floating uke if he moves fast to recover
  • deashi-to-ushiroate combo
  • drag&drop kosotogari
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Yoji Kondo Seminar

A note that I got from a buddy about an upcoming seminar.  Great people, excellent clinician, and an unbeatable price!   I'm planning to attend for sure.  Any of y'all want to come play?

Dr. Yoji Kondo, 6th Dan Judo, 7th Dan Tomiki Aikido, a student of Professor Kenji Tomiki, will be giving a seminar on Friday and Saturday, June 4th and 5th.  Fee will be $40 for both days or $50 for 1 day.
The founder of the Shin Aikido Renmei is Master Kogure. Dr. Kondo is a regional director for North America. Dr. Kondo is the founder of the East Coast Aikido Association.
.Seminar topics will include: O Waza Ju Pon, Its history and development, and how the principals and application of the techniques of the Ju nana hon Kata are similar to techniques of judo. Professor Kondo will also answer any questions you might have about anything aikido or judo and the many aikido organizations that have developed.
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The seminar is open to all aikidoka, but good ukemi (falling) skills are required. (Judoka and other martial artists are welcome, but you might be a little lost).
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The seminar will be held at the Friendswood Judo Club – League City dojo. 1611 Dakota St., League City, TX 77573. There are several cheap, inexpensive, good, and very good hotels in the area. For anyone who doesn’t mind camping out, bring a pillow and blanket and you can sleep at the dojo.
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I am still working on an “official” flyer, but I wanted to get this information out as quickly as possible. Please let me know ASAP if you plan on attending this fun and informative seminar with an exceptional aikido and judo instructor.
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For more information you can reach me by email rawilliams@sbcglobal.net
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Thanks, Raymond Williams

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Paradoxes in aiki; the illusion of control

Similar to the previous Paradox of aiki article, this one is about what mode tori is supposed to get himself into in a conflict.  How does that aiki state of mind work?
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Specifically, is tori working to take control of uke, or is tori working to simply knock uke out of control and flow along with him as he crashes?
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Is tori exerting control over uke until uke submits or is tori effecting unbalance upon uke until uke crashes?
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Again, like the previous paradox, I can get something resembling pretty good aikido working either way, but whenever I emphasize one or the other I am always left wondering if it could have been better?
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What do you think of this paradox?

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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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End the collusion with randori

I've published a couple of responses to Stanley Pranin's interesting article about collusion in aikido.  You can see my previous articles here and here.
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Today I wanted to mention that you can put an end to the collusion by doing randori.  Real randori - not what most aikidoka (including myself) like to play.  Let me splain'.
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It is not really randori when you get one (or two or three) guys and tell them that their role in the game is to attack tori and take falls for him.  This is perhaps a step away from kata toward randori, but it is not randori because you have defined who is tori and who is uke.  In this sort of practice, if uke "wins" by hitting tori, then both uke and tori have failed.  Tori has failed to defend himself and uke has been a noncompliant uke (which is a no-no).  The problem is in the definition of the roles.
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It is not really randori when one guy is defined to be the winner and everyone else has to take falls for him.  It's a free throwing exercise.
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It's only real randori when you have two tori and each is trying to trick or skill the other guy into switching roles and becoming uke.  It is only randori when either player can win (by making the other guy become uke).
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So, one way you can end the collusion is by simply ending it.  Just stop it.  Stop defining ukes and toris and start trying some less compliant modes of randori.
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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What is Aikido?

Interesting interview with Ryusei Saigusa.
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Outstanding hizaguruma



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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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Other blogs (not as good as mine, but they try awfully hard!) :-)