Archive for March, 2009

Mar 28 2009

Fudoshin/Above the Fray

Published by under Training at Home

When you find yourself in a confrontation often you become your own worst enemy.  You hesitate and have movements full of fear.  This is deadly to a martial artist.  If your heart is filled with fear, you can’t use the techniques that you have leaned.

Trust me when I say, if you hesitate things get worse.  I won’t bore you with details online, but if you ask me over a pint or two I will let you know.  When a fight breaks out lives are on the line, there is no time for you to doubt yourself.  This leads us to fudoshin…

Fudo shin or the immovable heart is an important skill to learn.  In the martial arts it is essential, but it will serve you well in life.  Having a heart which can stay calm despite adversity will make you a much better martial artist, able to defend themselves and not lose your head.  When you loose yourself to anger you loose track of your goals.

So in class as teachers and students, train fudoshin so that you will be ready for all sorts of situations in life.  I may post some more on this when I am a bit more motivated.

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Mar 27 2009

The Physics of Striking?

I am not going to make this a post where you have to follow along with complex mathematics.  I just need to explain a few things which I believe will help you understand a bit about generating power for strikes.

Lets first look at the quoted equation.

K = 1/2 mv²


Energy = 1/2 x mass x velocity squared

I will not get into momentum (which we all know is an integration of the previous formula right? :P ).  I will take time to explain why speed is not important.  Well maybe that’s going to far, I will explain why speed is no more important than technique.

In the simple equation that I have above, if you have a certain mass behind your punch, (let’s say half your body weight) and a certain speed (the velocity does not matter) you will create a strike with a certain amount of energy.  Now if you double the mass behind your strike and the speed stays the same you double the energy.  If you double the speed behind your strike you get four times the energy.  Thus speed is the answer right?  WRONG!

Do you understand how hard it is to increase your speed?  You will hit a wall and it will diminish with age.  Have you ever tried to move a car?  By changing your technique you can add a considerable amount of force behind you.  I would go as far as to say that increasing the mass behind your strike is 8 times easier than increasing your speed, and 13.42 times easier to maintain in old age (by my arbitrary but seemingly accurate predictions).

But wait there’s more!  You don’t always want to strike quickly.  You might want to change up the speed to throw your opponent off their game.  In this case having the correct weight behind your strikes using proper technique to anchor some of the mass from the ground is even more important.

In conclution, don’t believe the you need speed nonsense.  It is a misunderstanding of the classical mechanics when applied to the Human Body.  I am willing to debate anyone on this, it can be quickly articulated and demonstrated in person.  So if you have people who doubt send them my way I welcome the peer review.

3 responses so far

Mar 24 2009

Making the purchase of knives illegal in Edmonton

Published by under Other Stuff

The Mayor and some of city council of Edmonton came up with a great idea.  To reduce knife violence we should ban the sale of knives in the city.

I will have to comment on some problems with this.

1.  The knives are already here.

People in Edmonton have knives.  If someone wants to get a poket knife they can get one.

2.  Kitchen knives are sharp.  So are box cutters.

People will just start using other blades in their stead.

3.  Edmonton is not an island nation.

Leduc, Sherwood Park, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain… you will still be able to get knives from any of these places, how will they stop the sale of knives?  Demanding proof of address at time of purchase in those cities as well?

I understand that there is a problem with violent crimes in Edmonton right now, but there must be better solutions to this problem than trying to ban the sale of knives.  I mean that’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard.  I am glad to see that our politicians are not above stupidity, I was starting to feel inferior to US politics (a la intertubes).

One response so far

Mar 18 2009

Demanding Knowledge

Published by under Training at Home

It has finally happened.  I have students who are asking me for the information.  What do I need to know, what do I have to work on at home.  If my tear glands had not atrophied years ago I would be crying with joy.

There is something to be said about self motivation.  I have said before that I need to provide the information, but it must also be retained.  Ask me what you want to know, I will tell you.  If you need something before that to grasp the concept, I will let you know.  If you want the one concept that you need to work on (as far as I am concerned) I will give it to you.  I want to make you better than I am faster than I got there.

Nothing would make me happier than attending classes taught by a former student.

5 responses so far

Mar 14 2009

Anton, serving up weak sauce as if it were strong

Published by under Training at Home

That’s right, I am guilty.  My admission to the charges however allows a certain leniency from my peers.  Let me explain how this all came about.

Because I have been teaching classes consistently over the past few years, I have been in my comfort zone.  When you teach something you know, you make new discoveries but you are not learning anything new.  You may be improving your current skills but you are not expanding your skills.

I am lucky in that I have a chance to travel to Japan and attend seminars which push my current understanding.  But at home when I am teaching I refine current knowledge while those attending the classes make real improvement.  That is until now.

He goes be a few names, “The Booj”, “The Shidoshi Killer”, “one who knows”.  He has taken up Thursday night classes.  This allows me to train, not to think about how to improve other people, but to ingrain movements in myself.  To go through repetitive practise, these are the things which improve taijutsu.

If I fall into the trap of only training when I teach, I am a coach not a practitioner.  The Bujinkan does not need coaches.  The Bujinkan does not need teachers, we have Hatsumi Sensei.  Budo is not an academic exercise like teaching a subject in school.  If I go over some problems in Math I will improve as I show you how to do the math.  If I am teaching you to play the piano, I can show you a scale, you practising the scale does not make me a better pianist, it makes you a better pianist.  Disciplines that take physical skills do not improve but through training.

I invite all of my friends and students (which are usually one in the same) to engage me on Thrusdays as a fellow student and equal.  I’ll say it again, the Bujinkan does not need teachers it needs us to train.

2 responses so far

Mar 10 2009

San Shin from Kumi Uchi

Published by under Bujinkan Training Drills

When someone gets you in their mighty Judo Grip, which I hear is the most powerful grip (kung-fu grip comes a close second), what should you do?  Well if you are in the Bujinkan, I can tell you what your most likely response is.  Matching the grip right?

This should not be necessarily the case.  If someone wants to grapple with you so why should you follow their lead?  You fight how you want, not how they want right?

So here is my first Bujinkan Training drill in a long time, san shin from Kumi uchi.  On person grabs in kumi uchi, the tori goes through the sanshin  (left and right) from Kumi Uchi.  This is done with both people with a right lead, left lead, one with right one with left, hand positions for the uke reversed, both hands collar grab, double wrist grabs…

I could go on for ever, but I won’t, just give it a try if you run a class and let me know how it goes.

Your life is on the line, train well.

No responses yet

Mar 02 2009

Carlyle Cupid Seminar Review

Published by under Seminars

As there is a video of this seminar as far as I know, I can’t put too much details in my review.  I can do a high level review.

The material covered started at what Carlyle feels the foundation of the art is.  It progressed from there each step building on the last…

This is harder than I thought, trying to write about a seminar without giving away details.  I guess you will just have to visit and find out what they have to say about the seminar.  From there you can also purchase a DVD.  Until I get the go ahead I won’t write more on this.

–Post Continued–

So I got the go ahead.

Much of the material was reminiscent of techniques which I was taught when I started training at Carlyle’s Jihi no Kokoro Dojo.  The focus was on breathing and movement.

We spent much time working at connecting one movement to the another rather than on the differences.  Movement was the focus for this seminar putting aside other concepts (for the time being) to pass on what Carlyle found/finds most important.

A review can not give you a good indication of what went on during the seminar.  As Carlyle is a technical writer, the value is in the articulation.  If you are interested in those words (words, words) then I suggest grabbing a copy of the DVD.

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