This blog is moving!

November 4, 2008

Hi all,

As some of you may be aware, the Bujinkan Meehan Dojo has a new website, located at www.happobiken.com and bit by bit, it’s been coming onstream over the last few weeks.

The new dojo logo

The new dojo logo

Unlike previous websites that the dojo has published, this is a far more professional affair built on a content management system that allows us to do all sort of interesting web 2.0-style things. One of them is host a blog, and for that reason we are moving the dojo blog from wordpress to our own server.

This gives us several advantages — we can publish certain blog entries that only active dojo members can see etc — but it also allows us to take the content created here and add it to the main site. It makes sense to do this for lots of reasons, so this will be the last post on this blog.

The new blog is located at the dojo’s main web address, and the title of the latest blog entry along with a link can be found on the main home page as well as via a link at the top of the screen. Please update your bookmarks to visit the blog there, and for those of you who subscribe to this blog via RSS feeds, please note we will have a feed up for the new blog shortly, allowing you to continue to use a feed-reader to stay in touch.

The address of the new website and blog is www.happobiken.com


Alex Meehan


Class Record: Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu + Tanto Waza

October 31, 2008

Class: Thursday Oct 30th

Ukemi practice saw us to do some low light-level rolling for awareness training. After a few weeks of the Ten and Chi levels of the art’s Ten Chi Jin no Maki syllabus, we started on the kata from the Jin level with Koku and Renyo of Gyokko Ryu. It’s worthwhile keeping an eye on Soke’s Unarmed fighting book when looking at these kata. The study of these took us to playing with gyaku waza. It was also observed that often peoples guards get a bit too relaxed as uke or indeed as tori especially with kicking etc. There was an interesting comparison between Ichimonji no kamae and old style boxing stances too.

After tea we looked at a few ideas with basic tanto tsuki. Mostly it involved taking distance, taking balance and securing the weapon arm with muso dori, oni kudaki and variations as balance was further broken.

Though provoker: How is your guard generally? Any bad habits? How can you combat a good guard?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: Seoi nage waza + San-nin Dori

October 29, 2008

Class: Tuesday 28th Oct

(I took Rex’s class at 7pm and we did the Sanshin no Kata warm-up and ukemi as well as various 2-man and solo drills on Zempo Geri)

In the main class we went straight into techniques without ukemi or warmup practice “for fun”. We dealt with punching/kicking with particular angling that kept us at safe positions with regard to potential counters. This led to variations of single arm throws. Some of the ideas here extended into playing with multiple attackers but other strategies were employed too – timing, obstacles, balance breaking and …..funneling.  

Though provoker: How was your kamae in the multiple attacker drills?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: Seminar review + San-nin Dori + Koppo

October 22, 2008

Class: Tuesday 21st Oct

The recent seminar with Thomas Franzen threw up a lot of ideas so we explored some of them in class. When looked at it closely, it really involved the idea of “koppo” as described at various times by Soke – of manipulating the structure behind defence/offence. Shizen no kamae is our natural structure as upright bi-peds, so this was explored initially.

With this we built upon some one-on-one techniques and extended that to San-nin dori or “3 man capturing”. Dealing with multiple attacks in a smooth and mobile manner. Everyone demonstrated this concept for the class. After break we studied a different type of “koppo” that we have in happobikenjutsu – with the use of the ninjato where the same light and mobile feeling allows us to deal with another extreme attacking situation. Rather than multiple opponents, we have the sword to contend with.

**Congratulations to Chris, Matt, Quentin, Ian, and Steven for their promotions last night!**

Thought provoker: Are you exploring the seminar idea of zero excess tension in class?

-Ali Martinez


October Class Announcements

October 17, 2008

Rex’s regular class is on Tuesdays 7pm-8.30pm

Shane’s regular Wednesday class finishes at the end of October until further notice

Sat 18th Thomas Franzen Seminar in Clondalkin

Sun 19thThomas Franzen Seminar in Clondalkin

Mon 20th – No training, due to the seminar in Clondalkin on Sunday.

Tues 21st – 6pm to 8.00pm Beginner and intermediate training with Rex
Tues 21st – Alex’s Monday class shifted to 8pm on Tuesday

Sat 25th – UK Seminar with Alex Meehan and David Oliver (http://www.budotaijutsu.co.uk)
Sun 26th – UK Seminar with Alex Meehan and David Oliver (

Mon 27th – 8pm to 10pm – no training due to bank holiday
Tues 28th – – 6pm to 8.00pm Beginner and intermediate training (RD)
Tues 28th – 8pm to 10pm Intermediate and black belt training (AM)


Class Record: Suwari gata + Happo geri + Gyaku waza

October 17, 2008

Class: Thursday 16th Oct

Angling, blocking and punching were investigated in drills that showed up any flaws in basic structure in both ichimonji no kamae and some seated techniques. Some happo geri from the Ten Chi Jin was practiced too along with some applications. It was found that angling plays a huge part here as well as the ability to recover form a failed kick and flow from there. All of these ideas of structure and angling continued when I was asked to show a technique. We ended on a throw coming off of an onki-kudaki / omote gyaku full body lock.

Thought provoker: Tennis-ball on a string….. Ever try striking drillls with this set-up?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: Ukemi Kihon + Ura Gyaku + Hanbo

October 14, 2008

Class: Monday Oct 14th

Basic ukemi practice was followed by a spotlight on ura gyaku and some interesting variations as uke hits the ground. The idea of “Sanshin” or 3 hearts was involved here to various degrees. There were many control mechanisms that were hard to see and care had to be taken on applying pressure to the gyaku.

We studied happobikenjutsu with the sword and Hanbo and in the end with some taijutsu. Everyone  was asked to demonstrate their understanding of this sort of intention training and capturing of the spirit with kamae.

Thought provoker: How was your striking within the ura gyaku waza? There was specific targeting. What difference did it make if you hit the required area well or not?

– Ali Martinez