Thursday, October 30, 2014

Finding Value in Martial Arts Literature

A long time ago my interest in the Martial Arts began. Of course the key knowledge is imparted to us by our instructors. Then friends and other instructors shared much and there were occasional clinics. The real key is constant practice.


Say a great clinic shares good information. Your program is already set, there is always more to do. But the new information is good. I always spent at least 5 years in practice and thinking about the new material considering when to introduce it.


However, too soon, I was on my own. I didn’t have access to movies, only magazines and books were available. While then there were many magazines, it took time to understand that all the arts really didn’t have the same content and to understand how to evaluate what was shared.


Books had great importance. But it still took time for me to understand what was relevant. Over time I came to realize many books were almost vanity publications. Consider how few warranted re-publication. Gradually I started to acquire some knowledge about what each contained. For a long time I bought almost everything that was available, really a huge collection. But some time ago I realized many might have been relevant at the time of purchase, yet were no longer relevant to my studies.


There is a saying that a really great text about Tai Chi Chaun can contain 50 years worth of knowledge, but it would also take 50 years of study to understand it. I have found that true. Almost every book takes me about 5 years before I have found its relevance. And that is just a general guideline.


Books are not required to get very good at your art, But they are interesting as they time bind information, from the past. How useful depends on how much you train. There are no short cuts about acquiring useful information.


A case in point. Back in 1998 I spent $30,00 and acquired a copy of Oyima Shiro’s book “The Hidden Roots of Aikido: Aiki Jujutsu Daitoryu”. Just today I finally understood its value to me.


I am not an aikido-ka, not my interest. But as I received instruction in aikido technique that Achmed Sutrisno learnt in Japan in the 1930s and incorporated into his arts that his son taught me. I discovered much about my studies from many Aikido books I acquired. I learned that one of the arts that Aikido came from was Daito-Ryu.


By learning those movements and how to enter and control the space of an attack, I found the same knowledge made much of those Aikido texts very understandable to me.


Among my studies I incorporated an aikido drill set from Tristan Sutrisno against strong striking attacks. As much as to teach how aikido execution was useful as these drills taught how to take control of a space in the attack and then use that space in the counterattack. Those techniques involved various locks and throws from aikido.

While I learnt that drill back in 1980,and then taught it from 1988 on, in was in the later 1990s when I realized many of those movements were already in Isshinryu. Not to imply Isshinryu is a descendent of Aikido, Just there are similarities as there are just so many ways to move a body after all.

I will show one example from the book, showing use of hand positions.

There are many more. Don’t be surprised if they show up some time in our studies from my continuing research.


As many Martial Arts books have been one edition publications, and it often takes years to appreciate there relevance.This is where I suggest the investment might be worth the expense,



I am aware that the author is open to controversy as to whether his art is authentic Daito Ryu but as what he shows has use to me I am not open to those discussions.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bassai (Patsai ) Kata by Demura Furio

Bassai Kata by Fumio Demura is a very interesting study in how Patsai (his Bassai) Kata moved through time showing various instructors versions. That kata has ebbed and flowed is unmistakable.

This has obvious interest for us in Isshinryu Karate as the parts of the Tomari version (which was Kyan’s version) was incorporated into Shibamuku Tatsuo’s Sunsu (SunNuSu) kata.

Another find from my hard copy files.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oshiro on Sai

Going through my hard copy files I discovered this piece. No longer sure where it came from. I think it is worth preserving.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Response from Robert Smith

One time in 1997 I wrote to Robert Smith about questions I had on one aspect of esoteric training I had received Much later I receiver this response. While he didn't offer any suggestions on my training question his response showed what a nice person he was. His place in the early transport of Chinese Martial Arts to the United States is documented through his many fine books and articles.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dr. Gyi on Bando

The complete Controling the Neck from 2001

This was originally written pre 2001, with further additions as time passed. I had published the ending previously, but just discovered the original piece on hard copy, hence it was scanned in.

 I had originally published the last section as
The following articles on could be additional information