Archive for the 'Training in Japan' Category

May 05 2013

What was the feeling?

Published by under Training in Japan

I have a theory about asking people what a technique felt like.  I don’t think that is a class teaching tool, I think it’s a self realization tool.

Hatsumi Sensei often says that it is important to have the control it takes to move your ears.  As it stands moving your ears is a skill that you have to learn.  You can’t be taught, you can’t be helped you just have to try it until you can do it.  Budo seems to be the same way.

Hatsumi Sensei experienced Budo through his teacher Takamatsu.  At the time he was learning there is no way he could hope to replicate the feeling that his teacher had.  At least not until he had some more experience.

So now the problem.  You have experienced the techniques and know what they feel like so how do you know if you do them correctly?  My suspicion is when your students have the same reaction that you did.

I believe that at first perhaps, the question of how did that feel was just to make sure that Hatsumi Sensei was on the right track with his techniques.  So over the next few months/years when I am training with you one on one and ask what did that feel like I’m not trying to be pretentious I am trying to study.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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Apr 22 2013

Kuzushi 崩し

Published by under Training in Japan

The work Kuzushi is often translated as take the balance. If you look at the kanji (which I have so helpfully included) it is a verb which means to collapse or to destroy.

If you take someones balance they will take a step and escape. ?If you however focus on destroying their kamae then you have effectively taken away power and ability to counter your intentions. ?I am sure I will have to visit more on the specifics of this as I figure them out further. ?So until then.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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Apr 12 2013

Japanton Round 10

Published by under Sight Seeing,Training in Japan

Until this point I have never been in Japan to see the cherry blossoms.  I have now.  They are something to behold.  As I wonder around Japan feeling a sense of familiarity that I do not feel anywhere in the world outside of Edmonton, it occurs to me how much time I spend here.  The theme this year is difficult and the days are long.  I hope to attend 100 training sessions while I am here this time.  I am thankful for the friends with whom I am going to be able to train while I am here.  Also to the Bujinkan Czech Dojo, and their leader Czech Norris making nightly drinking acceptable I thank you.

I will begin posting information on training with Tsurugi, and Muto Dori Gata (note the Oxford comma please) as well as what I have been shown of Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu soon (I hope).

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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Nov 14 2012

Kaname

Published by under Training in Japan

It seems that over the past week and a half I have come up with a bit different view on the concept of Kaname based on what I have been hearing sensei say. The deep philosophy of this concept I will leave to those whom are far more familiar with Hatsumi Sensei’s language and background. I can only provide my ideas based on what I have heard, seen and felt.

Hatsumi Sensei has been talking and demonstrating kaname not as just a philosophy or an abstract idea of what the essence of the technique is but rather specific point in space in a specific moment in a technique. This point can change from moment to moment but it had a physical position in space.

Hatsumi Sensei had spoken about kaname being like the ougi (pin) in a Japanese fan, something that everything can rotate around. I am still trying to, wait for it… wrap my head around the idea. I will let you all now if I come up with anything more on the subject.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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Sep 26 2011

Changing themes

Published by under Training in Japan

At the start of the year the theme seemed to be kihon happo.  Now it seems to have changed to the sunshin of Koppo Jutsu.  In all the classes there seems to be that emphasis of going to the eyes, ribs and fingers in techniques.  It is apparently women’s self defence and good for when you are older.  I think I will give it another 30 to 40 years before I make this my mainstay of taijutsu but it is good to know.  Also it is good to be able to teach.  The concepts of not using power and working on your opponents weak spots and angles has been a standard for as long as I have been training.  Mind you that has not be that long in comparison to some.  It is a humbling experience meeting up with people like Sveneric and Mariette in Japan whom have been around since the early days.

You know the days when foreigners could not find a place to stay in Noda because they were not welcome.  The days when all of the train information was in Japanese and good luck trying to ask for help.

We owe a lot to those whom have paved the way for us in the past.  Remember to thank them when you see them.  While your at it take time to thank the translators as well.  They don’t have to translate, it frankly makes their training harder.  Wait I need an entire post for this one.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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Sep 12 2011

Shinken vs Renshuu

Published by under Training in Japan

I had an interesting conversation with some fellow Budoka that I count amongst my good friends.  The discussion was concerning the comparison between those who study the martial arts and those who have learned to fight through experience.  A great deal of material was covered over the hour period which we were on the subject.  I will try my best to condense summarize what was said and what my thoughts are on the matter.

Mainly from the “real fighting experience” side you will tend to hear the argument that “person X that I know takes martial arts and they got beat up by person Y who is just a brawler”.  Another argument you will hear often is when you are in a “real fight” you forget 90% of what you learn anyhow.

I can not speak for anyone else who was sitting around the table discussing this but here are my thoughts.

Martial arts is meant for self defence, the goal is to survive and protect yourself and others.  When you first step onto the dojo floor you have a certain level of proficiency and every day you are trying to increase that.  When we forget Jigoro Kano’s talk about “mutual welfare and prosperity” martial arts training becomes a competition to defeat an opponent.  The only one we should be trying to beat is ourselves of the past.

As Budoka we are often expected to active some fantastic results, never lose a fight and be in phenomenal shape.  (Well so far I have the last part of that down.)  The truth is we are students trying to learn and as such we can’t put the expectation that we are going to be invincible.  We must however live up to the expectation that we improve everyday.  It’s not whether or not we can beat someone who never took the martial arts before.  There will always be someone stronger.  Budo gives us a chance to improve upon ourselves and gives us a fighting chance because of slow and constant development.  If we are stronger that we were when we started the martial arts, we stand a better chance of survival and that’s the point.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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Sep 12 2011

Japanton Round 8

Published by under Training in Japan

So I arrived in Japan the 1st of September.  There were a limited amount of people who knew because I wanted to make it a surprise for others whom were on their way.  They are here now and my sneaky preparation hid the fact from them until I walked in the honbu door.

So so far 11 full days in I have attended 22 classes.  I will start posting some of the training ideas that I have picked up from the classes over the next few days.  Hopefully I can get a bit of information that will help your training at home while I am here even if it’s just through my words.

Your life is on the line, practise well.

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May 31 2010

Be considerate of Japan residents

Published by under Training in Japan

Since seeing some of my friends from Japan, I have been thinking more and more about a life as a budo student in Japan.  But more as a resident of Japan who trains budo.  I can imagine it is very difficult living in a way where everyone assumes your life revolves around training.

For us visiting it is important to keep in mind that those whom expatriated are not there to babysit or translate for us.  It is on their kind whim that they help us.  They have jobs and lives in Japan to which they have to attend.  What makes you think they have time to deal with a stranger whom is going on a 3 week holiday?

I thought it was important for me to say, and also remind myself of when I go to Japan next, which if I start work should be very soon.  Your life is on the line, practise well.

2 responses so far

May 10 2010

Balance

As many have noticed, and noted I have not posted in quite some time.  There is a simple explanation for this; I needed work.

I have been training so much over the past few years I forgot that sometimes you have to take care of other things in life.  Since I got a new career I needed to spend some time focusing on that.  But don’t worry I now have a handle on my new work and am getting ready for the next round of Japan.

Please look forward to more training with and posting by me.

Your life is on the line, Practise well.

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May 31 2009

Cut me some slack

Well I was going to post something on a new insight I found into the striking timings, but I am getting harrased about not posting.  So if you want a new post you will have to ask a question in the comment.  You know something that I have done or said in class about which you are unclear.  Anyhow I am done, those at class to day know who to thank for this.

3 responses so far

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