Archive for July, 2008


Class Record: TYR Jutaijutsu + Paris Review

July 29, 2008

Class: Monday 28th July

Alex ran through the entire Omote Gata of Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu and we all got into our demo groups to practice. He also showed some of the kata from later levels – some shime and nage waza. We then showed our techniques in the Embu style  – demonstrating form, vitality, animation and zanshin.

After tea, Alan, Brian and Aoife each showed a technique/idea from the Paris Taikai and we all practiced them. Alex graded each accordingly, and along with continual assessment factors. Dave was promoted too. Well done everyone!

Thought provoker: The dojo needs cleaning up as much as our techniques do.

Bank Holiday next Monday 4th August- training is shifted to Tuesday 5th August

Monthly fee’s payable next week


Class Record: Demo prep + Paris Review

July 25, 2008

Class: Thursday 24th July

We all got into our groups and practiced our Takagi Yoshin Jutaijutsu for the Embu. Alex made the important point that with these kata the uke is learning to attack and also talked about the difference between Embu practice and class practice in terms of performance.

After tea, Natalia, Chris, Mat and myself showed a few things we learned at the Paris Taikai. Chris gave us a sword retention technique using he priciple of Sanshin – points of contact. Natalia showed us the art of taking rhthymn with a flowing gyaku waza. Mat did a teho doki waza that took advantage of uke’s willingness to attack and I showed a technique that messed with uke’s perception of distance. All of these things demonstrated some aspects of ninpo taijutsu that can be used in any technique you care to mention.

Thought provoker: How can could these things be done in the Kihon Happo for example.

– Ali Martinez


Announcement: the dojo is moving!

July 22, 2008

So I have some news. The lease on Kenilworth Lane, where the dojo is currently located is about to run out and so I have been looking for a new space for us to train in for the last few months. Last week a suitable looking place came up on and I went to see it.

Following some negotiations with our new landlord, the deal is done, and in around one month’s time, we’ll be moving in. I’ll post the full address and maps of how to get there closer to the date, but for now I’ll say that it’s located in Rathgar, around five minutes from where we are now.

So what have we gotten? Well, this place is a major improvement on several significant fronts from where we are now. It has:

* 800 square feet of training space.
* A 4.5 metre high ceiling.
* Gas-fired central heating and hot water.
* A changing room.
* A store room.
* Seperate toilet and WC
* A functioning burglar alarm
* Roller shutters to keep it properly secure.
* A small walled back garden (Aprox 60 square feet, and a glazed entry area.)
* A small gravel courtyard out front

So I can’t express strongly enough how happy I am about this. For six years we’ve used ramshackle sheds up lanes that have been freezing in winter, roasting in summer and leaky in the rain. This is a much better facility by a long shot.

Touch wood – if everything goes to plan, when the renovations I have in mind are complete, those days should be behind us and we will have one of if not the best training facility in the country.

– Alex Meehan


Class record: Takagi Yoshin Ryu & Paris taikai debriefing!

July 22, 2008

Another sweaty-as-hell August night last night, with a decent turnout. We finished covering the omote-gata (first level) of Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu, and covered a few of the shimewaza (strangulation techniques) in preparation for the embu happening next month.

Eight students from the dojo travelled to Paris for Arnaud Cousergue’s Shitenno Tai Kai last weekend, and despite training solidly for three days straight and enduring flight delays that meant he didn’t get home till 4.30am, Jason Coleman made it to training last night and took half the class, attempting to summarise what he’d learned from the four teachers in Paris. He did a smashing job, and it was really nice to jump in with everyone else and get thrown about.

It will be a pleasure to see what they others who went to Paris have to show on Thursday night!

– Alex Meehan


Class Record: TYR Omote Gata

July 15, 2008

Class: Monday July 14th

We went through the first 6 kata of this beginning section of this school of Jutaijutsu. It was noticed that all of the techniques have different attacks. It was conjectured too that that within these attacks and subsequent ukemi may lie the kihon gata of this school.  Some of the Dan grades were given the  kata that they are expected to perform on the day of the Embu. Training was just a run-through of the kata although as the weeks progress the particular features of the school become more familiar. Alex made the important point though that we haven’t properly studied these yet as to do that would mean to spend a few weeks on each kata and henka internalising the feeling behind each one. It should be noted too that each kata seems to build on the proceeding one. We also took a  look at one of the Eri Jime gata – strangulation techniques 

Thought provoker: From these first kata  what strikes/kicks can you distil?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: HTKY Shoden Gata + Kodachi

July 11, 2008

Class: Thursday 10th July

We ran through the first 3 kata from Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu’s Shoden Gata as on Monday and looked at the next three after that. The standing techniques can appear similar to kata we’ve seen from the past 2 years form Gyokko Ryu and Shinden Fudo but the feeling behind them is changed thanks to different angles, timing, distance and strategic concerns. These variables may be different but they share equal qualities like – staying safe, keeping balanced, zanshin etc

After tea we applied some lessons in timing and angling to kodachi use. This sword is easier to draw than the katana but is of lesser range.

Thought provoker: How did you let uke feel like they were able to take your sword? Was it physical, mental or spiritual.

– Ali Martinez


New DVD: Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu with Shihan Ed Lomax

July 10, 2008

The more observant amongst you will have noticed that we’ve been doing a lot of Takagi Yoshin Ryu in my dojo lately – it’s a temporary thing, as our theme for the year is still ninpo – but we’re preparing for an upcoming demonstration and it’s one of the topics we’ll be showing.

As part of that preperation, I dug out a DVD I got as a present from Australian Shihan Ed Lomax a few years ago, that was filmed in Tasmania in 2002 at a seminar he taught with Shihan Duncan Stewart.

What’s on it? It contains:

  • A ‘warm-up’ master class on the Kihon Happo no Kata
  • The Omote Gata – 13 kata
  • The Ura Gata – 3 kata
  • The Eri Jime Gata – 8 kata
  • Bits of the Sabaki Gata
  • Bits of the Tai no Kata

In addition, there is a 20 minute interview with Ed covering topics such as the difference between Takagi Yoshin Ryu and the Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu, the godan test, the progression of the Bujinkan Dojo in Japan and the west over the last 20 years and many interesting anecdotes.

At the time this DVD was filmed, Ed was living in Japan and studying full time with Hatsumi Soke. This DVD has become a budo ‘cult classic’ amongst those who have it – it’s really really excellent, and Ed has now said we can make it publicly available, so it’s available in the webstore.

– Alex Meehan