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BOMP - Ch 7 - The Percentage Principle

This year we are discussing the Book of Martial Power (BOMP) on Saturdays.  

Ever been around hyperactive kids about 4 or 5 or 6-years old?  Ever had what I affectionately call, "a Pediatric Projectile," fire itself headfirst into your groin?  I'm talking about a running, jumping, flying headbutt into the crotch. If you haven't experienced this one then you haven't been around kids that much.  The moral of that little vignette is that we all (even small kids) have a tremendous amount of potential energy stored in our bodies at all times.  
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Fortunately (for parents) and unfortunately (for martial artists), we are only ever able to communicate a fraction of that energy as offensive power.  If kids ever figured out how to communicate 100% of their energy directly into your groin then we'd have to chain them all up in a bunker and slap WMD (Weapons of Male Destruction) stickers on them.  
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On the other hand, if a martial artist can learn how to use a higher fraction of his own power then he has a greater chance of defeating a Gargantua who (we presume) will be using a much smaller fraction of his (presumably) much larger power.
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Just to put numbers to it, consider Jigoro Kano's famous example...
Let us say that the strength of this man is 10 units, whereas my strength, less than his, is 7 units. Then if he pushes me with all his force, I shall certainly be pushed back or thrown down, even if I use all my strength against him. This would happen from opposing strength to strength. But if instead of opposing him, I leave him unresisted, withdrawing my body just as much as he pushes, at the same time keeping my balance, he will naturally lean forward and lose his balance. In this new position, he may become weak (not in actual physical strength, but because of his awkward position) as to reduce his strength for the moment, say to 3 units only instead of 10 units. But meanwhile I, by keeping my balance, retain my full strength, as originally represented by 7 units. Here then, I am momentarily in a superior position, and I can defeat my opponent by using only half of my strength, or 3 1/2 units against his 3 units. This leaves one-half of my strength available for any other purpose. If I had greater strength than my opponent, I could of course push him back. But even if I wished to and had the power to do so, it would still be better for me first to give way, because by so doing, I should have greatly saved my energy and exhausted my opponent's.
That is a near perfect example/explanation of Pearlman's Percentage Principle.  I say near-perfect, because it still appears to me that Kano is talking about yielding and breaking the opponent's balance, which is (as in Pearlman's previous chapter, shortening the opponent's line instead of lengthening ours.  
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But anyway, The Percentage Principle is that...
We must strive to learn to communicate near 100% of whatever our own potential power is, and in so doing, we have the possibility of defeating an opponent with larger potential but poorer utilization of that potential.


____________________ 
Patrick Parker 
www.mokurendojo.com

A month of Koryu Dai Ichi

Each month this year I am focusing on a different kata (formal exercise) from one of the arts that we do here at Mokuren Dojo.  I have also been trying to shine a little light on some of the lesser-known kata that not everyone may have heard of.
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This coming month I will be doing a month-long focus on the Tomiki aikido exercise called Koryu Dai Ichi .(or as we affectionately call it, ichikata) to culminate in a seminar that I'll be teaching at Windsong Dojo in Oklahoma City on May 20th and 21st.
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This kata is not one that is typically used for ranking purposes in any of the clubs that I'm familiar with, but it does contain some interesting techniques and ideas - some of which are repeated in the other five koryunokata, and some of which appear quite unique.
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To get us started I thought I'd post a very nice vid of two of our British buddies running through the techniques.  They might be mortified that I would use their video as an example, but I think this is a very lovely vid, with good energy, good pacing, and most importantly, it looks like they are having fun doing it.


____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Beating around the junokata bush


So, I set out this month to post regularly about Kodokan judo's junokata exercise, and I've done that.  But I've managed to stay very general and very shallow rather than trying to plumb the depths of junokata.

See, junokata is so interesting and complex, that It would take someone with a lifetime of experience in this kata to do it justice.  
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Someone like Keiko Fukuda. Hey wait!  She has already written a book (the definitive textbook) on junokata.  If you want to read the standard ideas, or the correct ideas about junokata, I recommend her book.  On the other hand, if you want to read my ideas (for whatever they are worth) then you can find some of them in my junokata series from this past month ;-)



____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

BOMP - Ch 6 - Efficiency

This year we are discussing the Book of Martial Power (BOMP) on Saturdays.  

He is not only talking about technical efficiency - no wasted motion - here in this chapter.  He is talking about structuring your teaching/learning/practicing system such that it efficiently approaches your goal.  What is the goal?  In this chapter, Pearlman's goal that he says you must approach in the martial arts is The Pure Objective that we discussed earlier.  That is, in any conflict, your victory should be instantaneous, effortless, and perhaps non-injurious to the opponent.  So, an efficient martial system is one that makes the fastest, simplest, most direct approach toward the Pure Objective.
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This means that you have to be technically ruthless with yourself.  You might have a technique that is your favorite because it looks cool or because uke makes a loud noise when he hits the ground, or just because it fits your personality - but if that technique gets in the way of, or slows your approach to the Pure objective, then you have to do away with it.  Why?
  1. It takes up part of your finite training time that you could be using to practice things that will get you to the Objective more efficiently.
  2. You want to minimize the amount of stuff that you have to unlearn before you can learn properly efficient technique.
  3. It interferes with your ability to judge your progress.  You think you are improving, while you are just getting better at less useful stuff.
  4. Any technique that does not offer the potential for instant, effortless victory gives the opponent more time and opportunity to act against you - it gives the opponent the initiative.
I'm used to thinking about technical efficiency, as in how many weight shifts does it take to do this move? Can I do the move in fewer weight shifts than the opponent needs to resist it... That sort of efficiency.  But I'm not especially used to thinking about systemic efficiency - how rapidly your training system approaches The Pure Objective.


[photo courtesy of Flibber]

____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Tachiotoshi

My next kata project... tachiotoshi





____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

High school girls doing junokata.

I generally like the older B&W video of the old masters doing junokata better than the newer vids of the younger folks doing the modern, standardized competition version of this kata... but this is pretty cool.  I enjoyed the energy and rhythm.  Of course, there are a handful of glitches or things I would have done differently, or things I didn't recognize as exactly kosher, but still, this was a great performance.  I also generally hate musical kata, but this music was not awful with this performance - at least it was not Mortal Kombat!



____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Helpful handful: principles of junokata

The combative coolness is kind of hidden in junokata, but here are a handful of principles to watch for when watching junokata.
  • avoid - get out of the way and overextend uke using his momentum
  • roll - if you can't get out of the way, yield to uke's force then redirect it
  • release - if you can't yield (because they are holding you) then break the grip in its weakest plane
  • get the back - get behind them whenever possible.  If they get behind you then you must escape or destroy their balance decisively.
  • control points - you become better able to flow if you move uke into an off-balanced control position instead of trying to blast them through it.  If you can place uke right at the point of no return, then you can control, destroy, or flow as needed.

Watch this performance (the best I've been able to find on YouTube) with those five pointers in mind...



____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

BOMP - Ch 5 - Addendum

How do you reconcile Lengthening your own line with the fundamental principle of aikido and judo - kuzushi?

Budo is supposed to be about lengthening your own line, but kuzushi is all about shortening the other guy's line.  What's the deal?


____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

An alternate gonokata

Still talking about junokata... Sorta... By talking about its opposite, gonokata.
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It was only fairly recently that the reconstructed gonokata was revealed to the general public.  It had essentially been all but lost for years.  I'd heard over the years that different sensei (most notably, Mifune) had used their own forms of gonokata for a while after Kodokan dispensed with theirs.  But until recently I could find almost no information on any old masters' ideas on gonokata.
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That got me thinking some years back about what might be a good alternative, if one wanted to institute a program balanced between junokata and gonokata (and if you couldn't find any info on Kano's gonokata).
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There is an old story about Kano inviting Gichin Funakoshi to demonstrate Okinawan karate-do at the Kodokan and apparently getting so fired up about it that he made his students start doing some striking practice. (You see where this is going?)
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So, I got to thinking... which Okinawan kata best exhibits the pliable strength ideal of gonokata? Which Okinawan kata would make the best complement to junokata if someone were interested in building a program around these two ideals?
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Which kata do you think fits the bill?  Which one do you think I would probably choose?

[photo courtesy of epollomuerte]

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____________________
Patrick Parker

Most important aspect of ippon

hard - fast - mostly on the shoulders - with control

I was working with the kids class a while back on this idea of throwing osotogari for ippon (onto a crashpad).

We talked about the concept of a perfect throw being one that is strong, fast, lands uke mostly on his back of his shoulders, and shows great control.

Then we talked about moderating our desire to throw perfect throws in randori because they are too punishing and hurtful for uke.  With your friends in friendly randori, you should emphasize control and don't worry too much about hard and fast.  In shiai or street, hard and fast are okay but you always have to maintain control.  Control is the most important facet of ippon.

[photo courtesy of Misha Penkof]

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____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

BOMP - Ch 5 - Lengthening our line

This year we are discussing the Book of Martial Power (BOMP) on Saturdays.  

Once one of my instructors, when asked, "What are the principles that make aikido work?" sent us a list of 20 or so, many of which were the things that you would expect - ma-ai, power from center, etc... but one of the surprising ones, the first one in fact, was...
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Recognize and accept responsibility for your contribution to failure.

And it turns out that this very idea is what Pearlman is talking about in this chapter.  Pretty much all martial arts have at least some glimmer of practical value in them.  If an attacker is able to wrest control of you from you then it is at least partially your fault.  If you had applied the right parts of your martial art, or applied them differently or better, then it would have been impossible for the attacker to take control from you and retain it.
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But it goes farther than that.  In order to harm you, the Bad Person has to have Ability, Intent, and Opportunity.  We can assume that since they are Bad People, then they have Intent, and Bad People generally dont choose stronger, more powerful victims - so you can assume that the Bad Person has Ability to harm you. The element of this triad that you have the most control over is Opportunity.  If the bad Person gets an opportunity to molest you, then even that is partly your fault.
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So I guess what I got from this chapter can be summarized as:

  • All martial arts have techniques, tactics, and strategies that, when applied properly, make it impossible for an attacker to take control from you and keep it.
  • You should pay a good bit of attention in your training to pre-fight aspects, such as avoidance and de-escalation, because if someone even gets the opportunity to try to control you then you are already partly at fault.
  • In order to become great at martial arts, you have to learn to take responsibility for your own contribution to your loss of control.

The title of the chapter comes from a great little teaching example that Ed Parker used in his teachings...  Consider that the following line represents your opponent's potential:
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So, how can you make their line shorter?  Read BOMP to find out!

[photo courtesy of C. Gilmore]


____________________ 
Patrick Parker 
www.mokurendojo.com

Balance in ju and go

To me, one of the central ideas illustrated by the junokata and gonokata pair that I posted a few days ago is that what you are really after is not flimsy, flacid, impotent weakness - nor is it unyielding, constant hardness. 
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Junokata and gonokata seem to illustrate yin and yang (in and yo).  Junokata is stability and strength within pliable yielding.  Gonokata is resistant muscular strength that can instantly and appropriately change or yield - pliability within strength.
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What you are seeking in these two kata is a state of ever-shifting balance between strength and yielding.  An artfully-managed compromise at all times between go (gentle strength) and ju (strong gentleness).
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I like the idea of approaching the ideal from both sides.

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____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Aim for the middle condition

My judo class spends the most standing time on small, technical ashiwaza (footsweeps), including deashibarai, okuriashibarai, and harai tsurikomiashi.  Of those three techniques we get hundreds more reps/month of deashi than the other two, and honestly, haraiTKashi doesn't really get too much practice simply because it's not my tokuiwaza.
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That distribution of practice time in that particular series is probably not optimal.  Because okuriashi is the middle condition, happening about halfway in the technical spectrum of deashi and haraiTKashi, we should probably spend most of our time on it.  Because it is the middle condition, if you get good at hitting okuriashi and you miss to either side then you still have a chance to get deashi or harai.
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This phenomenon of the middle condition happens in a lot of places in judo.
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Another instance of the middle condition is in newaza when escaping from kesagatame (scarf hold).  The three most fundamental escaping actions are situp, uphill, and bridge&roll.  Situp escape happens when you throw your hips and legs away from uke, sit up, and let him fall in the space you just made.  Uphill happens after a failed situp - you throw back in, spoon with uke, turn to your belly for base, and extract your arm.  Bridge&roll happens easiest when you have tried uphill and uke presses into you to stop it - you hold him to your sternum and bridge over your opposite shoulder driving his head into the mat above your head.
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So, uphill escape is a middle condition between situp and bridge&roll.  If you get good at uphill and uke interferes in either direction then he makes it easier to do one of the other two.  So it stands to reason that a lot of your kesa-escape practice should be occupied with uphill escape. (Incidentally, uphill escape has been shown statistically to be the most likely escape to save you from kesa in a competition, although bridge&roll is probably the best-known and most popular response).
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The moral of this story - anywhere in judo that you can identify this middle condition relationship between techniques, you should concentrate on that middle condition.

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____________________
Patrick Parker

Thoughts on Tueller

I'm not a law enforcement officer.  I don't even play one on TV.  In fact, I didn't even stay at the Holiday Inn Express last night.  But Nathan at TDA Training did ask me to contribute some ideas to a week-long discussion of the famous Tueller Drill.  Check out the video at Nathan's blog, and while you're at it, check out this gruesome example of the 21-foot rule played out in this police reel.
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I enjoyed TGase's post about the flaws within the Tueller experiment and I appreciate his assertion that Tueller's results did not validate any sort of claim about the superiority of any particular weapon (a knife) over any other particular weapon (a gun).  I intended to write this post on the idea that what Tueller does demonstrate most effectively is that a gun is not a magical talisman that automatically assures victory - but Paul at Tactical Arnis beat me to that point.  Kudos to both of y'all for excellent, informative articles.
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In my opinion, one of the take-away lessons from Tueller (perhaps unintended by the original author) is that a knife in the hand of a person with the right mindset is the most versatile, effective, gruesome, demoralizing weapon invented in the last several thousand years.  Sure, the handgun is (I suppose) the centerpiece of police force projection, but again, the handgun is not a magic talisman.  This point is effectively demonstrated by Tueller.
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Also, Tueller's results were intended for police consumption.  Using it to justify anything in the civilian self-defense context is a stretch - particularly because of the simple fact that most civilians will not have access to a handgun most of the time.  But Tueller does illustrate an important point that is one of the centerpieces of our aikido system.  That is...
You can never afford to underestimate the potential of your opponent.
Or, put another way, you have to treat every single training encounter as if your opponent is the most dangerous bad guy imaginable, armed with the most awful tactical advantage imaginable. Or, in shorter form, "You can never tell who you're standing beside."  To us, that means we try to assume that all opponents are armed with a knife.  You have to design your practices around the assumption that your opponent has the potential to kill you if they have the ability to touch you.  That's pretty stringent, and it leads to practices like stab-twice randori, starting already stabbed, and progressive chaos.
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As we have done knife randori like this over the years, we have come up with a few pretty reliable pieces of information. First, all of aikido (and probably most all of self-defense) is based on a couple of techniques that we call shomenate (A.K.A. the palm jab to the chin) and aigamaeate (A.K.A. iriminage, a palm jab to the chin done from outside the opponent's arm). The tactical idea behind both of these techniques is the same:
  • get out of the way at least a little bit.
  • get at least a little bit of control of the weapon arm
  • crash into the opponent's center with your whole bodyweight, spearing into his head violently with a stiff-armed palm, locking his neck, and throwing him away.
  • disengage and run away immediately.
All of our randori over the years has verified this basic idea - if you go into a knife encounter with any plan but the above, You're likely to get killed.  But the above plan saves you a remarkable percentage of the time.  
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It turns out that all the other stuff in aikido - all the stuff you think of as aikido - the cool wristlocks and the airy breath throws - those are just backup plans.  This basic plan enumerated above makes up easily 80% of aikido, and all the cool stuff fills in around the edges.

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So, in summary of this somewhat rambling, stream of consciousness...
  • Tueller is an interesting experiment that has implications primarily for police, but that us civilians can also learn from.
  • A gun is not a magic talisman that assures victory - particularly if you allow you opponent within a few paces of you.
  • A gun is a powerful and useful weapon, but IMO, a knife is demonstrably more versatile at close range.
  • You can never afford to underestimate your opponent's potential. You must take this idea into every single training encounter.
  • You need some variety and speed and resistance in your knife defense practice - not just the slow zombie attack over and over again.
  • You have to have a fundamental tactical plan that makes up the vast majority of your system that is simple, easy to remember, works under pressure, and involves evasion, automatic control, and immediately-disabling atemiwaza (strikes)
[photo courtesy of Jesse Millan]

____________________ 
Patrick Parker 
www.mokurendojo.com

The opposite of junokata

One of my professors in high school told me one time that one possible way to define something is to define the things that it is not.  So, while we're working on this junokata tihng, the question popped into my mind... What would be the opposite of the principle of ju as expressed in junkata?
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Well, it just so happens that the old timey Kodokan guys had a kata intended to express just that opposite.   It was called gonokata (the forms of strength or the forms of hardness).  For years after the WWII occupation, gonokata was not practiced or performed, and it was considered to be a lost kata of judo.  Then, all of a sudden, some guys in Italy got hold of one of the old masters that still remembered the exercise and they researched it and put it back together.
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Here is a video of this interesting gonokata, which you might say consists of sets of isometric strength exercises, each set followed by an interesting way of turning the opponent's strength to your advantage.


As I understand it, these two kata - junokata and gonokata were intended to together represent the core of a balanced, principled Kodokan martial art.
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What do you think makes gonokata different from junokata?



What is the difference between the techniques selected for each kata? What principles or ideas are expressed the same or differently between these two kata?  How would you characterize this opposite of junokata?
____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

BOMP - Ch 4 - Control

This year we are discussing the Book of Martial Power (BOMP) on Saturdays.  

No, this chapter is not talking about striving for awesome, inescapable control over your enemies. Pearlman is talking about developing such exquisite control over your own body and mind that no one else is able to exert control upon you.
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I really think that this is the best chapter of the book so far.  The one that speaks about martial arts the most.  Pearlman drops some fine wisdom here:

  • ...to the degree that we lack control of ourselves, we aid the opponent in controlling us.
  • ...we must have more control of our own bodies than the opponent has over theirs, and more control over our own bodies than the opponent has over us.
  • ...which means we must approach every single technique as a riddle of control: how can we best maintain control of ourselves in this situation?

To me, this manifests itself in aikido and judo in learning to walk out of the opponent's techniques instead of having to try to figure out how to escape or counter them.  In order to do an escape or a counter, you must come under the control of the opponent in the first place.  If you maintain control of self, you never have to do escapes or counters.  If you refuse to assist the opponent in your own overthrow, then the escape/counter becomes much easier.
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Do you see your martial arts practice as a self-control koan?

[photo courtesy of Jo Christian Oterhals]

____________________ 
Patrick Parker 
www.mokurendojo.com

Tueller Drill - The 21-foot rule

When I started blogging several years ago I sent out some emails to the best bloggers in my niche asking for advice and assistance.  One of the most helpful of these folks was Nathan Teodoro, who was running the TDA Training Blog, far and away the best martial arts blog with the highest readership at that time.  Turns out that not only was Nathan the big dog of the martial blogosphere, but he is a nice, personable guy - easy to work with and a lot of help to me. (He may not be too comely, but he's got a great personality ;-)
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Next week, Nathan is running a series on his blog on the famous Tueller Drill which resulted in the commonly-known 21-foot rule.  That is, Tueller and his cohorts found that a man with a knife could consistently advance about 21 feet and cut an officer before the officer would be able to draw his sidearm and fire.  Imagine that!  21 feet!  Get up and march that out so you can see the distance I'm talking about.  Let that sink in.  Check out the video intro at Nathan's blog.
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That means that if you let an aggressor with a knife get within about 21 feet of you and you do not already have your weapon online and firing, that your sidearm is irrelevant.  You have been effectively disarmed!
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Not only is Nathan running this series on his blog next week, but he has asked me to play along, and provide a guest post.  I'll be honored to present a guest post on my thoughts on The Tueller Drill and the 21-foot rule next Wednesday  I am definitely the least among giants with regard to the guest posters - you can also look for articles by TGace (author of The Things Worth Believing In) and Adam (of Low-Tech Combat fame)!
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So, stay tuned here at Mokuren Dojo and definitely watch Nathan's TDA Training blog next week!

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____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Junokata and contact improv

I figured I'd resurrect this 2008 post for my current thread on junokata.  I had posted an old video of junokata and asked, basically, "What does this have to do with judo?"   Marks chimed in with a great answer:

Although it dosent resemble at all what we call Judo, it does show the principles upon which judo rest, which are body mechanics, balance manuipluation, fluidity and technique.

I agree. In fact I think Junokata is a great exercise for developing these qualities, but just to carry this discussion a touch farther, does the following not demonstrate those same qualities to a large degree?

What to do between classes?

A friend sent me a question about between-class judo workouts...
Hey! so [two of us] practice every Wednesday together (It's just us two) and we were wondering what would be some good stuff to work on? ... I was just wondering what would be good to work on next?
...and the main thrust of my response was...
The best stuff to work on between practices is the fundamentals, for several reasons:
  • You generally have a better grasp of this material than the more "advanced" material, so you are better able to work on the fundamentals when your instructor is not there to help you.
  • It's also probably safer to practice fundamentals without an instructor than to practice the crazy stuff.
  • You get more benefit from practicing some tiny fundamental thing that will improve everything that you do instead of practicing one complex skill that only benefits you in specific situations.
So, for specifics, I'd recommend spending most of your time on:
  • the ground mobility cycle
  • shrimping and bridging with 2 hands on 1 point on your partner's sleeve.  Here you can see an intro to this idea.
  •  If y'all want to do randori, I'd recommend zero-resistance newaza, again because it is safer and more productive than being more competitive with each other.
Every hour that you put into these activities is guaranteed to pay dividends in future practices and competitions. Continuous practice of the fundamentals (even when you think you've mastered them) always pays off.
____________________
Patrick Parker 
www.mokurendojo.com

Ju don't really mean that

I mentioned in a previous post on the judo exercise, junokata, that one loose translation that I tend to like to use for the name is, "THE kata of judo."  Too often people hear "ju" translated as "gentle" or "soft" and they develop the idea that to do ju, you have to be flaccid or weak or overly-compliant.  Junokata is a prime expression of the principle of ju, but it is not at all about flaccid weakness.
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The principle of ju, and its expression in junokata, is about strength - maximally efficient use of your power in unresisted lines and planes.
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I was reading somewhere - probably on Sensei Strange's excellent blog - that the kanji for ju involves ideograms for a spear and a plant, suggesting that it is the sort of pliable strength that allows the smallest of seedlings to spear its way up through the earth, even perhaps finding a way through concrete.  The strength of a spear within the pliability of a plant... that's pretty cool.
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In the context of junokata there is definitely strength.  Uke is not compliant, but rather sets up a particular kind or direction of strength so that tori can practice flowing and growing around that particular plane of resistance.  That's part of the reason that there is no falling in this kata - by the time uke falls, the demonstration of ju is over.  Uke has been uprooted decisively by tori's pliable application of strength, and despite their own application of resistant power, so a fall is un-necessary.

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____________________
Patrick Parker

Getting the mind back on junokata

Wow! I've been consumed with other stuff for the past few days - hosing an Aiki Buddies Gathering, doing a shodan demo... I haven't had the time or inclination to put together any posts for my monthly series on junokata.  But now I can turn my attention back to it.  Here is a good demonstration of junokata to get the juices flowing...



____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

New Shodan

Kudos to Dr. Kel Feind on the achievement of his first degree black belt (shodan).  Kel had been doing aikido in various clubs in Indiana, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania for some years before finally having the opportunity to join us here in the heartland of aikido - Southwest Mississippi!  It has taken a few years but Kel has been extremely dedicated and has truly excelled in his studies.
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Before the rank demo, Kel seemed a bit frazzled...
... but a mere few minutes and 22 throws later, and he was feeling much more sublime and aiki-like...

Kel, I'm super-excited about the next couple of years, because if you thought that the process and the progress you made between white belt and shodan is remarkable, just wait till nidan!  These next couple of years are going to transform your aikido in ways that you cannot imagine. Shodan is just a beginning!
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There's a couple of good references for this idea of shodan being a great beginning...


____________________
Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

BOMP - Ch 3 - The Pure Objective

This year we are discussing the Book of Martial Power (BOMP) on Saturdays.  

A person can be a good fighter without being a martial artist.  Some martial artists might be lousy fighters when the grits hit the oscillator. I suppose if we were to draw a Venn diagram of fighting and martial arts, they might overlap significantly, but they would not by any stretch of the imagination be the same set.
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Pearlman, in his third chapter describes part of what makes a martial art into a true artform - the objective.  In fighting, the objective is victory or dominance or something to that effect.  In the martial arts, the goal is what Pearlman calls The Pure Objective...
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Victory must be...
  • instantaneous
  • effortless
  • non-injurious to the opponent (if at all possible)
WOW! That's a tall bill to fill!  Sounds like M. Ueshiba...
  • When an enemy tries to fight with me ... he has to break the harmony of the universe. Hence at the moment he has the mind to fight with me, he is already defeated.
  •  To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury in the Art of Peace.
Pearlman gives a couple of criteria by which to judge if our martial techniques meet The Pure Objective...
  • Given a reasonable level of proficiency, does the technique in question hold the potential for a smaller person to effortlessly apply it against a larger person?
  • Given a reasonable level of proficiency, does the technique in question hold the potential for instantaneous victory?
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Patrick Parker 
www.mokurendojo.com

Aiki Fool's Day ABG

No, it's not a joke or a trick.  We're hosting an Aiki Buddies Gathering on April Fool's Day weekend!
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Unless someone comes up with a better topic, I'll be teaching on the following:
  • Owaza Jupon as a void feeling - influencing uke by yielding instead of bridging weight into him.
  • Koryu Dai Ichi - variations in timing, releases #1 and #2, and 2-hand grabs
The schedule will likely be something like this...
Friday, April 1
  • 5:30-8:00 Owaza Jupon
  • dinner somewhere TBA
Saturday, April 2
  • 9:00-11:30 Koryu Dai Ichi
  • 2:00-2:30 Shodan demo for Kel Feind
  • 4:00-until Bar-B-Q at Kel's place
  • Perhaps an evening class or perhaps a bonfire
The cost: zero dollars and no sense. (That way I know you'll get your monies worth!)
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All the coolest aikidoka for hundreds of miles around will be Winning so Winning-ly that your minds won't be able to comprehend our Flaming Fists of Fury!
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Patrick Parker

Naihanchi - Recap of a month of posts

Whew!  This past month has been a whirlwind tour through the most versatile and excellent of all karate kata - naihanchi.  Check the following for a review.
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Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com

Other blogs (not as good as mine, but they try awfully hard!) :-)