Class Record: Gyaku Waza + SFR Jutaijutsu + Happo Biken

October 10, 2008

Class: Thursday 9th Oct

The class began with some dynamic throws and locks based on grab/punch combos. Within them we saw how to interupt uke’s ukemi by  kicking, striking, changing their intended direction, throwing awkwardly etc Tori’s postion was such that a change in position could be taken if the need arises, say from a secondary attacker for example.

We then looked at some suwari gata form Shinden Fudo Ryu Jutaijutsu and played with various ways of messing with uke’s distance, using the feet adaptively, locking and holding. In the end we did some Happobiken tachi waza using the sword as a shield.

Thought provoker: Are you seminaring next weekend?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: Happo Geri + Keri Kudaki + Santo Tonko no kata

October 7, 2008

Class: Monday 6th Oct

I kicked off class with Ichimonji no Kata henka based on “earlier” timing. Alex took over and introduced some Kihon practice with a kicking drill that looked at various kicks given to us by the Happo Geri of the Ten Chi Jin no Maki. This led into all sort of variations and review of other basic drills as well as counter kicking techniques. By their nature there was some hefty breakfalling in here too.

After tea we spent some time on the Santo Tonko of Togakure Ryu with counters and fairly free flowing techniques that took advantage of timing, angling, capturing rhythm and indeed some of the kicks we saw earlier.

Thought provoker: When’s the next time that you’ll do basic kicking drills?

– Ali Martinez


Class Record: Balance breaking 101

October 3, 2008

Class: Thursday Oct 2nd

Our taijutsu has a fundamental component of trying to upset uke’s balance so that they cannot continue the fight on a stable base. Last night’s class looked at various ways of doing this in a flowing non-basic manner. We started off with a punch/kick combination attack. For example….entering the space uke needs to recover the base, making them hang onto you for balance, striking them to knock their balance long enough to manipulate it, both physically and mentally, having them think they got you etc. Tom stepped up to show a technique using similar ideas of kazushi waza and we played with that too.

Thought provoker: Did you kick tori in a manner that made you think “gotcha!” (without cheating i.e. knowing they’d shift a certain way)

                                                                                                                                                     – Ali Martinez


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