Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Physics of Karate

Another old article I saved from someplace.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Technique of No Technique

Technique of No Technique


One of the more interesting things I have learned was in 1980. Tris Sutrisno was describing what his father did when asked for a demonstration/clinic in Indonesia. (Of course this was also in days before their were phone cameras, internet, You Tube and all the rest of todays tricks.


As he had trained long ago in Japan, everyone always wanted something special. So what his father did was always share advanced techniques in his arts, and do so fully. But only for the clinic.


The truth is, outside of specific training for a very long time, individuals would not be able to retain what was shown for more than a day. In other words good enough for short term memory, but not transferable to long term memory.


His father referred to such sharings as ‘Technique of No Technique’.

And if someone had the presence to  retain and learn what was shown, then they deserved that knowledge.


It was not how Tris shared with me.


I have experienced this concept in a variety of different ways.


Many years later Tris was in Derry to present a clinic on 3rd and 4th level bunkai in his art. Not knowing my students well, and there were outsiders present too. He shared each of the movements 2 times, and then proceeded to go from person to person and correct/adjust whatever they were doing, even if it was not what he had shown. Really he was sharing this for me, but for everyone else, it was a lesson in technique of no technique (I also happen to have it on videotape)


What he was doing for each of them was good stuff, but not what he was demonstrating.


He was not committed in seeing they got what he was showing. But he made it a worthwile sharing.


Years later a friend, brought Danny Insanto in for 2 days of clinics at his school, covering a wide range of topics.



I attended the afternoon clinic on empty hand knife self defense. Mainly because I wanted to see Insanto in person. For the two hours he switched techniques about every 3 minutes. No one could retain what was shown. It was more a review,from those from Princeton where he had a school. I understood what was going on because I had read his book on Philippian Arts. I was not there to retain what I saw. He did extremely impressive movements taking away knives from his attackers. So this was also technique of no technique. I wonder if anyone there became an instant instructor of what they saw.


On meeting Sherman Harrill, the first time in New Hampshire, it also became technique of no technique. But from a different purpose. Sherman packed so much detail, because he lived Isshinryu that way. It was your business to get it. I was impressed. And as I had to go to a conference in Reno the next day, during the flight there, I documented 25 techniques that he had shown. I was content, as they were all good techniques. And I did work on them. A year later I was going to host a clinic with Sherman alongside Garry Gerossie, who was his student here. Garry shared a video of that clinic with me. There were over 160 applications covered and I had only gotten 25. It made me aware of what I didn’t recall.


It was a version of Technique of No Technique. It forced me to pay greater and greater detail at what was being shown. Sherman used to explain that was a normal response the first time someone trained with him. Then they would get up to speed and learn more in subsequest sessions. Now it was not intentional, and should drive you to learn more in the future.


These are a few views of the concept Technique of No Technique.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

From Application Potential to Application Realization

Let’s take an example of an application potential. Starting with one Mabuni Sensei shared in 1934 from Seienchin Kata.


From GOSHIN KARATE KEMPO Defense and Attack

By Master Mabuni Kenwa           Published in March 1934

Translated into French by Tokitsu Kenji (February 1989)

Translated into English by Victor Smith (June 2000)



When the opponent attacks you to the solar plexus with a punch, you parry, as on the bunkai diagram  parrying with the augmented block, while using the two hands.

 You next seize the wrist of the opponent with the right hand, and you advance your left foot towards him as you find on the bunkai diagram.

 You hit to the groin with your left fist.


This movement is in the Isshinryu version of the kata too.

However when I tried to do it I found the attackers arm was almost impossible to go over to make the strike to the groin work.


Now I had given a copy of my translation to Sherman Harill and he understood what I was missing. When stepping in with the left leg it must block/strike into the attackers right leg to cause them to sag. Then the striking left arm strikes into the groin easily.


The training to make an application effective is always comprised of such details. No doubt the Mabuni explanation was just to show a potential existed, not to become a training guide for the student.

That begins the process to move from application potential of a movement, to application realization where the application succeeds against an attack. Then there is a training methodology needed to reach that realization

Bagua or the older name Paqua It still is interesting

Bagua/Paqua.. I still find this interesting.

Masters - An older article that stll worth reading

Another article from the past worth reading.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Stick Striking Pattern and a little bit more

Just ran across these scans, from an older magazine. I no longer know which one, or even the system I kept it because it is similar to other stick striking patterns I have seen, and like the way is shows a kick striking drill. Very interesting.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Joy of Sumo

This book is an attempt at making Japanese Sumo understandable. It is enjoyable, and as there illustrations indicate done with a bit of fun.

Sumo was originally not a sport, but a Japanese battlefield tradition.

Bruce Tegner Jukado

Like many people in the 1960s I became aware of the existence of Karate by books written by Bruce Tegner. He became an early martial arts publishing empire. Some of those books were written by others in their own fields of study. I always liked this book as his best one.

Technique dense I am just sharing a few pages. That also reflect on our own studies.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bruce Tegner (1929–1985) was an American author and martial artist who practiced judo and jujitsu. Bruce authored several books on self-defense, including Bruce Tegner's Complete Book of Self-Defense Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Savate, Yawara, Aikido, and Ate-Waza. In all, he published some 80 titles in the United States.

Those who studied his methods found great practical self defense in easy to comprehend format at a time when martial arts instruction in the United States was hard to come by. Bantum (publisher) Books were some of the most popular books available to school-aged children via frequent book fairs; this media allowed exposure to very effective martial arts concepts in the early 1970's.

Bruce's parents were also martial artists who began teaching Bruce judo and jujutsu at the age of 2. By the age of 21, Bruce had already won California's State title and began writing books on judo, jujitsu, aikido, tai chi, karate, and kung fu. He included three types of training in his books: Sport, Classical, and Self-Defense.

In one of his books, the model posing for the techniques was Ricky Nelson, famous singer and co-star of "Ozzie and Harriet" tv show, who went on to win his black belt under Bruce's instruction. James Coburn was another celebrity pupil, as was George Reeves, who portrayed "Superman" on the popular television series.

One of Bruce’s main contributions to self defence was that he dispelled a lot of the myths about the martial arts and brought realism to the fore again. One of these myths was the myth of the “Black Belt as a superman”. In his book Bruce Tegner’s Complete Book of Self-Defence he wrote, “Contrary to popular belief, the first black belts were not deadly killers; they were skilled sportsman.”

He also dispelled the myth that only athletes should practice the martial arts. In fact, he challenged the widely held (at the time) fact that martial arts required athleticism. Who, he asked, is more vulnerable to assault – a little old lady or a strong young athlete? As a result, his self defence method relied very little on strength and athleticism.

Bruce also loved to keep it simple. Rather than have an answer for every attack he taught a few simple moves that the defender could adapt to many different situations. As Bob Rosenbaum, one of Bruce Tegner’s Jukado Black belts explained, “He told us there are no pat answers, and that the most important weapon we have is the mind.”

While based in Hollywood in the 1950's and 60's, Tegner also worked behind the scenes as a movie fight choreographer. The spectacular fight scene between actors Frank Sinatra and Henry Silva in the original Manchurian Candidate (1962) was devised by Bruce Tegner. The sequence is regarded by some as one of the classic Hollywood fight scenes. In it, both judo and karate-like techniques are used, and the on-guard stance adopted by the opponents is from Tegner's own composite self-defense system.

Works by Bruce Tegner