Monday, November 25, 2013
On Sunday the three of us were joined by Jennifer Byrd of the Goyukan/Dentokan, Jonathon D. Hallberg Sensei of the Ryusyokai, Amos Danielli and his student Len DeMoore from the IOGKF. We had a good time and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We wnet through all 12 kata and associated bunkai, compairing and asking questions of each other along the way. In my opinion it was great to get a group of different Gojuryu Kai-ha together and freely exchange things, find out why we do what we do differently and what we do that is the same.
I enjoyed meeting everyone and hopefully we will get to train together again. I also enjoyed meeting Kurt Ecker Sensei and want to thank him for letting us use his dojo.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
This month I switched things up a bit, normally I teach three classes a week and train at the dojo. At the beginning of October, a decision was made to cancel all Saturday classes for the month and I took that opportunity to spend some time with family, but I also decided to do some traveling and training on my own that I normally don’t get to do.
First, Alec and I took a day and helped teach a seminar with my good friend Col. Tony Willis. We practiced kihon, Sanchin, Gekisai Dai Ichi and Dai Ni, Saifa and Gekisai Dai Ichi Rensoku Kumite. For those of you that do not know Willis Sensei, he is a senior student of Anyu Shinjo Sensei of the Goyukan. Shinjo Sensei was a student of Eiichi Miyazato Sensei. This was the third time this year, Tony and I have got together and trained.
Secondly, I went to Louisville and spent some time with Lloyd C. Johnson Hanshi. We spent a great deal of time talking and then worked on Sanchin and also Uechiryu Sanchin. For those of you that are not familiar with Johnson Sensei, he started his Gojuryu training in 1959. First in the Toguchi Lineage for 10 years, and then he switched over to the Miyazato Lineage. He is a treasure trove of information and old style karate.
Thirdly, Jason Thompson and I travelled up to Northfield, Michigan and spent a day training in Kobudo with Peter Carbone Sensei, working on Bo, Tonfa and Tanbo. We had a good time and enjoyed the training.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
On Saturday October 26th, Jason and I took off early in the morning and made a drive up to Northfield, Michigan to the Weapons Connection Dojo of Peter Carbone Sensei. We had a great day of training on BO Kihon Buri, Kihon Gata, Tonfa Kihon Buri, and then we worked on the Tanbo. After training we went out to dinner with Mr. Carbone, Mrs. Carbone and his student from India, Latheef.
No I didn’t take any pictures of the trip and Jason and I talked about the fact that we were both so busy working the material that neither of us really thought about it.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Yesterday was the 60th Anniversary of the passing of Goju-Ryu Karate Founder; Miyagi Chojun Sendai.
Yesterday, I did something that I do not normally do, I stayed home sick from work, I just did not feel well at all. However, I still managed to go to the dojo and practice the four kata developed by Miyagi Sensei. Sanchin Dai Ichi, Gekisai Dai Ichi, Gekisai Dai Ni and Tensho.
Every year on Miyagi Sensei birthday and the anniversary of his death, I try to remember him and dedicate my practice to him. I never meet him, as he had passed away before I was ever born, but as the founder of the karate that I practice, I feel that it is important to pay homage to such a great man.
After 60 years since his passing, there are hundreds of thousands of people practicing the karate of this man, I wonder how many of them took the time to remember him.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
A long time ago, knowing martial arts meant learning how to defend yourself on the street or on the battlefield; but not anymore. Methods that were originally developed to kill your enemy before they killed you have been watered down into either nonsense, daycare centers, or into sports that are fun to play. Modern karate has become a sport, using techniques which win championships at competitions, where rules and regulations prohibit the use of real, effective techniques. Don't get me wrong. I love marital arts. I continue to train in many martial arts but most martial arts do not address the key elements of proper self-defense. It is only training and conditioning method for self-defense. In real life there are simply no rules, regulations, or referees that are required in a combative sport, when you are being attacked in the street there will be no referee present, who shouts 'STOP' and those elements are not going to be there when someone is trying to kill you in a dark alley or even your own home.
I truly hope that no one ever finds themselves in a situation where you need to use your martial arts training to defend yourself, only to find out it didn't work.
You have to incorporate the often forgotten and neglected reality aspects of the martial art that karate was once intended to be, sometimes you have to stop drinking the kool-aide and take responsibility for your own training.
Friday, September 20, 2013
The weekend of August 16-18th, I hosted the my 5th Annual Gasshuku. I invited in two Instructors from the Miyazato Lineage; Col. Roy J. Hobbs Hanshi 9th Dan, President of the Sekai Dentokan Bugei Renmei and Col. Tony Willis Renshi 7th Dan, President of Goyukan USA. I was also around and assisted in the instruction.
Friday night we had social time, where the participants were able to eat dinner and speak to the instructor's. Saturday morning we began our training with Hobbs Sensei leading Junbi Undo and then moved into Sanchin Dai Ichi. Everyone ran through the kata several times, including the instructor's. . After which, each instructor took turn observing and checking each persons kata and giving individual advice. We then moved into Kihon Waza and gave a break down of the various basics and proper execution. We the Moved onto Gekisai Dai Ichi, we took a lunch break and then moved onto Gekisai Dai Ni and Saifa. We broke down each sequence of movements and each instructor took turns watching and giving corrections on each kata and then providing insight into bunkai and oyo for each kata.
Saturday evening we switched things up and a bit and each participant was allowed to ask a question regarding any kata that they wanted, rather it was performance or bunkai related. Then each instructor took a turn at teaching a bunkai/oyo application to answer the questions.
Sunday we did Junbi Undo and then allowed each participant to select a kata that they needed help on and we all three provided insight and corrections as needed.
We did not hold a grading this year.
This is the third major event that I have hosted at the dojo this year. In January we had Hobbs Sensei in for Gojuryu, Kobudo and Jujutsu and in May we had him in for Shorinryu and Jujutsu.
The year is not over and Willis Sensei and I are talking about another training seminar this year and then for next year making a quarterly Gojuryu training event to rotate between my dojo and his place.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
I got an email the other day chastising me for posting pictures with certain people and turning my back on others. I find the whole concept laughable but when I host an event or guest instructor’s at the Yushikan, anyone that wants to come to it has never been turned away yet, so…..
I know that some of my opinions and personal philosophies are controversial because I believe in things that others do not, but it really shouldn’t concern anyone or be anyone else’s business but mine. If there is an issue or something that my Sensei thinks that I have done wrong, then that is between him and I.
I am a traditionalist in the fact that I believe that the kata should be done as close as humanly possible to the way the founder taught them and should not be changed, this goes for karate, kobudo and Jujutsu. I think that one should do the Junbi-undo and Hojo-Undo, hit the makiwara, and practice outside of class. I am old fashioned in that I believe you should be polite and address people by their sir name, unless they have told you differently, I believe that you should use proper etiquette and behave with a moral conscious. I believe that you should honor your parents, your sensei and respect your elders.
Now the way I see it there is a difference between a teacher (Sensei) and someone you train with or even a mentor. I have had the opportunity to train with a lot of excellent karate Instructors, and even the opportunity to seriously study with some great teachers, but those people that I consider my Sensei is a small list of people. A Sensei to me is someone that I have a personal relationship with.
Having said all of that, I will share the mat with anyone that has a sincere desire to learn budo. I do not care what style or association they belong to or do not belong too. I will train in my dojo with whomever I wish to train with. If my Sensei has an issue with that then he and I will discuss the matter, all the rest of those people that think they know how I should live my life and think they know how I should run my dojo and want to dictate what I do or who I do it with can keep their opinions to themselves because I didn’t ask for them. Go to the dojo and train, don’t worry about what it is that I’m doing, because I’m training!