Archive for July, 2007


Class Record: Kukishin Dakentaijutsu Waza + Sojutsu

July 31, 2007

Class: Monday July 30th

We did some rolling that used the skeletal system to point us in the desired direction – as opposed to using our normal GPS system. It’s healthy for us in this art to switch to unusual forms of ukemi especially ones that make use of the body’s natural mechanics.

Our study of Kukishin movement continued with some Chuden level waza that allowed us to take balance and throw uke in various ways. Some of the movement seemed to leave us in vunerable positions but as always these can be deceptive and in fact can limit uke’s next attack to one we have engineered ourselves.

Alex brought in a homemade training spear and so we practiced “Kanpo” from Kukishin Ryu Sojutsu. This made use of the thrusting power of the spear along with its length. Within the kata we learned some kamae, some thrusting actions and striking.

Thought Provoker: Are spear vs. sword kata about fighting swordsmen with spears?

– Ali Martinez


Beginners Course: Week 5

July 31, 2007

All beginners should have  a range of stretching techniques now which they can do in their own time to start them becoming strong and flexible on a daily basis – not just for Bujinkan classes. Alex encouraged everyone to practice this reglarily so that class time can be more geared towards the  practice of martial arts.

The class then did basic grab and punch style techniques to look again at how movement  and position is favoured over strength and speed. We did some basic throwing too – as an introduction to taking balance before throwing.

Again  all beginners are welcome to attend regular classes – the Monday one being free while the beginners course is running.

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: 9th Kyu syllabus

July 30, 2007

We left out quite a bit in this syllabus as there is a lot in it to cover even at a basic level. We did forward back and sideways nagare-style rolling as a warm-up. I then looked at the 4 basic kamae and we did these against the wall so as to get really low with our backs straight. I think we all felt the burn there!

I did a paired punching drill to get uke to attack with good form and with intent. One of the big issues early on in training is to get people to punch at and through the tori’s body otherwise there’s no need for tori to move at all really, eh?. I hope this drill demononstrated this basic requirement. It’s also a neat trick to know when someones’s going to throw a punch past you compared to through your face.

We then went through the first 3 kata of Kihon Happo doing the basic form first and then using these as a base to explore the 9th kyu striking methods. One thing I wanted to explore too is the need to be balanced and in a position to have all sorts of options at any point during the kata. We did some drills with Hicho no kamae to show how it is  a pretty good way of recovering from an attack by uke and that it’s really a transitory kamae.

In the end we only really got to practice one throwing technique – O Goshi Nage – and I hoped that I showed that this technique should only happen if uke is already off balance. Some of our striking helped here.
The class reached a normal clas size this Saturday and I was delighted to see most people stayed for open-mat and had definite things to practice.

Congrats to Ben who pass is 9th Kyu grading and thanks to those who helped.

– Ali Martinez


No class tonight!

July 26, 2007

In light of last night’s extra training, there is no training tonight, thursday July 26th.

Normal training resumes next week on Monday.

– Alex Meehan


Peter King Class Review

July 26, 2007

Peter spoke a lot about the  feeling of a technique rather than what it should look like. At the same time he mentioned owning your training, going through your movement on your own in your own time “reconfirming” the things picked up in class.  So we can see that there’s a world of training in between  these things – watching, feeling, doing, absorbing and integrating. It’s  about getting an internal sense of it all and that boils down to diligent training under quality instruction. All of this was expressed last night in what was essentially an advanced Kihon Happo class although it wasn’t overtly defined as that.  (A  good thing at the time perhaps, as defining it may have prohibited the freedom of expression Peter was expounding)

Here’s a reminder:

Ichimonji No Kata:

 As uke – punching with feints, using boshi ken, breaking the tori’s kamae with strikes and deflections (oh wait, tori is now uke – imagine that!).  We also looked at footwork and gaining distance. The punching was encouraged to be  natural with the response of the targets body-reaction as opposed to being of  a fixed form that can’t adapt. Again however,  it was mentioned that form is a good place to start. Slightly off angle approaches were used to upset uke’s ability to respond as well.

Hicho No Kata:

We looked at applications of the  transitory nature of hicho No kamae in response to leg attacks, back-against-the wall multiple atacks, gaining distance, covering vital areas etc. I’ve personally found hicho no kamae one of the most useful and natural things to move into when moved against. Don’t forget  its usefullness too in aiding punching by allowing greater movement of the hip. We saw this too with strikes with the jo at the last major seminar in Dubln with Peter this year. 

Jumonji No kata:

Aspects of this kata appeared last night in terms of some of the striking in it and using it as  a mean of closing the weaknesses of ichimonjo no kamae. You could argue too that uke’s role in Jumonji no kata was explored indirectly if you think about it.

Omote Gyaku Kote Dori:

Actually the class started with this technique and we looked at many variations using particular footwork to stay safe and apply the lock. Peter talked about the striking that can be done with the angling and space used  so we did  particualr shuto’s and kicks that made sense with the rest of the movement.  Once on the ground there were various things that could be done to control uke.

Ura Gyaku Kote Dori:

Peter used this technque to emphasise that techniques are not always what they seem to be visually. I hope that everyone had  a go at feeling this lock from Peter. Again footwork was important but most of all it was how the whole thing stacks up with  one complete response, that was emphasised.


In between doing these things Peter showed us and had us practice some forward rolling  that showed us how the head and hands, along with the  whole body,  could be used to control our relationship with the environment to stay safe and vigilant. 

– Ali Martinez


Reminder: Special class tonight!

July 25, 2007

This is a reminder that UK Shihan Peter King will be teaching a three hour long class at the Dojo in Rathmines tonight between 7pm and 10pm. The cost is €15 and this class is open to all Bujinkan members.

If you’re thinking of attending, get there early as it will be busy!

 – Alex Meehan


Class Record: Kukishinden Kata + Juppo Sessho

July 24, 2007

Class: Monday 23rd July

The kata we did led to the kind of free expression of movement associated with the concept of “juppo sessho” – essentially being free to respond to an attack in many directions. Within the kata there is the setting up of the opponent over a number of stages using distance and timing, angling and kamae.

In the example to start us going i.e the kata, there was blocking, kicking, musho dori reversals etc. As the kata was taken apart, in the end many different locks came out and the ability to strike in many different ways too. Myself and Richard, for example, found all sorts of things poppped up unscripted – taki ori’s, genseki nage’s, hicho no kamae, many strikes, finger locks etc.  When Alex was playing freely with the movement myself and Richard and Matt agreed that it felt you were thrown by your own commitment – or as I heard it described of a Japanese Shihan once – “it’s like fighting a cloud”.

In fact it seems to me that all our basic training… doing these things with form and correct structure – i.e conciously at first, allows us to  unconciously recognise the shapes that allow these things to happen naturally and without “trying”, while conciously worrying about overall strategy – like escaping.  The result is that if you don’t know you’re doing a lock or are  in a  good potential place to strike, neither does uke and they can’t defend easily. But you can’t do these things – unknowingly or not – without practicing the basics slowly and with intent.

Thought provoker: If you get hit or indeed “sucessfully” hit during these kata how does it effect your movement? (a) as Uke (b) as Tori. How does it affect the other person’s movement if they’re (a) Tori or (b) Uke?

– Ali Martinez