Archive for May, 2007


Schedule change from May 31st

May 29, 2007

Just a note to say that the Thursday night class at the Rathmines dojo will revert to the previous earlier start time of 7.30pm from this Thursday, May 31st.

To reiterate, training will now be held on Monday nights at 6.30 to 7.30pm and from 8pm to 9.45pm, and on Thursday nights from 7.30pm to 9/9.15pm. This will be the case until further notice.

– Alex Meehan


Class Record: Muso Dori, Omote Gyaku Kote Dori and Uchi Mata

May 29, 2007

Monday May 29th

More investigation of these locks and throws as shown by Ed Lomax at the recent seminar. The uchi  mata is an interesting one as it allows tori to throw uke without getting too tangled up in their space. Strikes  were added to this at opportune moments to really amplify the effect of the throw and to break uke’s ukemi.  All the strikes, knees, stomps, edge of foot etc are well worth working on on their own.  Don’t forget we have pads for this and open mat.

– Ali Martinez


Basics class Record: Junan Taisho, Reihou and Nagare Kaiten

May 29, 2007

Monday 28th May 

We spent a few minutes looking at some stretching routines that everyone should be practicing in their own time. Alex then talked about some of our bowing procedures and the reasoning behind them – kneeling bow and standing bow. We then had some fun moving around the mats while in a semi kneeling position – some stuff that has been done in relation to Takagi Yoshin Ryu before. Mention was made of the Japanese classical etiquette school Ogasawara Ryu Reihou.

The ukemi that we did can be found in the Muto Dori of Gyokko ryu so we practice some of it, being mindful to sandwhich it between kamae.

– Ali Martinez


Event: Shidoshi MacFionmhacain seminar

May 28, 2007

Kukishin Ryu Chuden Gata Seminar
Shidoshi Pol MacFionmhacain
Dublin, August 18th, 2007


Shidoshi Pol MacFionmhacain will be teaching a one day open seminar on Saturday August 18th in Dublin, followed by a class at the Rathmines dojo the following day. The theme of the training will be Kukishin Ryu Dakentaijutsu, with a particular emphasis on the Chuden Gata (middle level transmission forms).


For anyone who doesn’t know Pol, he’s lived in Japan for many years, and is dojo-cho (school leader) at the Bujinkan Na Fianna Dojo in Yamagata-ken, in Northern Japan. He is Kan Junichi Shihan’s sole student and a monthly visitor to the Hombu Dojo in Noda. He’s a favoured uke of Hatsumi Sensei and without a doubt has had more exposure to Hatsumi Sensei’s Bujinkan martial arts in Japan than any other Irish person.

A fluent Japanese speaker, he has also single handedly taken care of most Irish groups travel arrangements in Tokyo, handling hotel bookings and the like. If you’ve travelled to Japan in the last five years, odds are Pol made your trip significantly easier than it otherwise would have been!

He hasn’t been home in Ireland for several years, so this will be a nice opportunity to get a fresh infusion of Kukishin Ryu, the Bujinkan theme for 2007. Hatsumi Soke has also specifically given his permission for this seminar to go ahead in Dublin.

[update August 10th]

This course was scheduled to take place at the Rathmines Dojo, but has now been moved to the Clondalkin Dojo normally used by Alan Butler and the Bujinkan Butler Dojo. Here’s the details:

Day: Saturday August 18th, 2007
Location: The Scout Hall, Watery Land, Clondalkin, Dublin
Cost: €35 per person
Times: registration at 10.15am, training at 11am. Lunch at 1pm, training at 2pm, finish at 6pm.

The application form for this seminar is now available. Please note that anyone attending this course has to fill in this form. Even if you are a guest, it’s still important for insurance reasons that we have a complete record of the people attending, and the best way to do that is with these forms. So please print it out, fill it in and bring it with you on the 18th.

There is a thread on this seminar on the dojo discussion forum, for those who have access to it.


– Alex Meehan


Class Record: Ukemi, Sanshin No Kata + Raiko No Kata

May 28, 2007

Saturday May 26th

We began with dive rolls – forward and sideways, lengthways and over heights. Chairs are useful for this, diving over them both with the seat facing and away from you can be a challenge. Next we looked at Sanshin and how the structure breaks down if you add things like flowing from one kata to the other and changing direction. This break down shows how it’s always necessary to go back to the basic to solidify the form again.

Afterwards I used the kata as another way at looking at our movement by doing counters to the attacks in Sanshin – counters before the attack is blocked and counters after. All this encouraged uke to perform proper blocking to try and take tori’s structure. Having your structure compromised, as tori, let us look at ways of using that possible imbalance to flow into counters that brought us to a safe place again. With this exercise the line between who’s uke and who’s tori gets blurred – both trying to establish a safe place using their natural armour and kamae.

It really makes the person performing Sanshin do it properly with correct footwork and body allignment. After a cuppa in the sun outside we dived into more application of the cuts and kamae in Togakure Ryu’s Raiko no Kata… this week we really looked at grip a lot. Its so important to get it right and not be too loose or too rigid. Basic sword is turning out to be the Saturday class theme of the year rather than the month.

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: Omote Gyaku + Muso Dori

May 25, 2007

Thursday May 24th

Looked at variations of omote gyaku as shown by Ed Lomax on Monday and spent some time on his muso dori lock as well (see picture in previous blog entry!) – looking at them in a bit more detail and seeing how the whole body comes into effect. Some interesting ways of controlling uke on the ground came up too.

Uke’s role in studying taijutsu was highlighted as being of utmost importance as well. The idea of not being a passive uke when grabbing, striking or when a lock is put on was mentioned; appreciating that there’s a fine balance between going with the flow and protecting yourself; of mutual understanding of the equal capacity of attacker/defender to learn from the interaction and an awareness of the ability of uke/tori. All these things are a major part of Bujinkan mentality and should lead to a greater sensitivity in your own movement and to those around you.

Saturday class back to normal this weekend.


Open mat after

– Ali Martinez


Special Ed Lomax Class: Gyaku Waza

May 22, 2007

Monday May 21st

Ed asked for suggestions for the theme of the class so Matt stood up and said “Basic locks and throws”. We then had fun looking at the Torite Goho Gata – the 5 locks and throws from the Kihon Happo.

Omote Gykau was done with a view to locking out the whole body for a throw, amongst other things, while Ura Gyaku involved some kyusho work. Ganseki, musha dori and muso dori were all played with, from the basic form to variations depending on uke’s intent and “fight-ability”.

I felt that the footwork was most important to bring you into a position where many things could happen while staying safe – this often involved striking, trapping the legs, manipulating kyusho, playing with uke’s ability to walk out of a lock etc. Ed went further with some of these locks showing various ways of securing uke on the ground and breaking their “kamae” from there. Often too, uke could not take ukemi “well” from the various ways of being thrown awkwardly.

It was a fantastic class and I think everyone at all levels should have got a lot out of it especially with Ed’s personal attention. Good to see some of the Athlone lads up as well as Shidoshi Glen Nevin and a good turn out from the dojo regulars. Finally,thanks to Ed for his generosity and good luck on your travels mate!

– Ali Martinez