Archive for the ‘Class record’ Category


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


Class record: Ukemi, tsuki-gata & bojutsu

August 28, 2008

As Shane Duggan is away on his honeymoon, I took his class last night, focusing on kihon waza or basics. We spent an intensive 2 hours looking at zenpo kaiten and koho kaiten, along with variations such as jun nagare and gyaku nagare. After this we looked at power generation in basic punching and some basic bojutsu.

– Alex Meehan


Class Record: Naginata + Gyaku Waza + Moguri Gata

August 27, 2008

Class: Monday 25th August

With the new high ceilings we took advantage and broke out the naginata to look at a few techniques. It was shown how kamae, kamae, kamae is all important and can lead to proper excution of blocks, cuts, capturing, deflections etc. We also saw how grip and the knees are used with a structured posture. The swordsman’s perspective was also looked at as well as some features of the kamiyari, the bisento and the nagimaki that make them the same but different.

We then did some unarmed gyaku waza based on circular motion and generally winding uke up. We worked in the idea of decending from the center to capture uke’s center where kicking, punching and even agressive ukemi helped to disable them. It was intersting to see how certain features that have been drilled trhough TYR training have come out stronger in everyones technique.

Thought provoker: What are the the naginata kamae?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: Hicho no henka + Demo practice

August 6, 2008

Class: 05/08/08

We checked out some close-range versions of Hicho no kata, looking at how to close in and take balance before and because of, striking. This sort of tai-sabaki became useful with some techniques against a tanto attack making use of whole-body movement as the hands secured the weapon. Some of the movements naturally leaked over from our recent study of Takagi Yoshin Ryu. We then continued to study this in demo format and Alex made a particular point of asking us to practice kiai if we are to use it in the demo. The kyu grades explored some of the TYR waza further and myself and Alan continued to work on shinobi zue waza working out ways of handling the chain in a dramatic yet controlled manner for the Embu.

Thought provoker: How will you practice your kiai?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: TYR: Omote Gata + Tai no Kata

August 1, 2008

Class: Thursday 31st July

We went through the Omote Gata of Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu again with emphasis placed on punctuating the moves for an audience to see. Some “reiho” or “etiquette” also introduced so as to formalise the techniques and frame them in the context of a performance. The seniors demoed these kata to the class so that a sense of the timing and other things could be examined.

Some kata from the other levels are being shown as well and we all saw and practiced these too – they involve sutemi waza and interesting throwing techniques. I got a chance to practice some “Shinobi Zue” with Alan – our newest shodan, and it looks like we’ll have a couple of techniques each from this “ninpo” weapon to show.

Alex gave an interesting talk on the idea of practicing the kata formally the way we are doing now, versus normal dojo practice. He spoke of the idea of “kyojitsu tenkan ho” and “shin-shin shin-gan”.

For more on this, check out an on-line essay written by Alex for the free edition of Bujinmag:

Thought provoker: The way we are practicing techniques for the Demo has been different recently. Has your role as uke felt, or been, different? If so, Is it helpful to your understanding of taijutsu?

– Ali Martinez


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


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