Just received their certificates that Charles Murray had made up for the promotions they received last May Michael Cassidy and Young Lee to Nana Dan.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
First I have developed various disabilities. Teams of Physicians have been able to tell me what my problem is or have any idea how to treat it. I have been a martial artist for over 40 years and I am working around the problems, I will remain living a martial life regardless of what the problem is.
2. I am much weaker. Among which this accounts for my speech difficulty, the facial muscles are weaker.
3. I have very little balance. For safety I employ a walker when taking my daily walks.
4. My fine motor control is lesser. I have difficulty handling the simplest of phones. My ability to write is non-existant, Even a signature is extremely difficult to impossible. I had to find the right keyboard to make use of the internet better. That is almost my only remaining ability.
So to begin, let us think about slowing down.
First it helps to be able to slow down. Decreasing the rate of respiration making the act of slowing down helping gain relaxation for the body,
The drill for this comes from my tai chi training.
The drill is most simple
1. Hands in front at sides.
2. Raise hands up with the fingers down.
3. At shoulder level, stretch the fingers up.
4. Drop the hands back down omto your sides.
With each repetition slow your breathing by a greater amount.
One breath while the hands rise.
One breath while the hands fall.
Slower and slower and slower.
With practice you will see how slow you can go.
And slow causes relaxation.
I wish to use these photos of my Tai Chi instructor, Ernest Rothrock and his students to demonstrate this
1. Hands in front at sides.
2. Raise hands up with the fingers down.
3. At shoulder level, stretch the fingers up
4. Drop the hands back down mto your sides.
This is the preparation I use for the day. and anytime I want to prepare for other training.
Another drill I use for the same purpose takes even less movement. I just stand in the play guitar position from my Yang Tai Chi. This is another drill to slow down. You breath slow and slower, inhale and exhale, each time going slower.
It does take practice. I recall when I first was shown this drill, how quickly I would wobble just from standing still. I was a black belt in karate and nothing I had trained prepared me for this.
As you perform the drill, you actually sink down on your back leg. At the same time I discovered the drill pulled a single muscle strand on the front of your lead leg. Nothing I had done ever prepared me for that.
So just stand still and breathe.
Another way to slow down and prepare in stillness for other drills.
Yet another drill from Eagle Claw is useful to offset the greater amount of sitting one does. It is used in the Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai to open and conclude each class.
These are drills I use every day, perhaps others can find them useful.
Monday, August 29, 2016
I can remember my first karate road trip like it was yesterday.
I believe I was a yellow belt in Salisbury Maryland. Back then classes were about kata half the time and kumite the other half. I knew I was not very good at kumite, in fact I was very bad. Sensei had a great crew of green belts who were spectacular at it. Working with them in kumite I felt like a practice dummy, In the old non safety gear hard knocks days.
Sparring felt like full body contact and I always felt it the next day after sparring with them.The brown belts were totally beyond me.
I had first seen Charles Murray then. He was home on a break from college and he came in the dojo with one of his training mates. When they took the floor, which had a ring set in the floor tiles, everyone cleared off. They engaged in awesome kumite, black belts who knew each other. Everyone just stood back and observed.
So it got to me, I wanted to do better that where I was. Now we understand everyone gets better in time, but that did not mean much to me then. I finally hit on an idea, we used to have black belts regularly drop in from associated schools by Lewis Sensei’s students. I hit on the idea perhaps if I traveled to one of them I might obtain additional training that would help me improve.
The school I decided to visit was the Isshinryu Club run by Reese Rigby in Dover, Delaware.
I knew of him from his visits to the Salisbury Dojo. But I had not met him on a personal basis.
So one Tuesday evening I drove for an hour to his club in Dover, Delaware, then met him and explained what I was seeking. I told him “I know I am not very good in kumite and I want to learn how to get better.”
Rigby Sensei was very kind to me and told me that he would try and help me. Then I joined in with the class training. I remember he spent a lot of time on warm-ups.
Eventually class led to kumite. Rigby Sensei told me that only by fighting could I get better. Then he pained me up with a green belt, Bill Dearing. Bill was a big guy like I was, so the pairing made sense I guess.
“Hajime.” We began. He was much more than I was. But we sort of went back and forth. He had a constant grin on his face. He was much stronger at it than I was. Suddenly he just leaped at me with a flying side kick, something I had never faced.
Without thinking my lead hand swept down, and I had both of his legs in my arm. It caused him to drop to the floor with a bang. He lay there on the floor. I was not sure what I had done, and remember thinking I had broken him.
While Bill was a green belt in Isshinryu, I did not know he was a black belt in Ju-jitsu. What he did was a break fall. He was ok.
I do not remember much after that, and later drove home to Salisbury. It would be the first of many visits to dojo of seniors under Lewis Sensei. More class time, always trying.
Bill was at my black belt test, I will always remember that.
We did have many good times training together. Reese Rigby always shared with me too.
Those were the days.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Meibukan Yagi Meitoku
Tenchi’s name is taken from the first line in a poem in the Bubishi, "Jin shin wa Tenchi ni Onaji." This means "the mind is one with heaven and earth." Originally, Tenchi was composed of two kata, Fukyu kata ichi and Fukyu kata ni. They were eventually combined, and now Ten no kata represents the first half, while Chi no kata is the second half.
The kata are named after Chinese constellations: Seiryu means azure dragon, Byakko means white tiger, Shujaku means vermillion bird and Genbu means black turtle. Meitoku Yagi got the idea after seeing these names bannered on war flags during the Tsuna-Hiki (Tug of War Festival) held each year in Naha.
Tenshi- Heaven and Earth
Seiryu- Blue Dragon
Byakko- White Tiger
Shujakku- Red Sparrow
Genbu – Black Turtle
As well, Taikyoku patterns are practiced. They can be done alone; as well as with a partner (Renzoku kumite), which is done in a straight-line pattern; or with three or five people altogether (Kakomi kumite), in which one karateka is surrounded by the others. There are no traditional Meibukan weapons forms; however, Yagi did adapt some Meibuken Kaishu kata to bō and sai, and are commonly referred to as Meibuken Kobudo. They are as follows.
- Geki Sai Ichi Bo
- Geki Sai Ni Bo
- Saifa Bo
- Geki Sai Ichi Sai
- Geki Sai Ni Sai
- Saifa Sai
- Shisochin Sai
There are several maxims used in Meibukan—some are particular to the style, while others are common to other styles of Goju-ryu and karate. The following are some of the more common sayings.
- Oku myo zai ren shin. "Practice with a good heart."
- Oku myo zai hyaku ren sen tan. "Train a hundred times, train a thousand times."
- Nangi go gokui. "The secrets of training are revealed through hard work."
- Ryu su fu sen kyo. "Running water in a stream faces no barriers."
- Kan chiku fu sho. "The pine tree bends in the wind. The bamboo is hard in the cold."
Information from Wikipedia and the Journal of Asian Martial Arts November 4 2005 “The Five Kata of Yagi Meitoku” by Perry Campbell
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
Thursday, August 25, 2016
From 'L'Essentiel Des Katas-Judo'
par Roland Desormeaux
Ju No Kata
Try to win, but think and let free to act.
Various segments of the Ju No Kata demonstration
Following the rules of etiquette, the presentation requires that the greeting of one another is polite, precise and slow to demonstrate calm, determination and control.
When copying passages from this work, there were many formatting problems to correct. Any errors are my own. The spelling is an older form of English.
standard of the grappling teclmique.
The exercise of the Grappling techniques should be based upon that of the holding. The techniques of choking and those of bending and twisting the joints might be practiced in a standing position. In reality, however, they are mostly practiced in Randori in the l ying position. In these cases, the various actions and f undamental managings of body can be trained very safely and effectively with the techniques of holding. And those of choking, and those of bending and twisti ng the joints are very often followed or changed from those of holding.
So, as the techniques of throwing and grappling are performed successively, those of holding, choking and joint tricks are always practiced in a trial. One must choose some to meet the attack of the opponent. Thus trained and applied accordingly, the techniques shall be drilled more and more, and the interest for t he an shall be deepened ever more.
For the exercise of those techniques, as in those of throwing, they should be performed gently and bearingly, shunn i ng always the rigidity of body and the stiffeni ng of mind .
about the techniques of holding
These techniques are performed in holding the opponent thrown on the back. To hold the oppenent thrown on h is face is not the proper Holding. That is because there is a way of thinking that in the latter posture, it is much eas1er to rise for the held one than when thrown on the back, the effect of holding in this case is not so perfect as in the former.
'The opponent to whom the holding technique is applied will do·his best to rise or to change the position. The holder should control him completely, not only with the strong hand , but with all the power of his body accordingly and effectively against the every attitude of the opponent as the occasion
In the Holding, the following points demand considerations.
To hold with one's all energies.
To hold every spot to prevent the opponent's rising.
To make the opponent fail in all his effort to rise, not to concentrate one's strength on one side.
It is not allowed, though in the excess of endeavour hold or to rise, to touch the oppenenr's face or to grasp him at random except the costume.
about the technique of choking
There are two kinds of techniques : Neck Choking and Trunk Squeezing. Only the former is exercised.
Choking means to oppress the neck from both sides, and not to strangle. To be effective in this technique, the following points demand considerations.
To control all bodily actions of the opponent. To press the opponent's neck with the narrow part of the arm.
To keep one's body quite free, so as to take an active part if necessary.
ln the exercise, it is not allowed to shut the oppenent's mouth or nose with one's palm, or to grasp the throat . It is a matter of course these behaviors could not be regarded as the proper tricks.
about the techniques of bending and twisting the joints.
There are many varieties in this category. Exercises are performed only on the elbow joint. The methods prone to break the neckbone or the back bone are stricktly prohibited.
The exercise on the elbow joint, the following points should be taken into considerations.
To control all the bodily actions of the opponent. One's strength should be used by the principle of fulcrum.
To keep one's body quite free for every action.
form is a system of . exercises arranged and systematised for the most appropriate application of techniques in some determined case. By the practices of Kata one can easily learn the theory of attack and defense and at the same time the applications of the fu ndamental tricks. But, one can never be 'trained' oneself by the forms only, because the forms are always prearranged exercises.
not the photo in the book which was to small to reproduce
The forms taught generally in the Kodokan are as follow :
1. Forms of Throwing,
2. Forms of Grappling,
3. Forms of Gentleness,
4. Forms of Decision,
5. Form Antique,
6. Forms of •Five,'
7. Forms of the National Physical Education
(based on t he principle of Maximum-Efficiency.)
In each of these Forms, many tricks are arranged for a certain object, selecting those which are theoretically or practically valuable among the innumerable methods of attack and defence.
Forms of Throwing and Grappling are called en bloc Forms of Randori (Free Exercise). These are arranged for the study of theory and practice of all the. techniques of throwing and grappling generally employed in Free Exercise.
The Forms of Gentleness are all very gentle actions, and arranged for the regular exercise how to manage the body in attack and defence, and how to employ one's strength most effectively.
The physical education is specially taken into consideration for the choice of these forms : so they are adequate for the st udy of Jud o and for .the practice of its movements, irrespective of age and sex. Furthermore, as the methods of attack and defence are there manifested expressively, the study of these forms are quite enjoyable, and are prone to deepen the interest of Judo. These forms can be performed regardless of dress and location.
The Forms of Decision aim at the teaching of the principle of body-managing and the theory of attack and defence with t he techniques of attacking the vital points.
The so-called Forms Antique and those of •Five' teach the general principle of techniques, including many interesting phases of Judo : so they can be said "Art in judo."
The Forms of National Physical Education (based on the principle of Maximum-Efficiency) were devised for a gymnastic system, as the nomination shows. Its Single Exercise aims at the training of techniques of attacking the vital points, and the Companionate Exercise is chosen from the forms of Gentleness and of Decision, aiming at the same points of importance in these forms.