Archive for November, 2007

Nov 23 2007

A self indulgent seminar

Published by under Seminars,Training at Home

So it is time for me to put on a seminar.  I should say it’s about time I put on a seminar regarding material that I saw in Japan.  It will be held at the club on December 8th and 9th.  Cost will be $50 Canadian.  Specific topics covered, well let me think about that for a while.  Fact of the matter is there is a lot of stuff (concepts) that I brought home with me this time.  Some of it I was told outright, some of it I experienced and sat scratching my head trying to understand what happened.
With some joint work between myself and some friends  we were able to come up with some exercises based on the techniques.  So if this sounds like something that would interest you then stop on by that weekend to do some training.

We will start at 10 AM both days and go until everyone looks tired or I run out of things to do.  Information will be on the site soon.

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Nov 13 2007

Back Home Safely

    I am back home safe and sound and managed to make it to work as well.  Now I have to figure out how to share what I have learned effectively.  Also how not to lose the feeling from Japan before my next trip in May.  All of those who are interested in that trip send me an email with possible dates.

I made some very good contacts in Japan and arranged for quite the seminar lineup if everything works according to plan.  The visitors will hopefully be (not in any particular order) Doug Wilson, Rob Renner, Lubos Pokorny and Shawn Gray.   With some luck that list will expand.  I will let everyone know when I have specific dates for these seminars.  I must warn you all for the distance the Lubos must travel his seminar will be more expensive than seminars in the past, Doug and Rob will be easy because to make the deal sweeter I can pay them in Canadian Dollars.

With that I am off to get some rest, my productivity has been sorely lacking today.

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Nov 10 2007

Honbu Admission Test

Published by under Training in Japan

There is a problem in Honbu, it is far to crowded. I have come up with a solution to this problem. The Honbu admission test. Before everyone gets up in arms about how physical strength is not required for taijutsu hear me out. The test is quite simple. Can you bend over touch your toes and get back up? If so come on in. If not you do not have a body ready to properly do the techniques so don’t waste the instructor’s time.

Is it that unreasonable that if you are going to spend the money to go to Japan you should spend a bit of time training your body. You don’t have to be superman but you have to be able to move your body, bend your knees and take ukemi. Taijutsu does not take a lot of strength but it does take leg strength. If you let yourself slide into the North American fitness standard (which is quite a sad state of affairs) you will not be able to do kihon never mind learn the kata.

I will add that this fitness thing is the opinion of a few Japanese Shihan with which I have spoke not my own. I just created a test for those readers to consider.

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Nov 10 2007

Hatsumi Sensei’s harsh words

Published by under Training in Japan

You’re training is unrealistic, it is crap.  This is the basic message that Hatsumi Sensei was telling us on Friday night.

It started with you don’t know how to punch.  If you are taking a kamae to punch then you are fighting like you don’t want to win.  Followed up by your punch is too slow and taking that long kamae is throwing you off balance.  Punch directly just step in and hit them.

While trying to preform a technique that was demonstrated Hatsumi sensei mentioned you must be weak.  If you are strong they will respond to you.  You can not take the opponent strongly.  He told a story about a cat sleeping on a roof (ruff for you Americans) and a hawk flying overhead which thought it had an easy meal.  When it dove down to get the cat, the cat rolled over so that the hawk missed.  If you show strength your opponent will know and be aware of what is going on.  If you are weak then the opponent does not know how to counter.

Finally we got a dose of “I am teaching the connection between the schools”.  Do not get caught up in the differences and the kata.  Even with the kata if you don’t have my feeling it means nothing.  There will be books and videos to show techniques but without the essence they are useless.

As per usual though many people assumed that making something real means that you just have to speed up what you are doing rather than do what sensei was showing.  It takes a lot before Hatsumi sensei feels the need to say something.  If you are not doing something right he will show the right way over and over again.  If finally months go by and you have learned nothing then he will lose his patience and say “you suck, do it this way”.  Hopefully a few people learned something from this cause I would hate to go through a harsh class like that again.

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Nov 07 2007

Oguri Sensei Training

Published by under Training in Japan

I managed to make it to Oguri Sensei’s training at his own dojo.  It takes about 2 hours on train (each way) with 3 train transfers.  It was a very small class but the training was fantastic.  We worked on the kihon (not kihon happo).  There are certain points in techniques, ways of taking moving to capture kazushi, or to control the weapons of your opponent which Oguri sensei views as the kihon.  He explained his views of the qualities of a shodan, godan, judan and beyond.  Remind me to let you know when I get back if you are interested.  I do not want to put it on the site because I may have understood incorrectly and do not want my foolishness in writing.

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Nov 04 2007

Alice’s Hatsumi Sensei experience

Published by under Sight Seeing,Training in Japan

I will try to convey the feeling that Alice got from Hatsumi sensei. “Hatsumi is a strange man but it kind of fits the job discription. He was mean, I saw him and was like no he is ripping that guys eye out”.

The funny part about all this is that Hatsumi sensei was watching Alice do a technique on me and then stopped the class to show how a women could protect herself from someone grabbing at her chest. That’s right Alice got a technique taught for her sake. Kind of pisses me off. Ah well I just have to live with it.

I will write more on Osaka and our impromptu trip to Sendai.

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Nov 02 2007

Training with Hatsumi Sensei

Published by under Sight Seeing,Training in Japan

I am too tired to do a proper post so I will leave it at this.

Alice, Sensei and Anton

4 responses so far