Archive for September, 2008


Class Record: Ukemi + Genseki Nage + Onikudaki

September 30, 2008

Class: Monday 29th Sept

We did some counter intuitive forward rolling as taught in Japan recently. After that we did some yoko kaiten within muto dori ukemi gata.

The taijutsu we looked at involved taking distance and angles from punches. Being able to detect the wrong angles for uke to recieve and fall into were part of the movement here and often it required a constant movement of the feet. The gyaku waza of genseki nage and onikudaki appeared and disappeared as uke fell continuosuly into the trap set by their own wilingness to attack. There was ninpo taijutsu in the techniques but also a chance to consider basics. Rex showed some techniques too involving subtle muso-dori and this led into playing with taki-ori’s also.

Thought provoker: Do you ask to feel the techniques from those instructing? Why not?

– Ali Martinez


Event: October “Tenchijin” workshop

September 27, 2008

On Saturday October 4th, there will be a one day workshop in Rathgar focusing on kihon waza, or basic techniques.

In particular, this workshop will concentrate on the first two books of the Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki, or Scrolls of Heaven, Earth & Man. This is the instructors manual created by Hatsumi Soke in the 1970s. This book is made of three distinct sections, concentrating on:

  • Ten Ryaku no Maki (Scroll of Heaven): Rolling, breakfalling, leaping, sanshin no kata, kihon happo no kata, kamae, muto dori and the use of various fists as adaptive weapons.
  • Chi Ryaku no Maki (Scroll of Earth): Hand and body escapes, hand locking and restraints, kneeling techniques, locking techniques, throwing techniques, strangling techniques
  • Jin Ryaku no Maki (Scroll of Man): various kata taken from the nine schools taught in the Bujinkan.

This workshop is open to all Bujinkan students, subject to prebooking a place via e-mail or by leaving a comment here. The workshop will cost €35 and will run from 11am to 5pm/6pm. In particular I’d like to encourage some of the newer members of the dojo to come along and meet the other students who they might not yet have met. While this workshop is aimed at my students, others are welcome to attend as well.

There are 16 places available in total for this workshop and as of today, as of today, Tuesday September 30th, there there are 0 places left out. If you’d like to be placed on the waiting list in case someone drops out, drop me a mail or leave a comment here.

– Alex Meehan


Class Record: Ukemi Waza + Syllabus Ryuha Gata + Kenjutsu Kihon

September 23, 2008

Class: Monday 22nd Sept

As a warmup we looked at Kihon Happo but added counters using ukemi. All along the strategy of using three points of contact allowed us to control uke easier. We also saw the use of various finger strikes.

We then continued looking at the syllabus with a practice of the ryuha kata that can be found in the syllabus in 4th and 3rd kyu. These are various Koto and Shinden Fudo Ryu Kata that give us movement strategies against strikes. We used Soke’s new book as a guide as well as our collective knowledge from training. The Koto Ryu kata had some interesting timing and angling aspects while the Shinden Fudo Ryu Kata set up some nifty gyaku waza.

To warm down we did Reiko no Kata form Togakure Ryu Bikenjutsu. This is found in the syllabus and was thought to a few of us in Japan in the past.

Thought provoker: Is it useful to train in sword kihon with left over right hand grip?

 – Ali Martinez


Class Record: Syllabus run-through 6th, 5th kyu

September 19, 2008

Class: Thursday 18th Sept

We continued with a look at the dojo syllabus. This time we had gyaku waza, sutemi waza, shime waza, striking to counter throws  and hanbo basics. Again it was an overview rather than a detailed study but a good way of looking at the broad range of fundamental techniqes in our art. None of this really contained timing or strategic components. Rather it involved static drills and basic ideas. Most of the class were Dan grades and this training allowed us to examine our basics and see how we can improve on them in the future. Again the word from Japan is that Alex is doing these basics with some of the Shihan there so when we review these with him, we’ll have a reference point. On Monday we’ll see how much of the rest of the syllabus we can complete. Because of time restrictions we may just stick to the  unarmed waza of the remaining levels.

Thought provoker: Are you making time for the Clondalkin seminar in October?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: Syllabus run-through 9th, 8th, 7th kyu

September 16, 2008

Class: Monday 15th Sept

Seeing as our teacher is running through a lot of basic syllabus material in Japan according to the reports, I though we’d do the same with our dojo syllabus for a number of reasons: – To expose us to the material, to shine a spotlight on areas of weakness, to train under pressure, to practise the basics. After these classes we can reflect on what we need to work on.

Its important to note that the material covered is done from one point of view – mine on the day. All techniques can be done in many ways and with an emphasis on many aspects – distance, angling, timing, kamae, precision, rhthmn. Last night my primary theme was “shoulders over hips” and “moving from the center”.

So we did 9th, 8th and 7th kyu.. I hope we saw why some items in each grade are grouped together and how they’re connected if we think about how we move.. e.g. back kick and uchimata in 7th kyu.

Thursday we’ll see 6, 5, 4th kyu – hanbo, sword, sutemi waza and ryuha kata. “Distance” and “angles” will be the theme. The dan grades should research the ryuha kata from  Soke’s books before then as you’ll be called to demonstrate.

Though provoker: What can you work on from the syllabus on your own?

– Ali Martinez


Japan training

September 15, 2008

Just a quick note from Tokyo to say that I’ll be away for the next week and a bit training at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Japan. In my absence, Ali Martinez Shidoshi will be teaching the Monday and Thursday night sessions in Rathgar, while Shane Duggan Shidoshi-ho  will be teaching on Wednesday evening and Saturday morning.

They are both excellent practitioners and I’m very happy to leave the dojo in their capable hands. Everyone should make the most of the opportunity to get some classes in with these guys while I’m away. I’ll be back in Dublin  teaching again on Thursday September 25th, so if you’d like a taste of what’s being taught in Japan at the moment (mostly basics from the Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki, as well as material from Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu), I’ll see you then.

– Alex Meehan


Class Record: Kihon Happo + Yari + Bojutsu

September 12, 2008

Class: Thurs 11th Sept

The kihon happo we did was within a randori framework where one just responded to uke’s movement naturally without trying and  have them subtly lead into various un-predetermined locks and strikes, reversals and throws.


We looked at long weapons versus sword with spear and bo. Kamae was all important here as well as dexterity with the handwork and use of the hips.

Though provoker: How often should you do randori?

– Ali Martinez