Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The New Guys in Charge

Just received their certificates that Charles Murray had made up for the promotions they received last May  Michael Cassidy and Young Lee to Nana Dan.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Disabled 101

First I have developed various disabilities. Teams of Physicians have been able to tell me what my problem is or have any idea how to treat it. I have been a martial artist for over 40 years and I am working around the problems, I will remain living a martial life regardless of what the problem is.

What I have to deal with:

1.  Speech is very difficult, I have a hard time to make myself understood, especially over the phone.
2.  I am much weaker. Among which this accounts for my speech difficulty, the facial muscles are weaker.
3.  I have very little balance. For safety I employ a walker when taking my daily walks.
4.  My fine motor control is lesser. I have difficulty handling the simplest of phones. My ability to write is non-existant, Even a signature is extremely difficult to impossible. I had to find the right keyboard to make use of the internet better. That is almost my only remaining ability.

What I am sharing are the various studies I use to retain my martial abilities to the extent that I can. While this is about what I do, it is not intended for me alone. Every disability, every person is different. All will require competent medical assistance I only hope this might inspire others who wish to remain practicing the martial arts in their unique circumstances.

So to begin, let us think about slowing down.


First it helps to be able to slow down. Decreasing the rate of respiration making the act of slowing down helping gain relaxation for the body,

The drill for this comes from my tai chi training.


The drill is most simple


1. Hands in front at sides.

2. Raise hands up with the fingers down.

3. At shoulder level, stretch the fingers up.

4. Drop the hands back down omto your sides.

5. Repeat.


With each repetition slow your breathing by a greater amount.

One breath while the hands rise.

One breath while the hands fall.

Slower and slower and slower.


With practice you will see how slow you can go.

And slow causes relaxation.


I wish to use these photos of my Tai Chi instructor, Ernest Rothrock and his students to demonstrate this
1. Hands in front at sides.
2. Raise hands up with the fingers down.

 3. At shoulder level, stretch the fingers up
4. Drop the hands back down mto your sides.
5. Repeat.
This is the preparation I use for the day. and anytime I want to prepare for other training.
Another drill I use for the same purpose takes even less movement. I just stand in the play guitar position from my Yang Tai Chi. This is another drill to slow down. You breath slow and slower, inhale and exhale, each time going slower.
It does take practice. I recall when I first was shown this drill, how quickly I would wobble just from standing still. I was a black belt in karate and nothing I had trained prepared me for this.
As you perform the drill, you actually sink down on your back leg. At the same time I discovered the drill pulled a single muscle strand on the front of your lead leg. Nothing I had done ever prepared me for that.
So just stand still and breathe.
Another way to slow down and prepare in stillness for other drills.
Yet another drill from Eagle Claw is useful to offset the greater amount of sitting one does. It is used in the Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai to open and conclude each class.
These are drills I use every day, perhaps others can find them useful.

Monday, August 29, 2016

First you have to want to get better, they you have to make the effort.

I can remember my first karate road trip like it was yesterday.
I believe I was a yellow belt in Salisbury Maryland. Back then classes were about kata half the time and kumite the other half. I knew I was not very good at kumite, in fact I was very bad. Sensei had a great crew of green belts who were spectacular at it. Working with them in kumite I felt like a practice dummy, In the old non safety gear hard knocks days.
Sparring felt like full body contact and I always felt it the next day after sparring with them.The brown belts were totally beyond me.
I had first seen Charles Murray then. He was home on a break from college and he came in the dojo with one of his training mates. When they took the floor, which had a ring set in the floor tiles, everyone cleared off. They engaged in awesome kumite, black belts who knew each other. Everyone just stood back and observed.
So it got to me, I wanted to do better that where  I was. Now we understand everyone gets better in time, but that did not mean much to me then. I finally hit on an idea, we used to have black belts regularly drop in from associated schools by Lewis Sensei’s students. I hit on the idea perhaps if I traveled to one of them I might obtain additional training that would help me improve.
The school I decided to visit was the Isshinryu Club run by Reese Rigby in Dover, Delaware.


I knew of him from his visits to the Salisbury Dojo. But I had not met him on a personal basis.

 So one Tuesday evening I drove for an hour to his club in Dover, Delaware, then met him and explained what I was seeking. I told him “I know I am not very good in kumite and I want to learn how to get better.”

 Rigby Sensei was very kind to me and told me that he would try and help me. Then I joined in with the class training. I remember he spent a lot of time on warm-ups.

Eventually class led to kumite. Rigby Sensei told me that only by fighting could I get better. Then he pained me up with a green belt, Bill Dearing. Bill was a big guy like I was, so the pairing made sense I guess.



“Hajime.” We began. He was much more than I was. But we sort of went back and forth. He had a constant grin on his face. He was much stronger at it than I was. Suddenly he just leaped at me with a flying side kick, something I had never faced.

Without thinking my lead hand swept down, and I had both of his legs in my arm. It caused him to drop to the floor with a bang. He lay there on the floor. I was not sure what I had done, and remember thinking I had broken him.

While Bill was a green belt in Isshinryu, I did not know he was a black belt in Ju-jitsu. What he did was a break fall. He was ok.

I do not remember much after that, and later drove home to Salisbury. It would be the first of many visits to dojo of seniors under Lewis Sensei. More class time, always trying.

Bill was at my black belt test, I will always remember that.

We did have many good times training together. Reese Rigby always shared with me too.


Those were the days.






Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Kata of Meibukan Goju Yagi Meitoku

Meibukan  Yagi Meitoku

Meibuken Kata

  • Tenchi
  • Seiryu
  • Byakko
  • Shujaku
  • Genbu

Tenchi’s name is taken from the first line in a poem in the Bubishi, "Jin shin wa Tenchi ni Onaji." This means "the mind is one with heaven and earth." Originally, Tenchi was composed of two kata, Fukyu kata ichi and Fukyu kata ni. They were eventually combined, and now Ten no kata represents the first half, while Chi no kata is the second half.

The kata are named after Chinese constellations: Seiryu means azure dragon, Byakko means white tiger, Shujaku means vermillion bird and Genbu means black turtle. Meitoku Yagi got the idea after seeing these names bannered on war flags during the Tsuna-Hiki (Tug of War Festival) held each year in Naha.

Tenshi- Heaven and Earth 
Seiryu- Blue Dragon 
Byakko- White Tiger
Shujakku- Red Sparrow
Genbu – Black Turtle

Other Kata

As well, Taikyoku patterns are practiced. They can be done alone; as well as with a partner (Renzoku kumite), which is done in a straight-line pattern; or with three or five people altogether (Kakomi kumite), in which one karateka is surrounded by the others. There are no traditional Meibukan weapons forms; however, Yagi did adapt some Meibuken Kaishu kata to and sai, and are commonly referred to as Meibuken Kobudo. They are as follows.
  • Geki Sai Ichi Bo
  • Geki Sai Ni Bo
  • Saifa Bo
  • Geki Sai Ichi Sai
  • Geki Sai Ni Sai
  • Saifa Sai
  • Shisochin Sai




There are several maxims used in Meibukan—some are particular to the style, while others are common to other styles of Goju-ryu and karate. The following are some of the more common sayings.
  • Oku myo zai ren shin. "Practice with a good heart."
  • Oku myo zai hyaku ren sen tan. "Train a hundred times, train a thousand times."
  • Nangi go gokui. "The secrets of training are revealed through hard work."
  • Ryu su fu sen kyo. "Running water in a stream faces no barriers."
  • Kan chiku fu sho. "The pine tree bends in the wind. The bamboo is hard in the cold."
Information from Wikipedia and the Journal of Asian Martial Arts November 4 2005 “The Five Kata of Yagi Meitoku” by Perry Campbell

Friday, August 26, 2016

Uniko-E Sumo as a Martial Art

From Volume 9 1999 Journal of Asian Martial Arts

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Ju No Kata of Judo

From  'L'Essentiel Des Katas-Judo'
par Roland Desormeaux
Ju No Kata
Try to win, but think and let free to act.
Various segments of the Ju No Kata demonstration
Following the rules of etiquette, the presentation requires that the greeting of one another is polite, precise and slow to demonstrate calm, determination and control.


Kuatsu - Kano Ju-Jitsu

Another find from my files. Interesting as the Judo folks are talking about striking vital points.
Not a practice I have followed, More for historical reference.

Extracts from “What is Judo” (1947) by the Kodokan

When copying passages from this work, there were many formatting problems to correct. Any errors are my own. The spelling is an older form of English.



standard of  the  grappling teclmique.


The exercise of  the  Grappling   techniques  should be  based  upon  that  of the  holding.     The   techniques of  choking   and  those  of   bending   and   twisting   the joints  might  be  practiced  in  a standing   position.     In reality,  however,   they  are  mostly   practiced  in   Randori  in  the  l ying  position.    In  these cases, the various actions and  f undamental  managings   of   body   can   be trained  very safely and  effectively  with  the techniques of  holding.     And   those   of   choking,    and   those   of bending  and  twisti ng  the joints are very often followed  or changed  from   those   of   holding.     


So,  as  the techniques  of  throwing  and  grappling    are   performed successively,   those   of   holding,    choking    and   joint tricks are  always   practiced   in   a   trial.       One   must choose  some  to   meet   the   attack   of   the   opponent. Thus trained  and  applied  accordingly,  the   techniques shall  be  drilled  more  and  more,  and  the   interest   for t he  an shall  be deepened  ever  more.


For  the exercise  of  those  techniques,  as  in  those of throwing,   they   should   be   performed   gently   and bearingly, shunn i ng  always  the  rigidity  of    body  and the  stiffeni ng of  mind .


about the techniques of holding

These  techniques  are  performed  in   holding   the opponent  thrown  on  the  back.    To hold  the  oppenent  thrown  on  h is face is   not   the   proper   Holding. That is  because  there  is  a  way  of   thinking   that   in the  latter  posture,  it  is much   eas1er  to   rise   for   the held  one  than  when  thrown  on  the   back,   the  effect of  holding  in  this case  is  not   so   perfect   as   in   the former.


'The opponent  to   whom   the holding  technique is applied  will  do·his  best  to  rise or   to   change  the position.     The  holder  should  control  him completely, not  only   with   the   strong   hand ,   but   with   all   the power  of  his  body  accordingly  and effectively  against the  every  attitude  of   the   opponent   as   the   occasion

may demand.


In  the   Holding,    the   following   points   demand considerations.

To hold  with  one's all  energies.

To hold  every  spot  to  prevent  the opponent's rising.

To make  the opponent  fail in  all his effort to rise,  not   to   concentrate   one's    strength   on one  side.


It   is   not   allowed,     though   in   the   excess  of endeavour   hold  or  to  rise,  to  touch the  oppenenr's face or  to grasp  him at  random  except  the  costume.


about  the technique of  choking


There   are   two    kinds   of   techniques :    Neck Choking   and  Trunk Squeezing.     Only  the  former  is exercised.


Choking   means to oppress  the  neck   from   both sides,  and  not  to  strangle.     To be   effective   in   this technique,  the following  points demand  considerations.


To control  all  bodily  actions of the opponent. To press  the opponent's neck  with the narrow part of  the  arm.        


To keep  one's  body  quite  free,  so  as to  take an  active  part  if  necessary.


ln  the exercise,  it  is    not   allowed   to   shut   the oppenent's   mouth  or   nose   with   one's   palm,   or   to grasp  the  throat .  It is a matter  of course   these   behaviors could  not  be  regarded  as the  proper  tricks.


about  the techniques  of   bending and   twisting the joints.


There are  many  varieties  in  this  category.     Exercises are  performed only  on  the  elbow   joint.    The methods  prone  to  break  the  neckbone   or   the  back­ bone are  stricktly   prohibited.


The exercise on  the  elbow   joint,  the   following points should  be taken  into  considerations.


To  control  all  the  bodily  actions  of   the   opponent. One's  strength  should  be   used   by   the   principle of  fulcrum.

To keep one's  body quite free for every action.


form  (kata)


form   is a system of . exercises arranged   and  systematised  for  the most    appropriate    application    of techniques  in  some  determined case.   By   the   practices  of    Kata one  can  easily  learn  the   theory  of attack  and  defense and at  the same time  the  applications  of the  fu ndamental  tricks.    But, one  can never be   'trained'   oneself   by   the  forms  only,   because  the  forms are  always prearranged  exercises.

not the photo in the book which was to small to reproduce

 The forms  taught  generally  in  the   Kodokan  are as  follow :

1.    Forms  of  Throwing,

2.     Forms  of  Grappling,

3.    Forms  of  Gentleness,

4.    Forms  of  Decision,

5.    Form Antique,

6.    Forms  of  •Five,'

7.    Forms  of  the   National   Physical   Education

(based  on  t he  principle  of Maximum-Efficiency.)


In  each  of  these  Forms,  many tricks are arranged for  a  certain  object,  selecting  those  which are  theoretically  or  practically  valuable among  the  innumerable methods  of  attack  and  defence.


Forms  of Throwing and  Grappling  are called en bloc  Forms of  Randori  (Free   Exercise).       These are arranged  for  the study  of theory  and   practice   of   all the. techniques  of   throwing   and   grappling   generally employed  in  Free  Exercise.


The Forms  of   Gentleness   are   all   very   gentle actions,  and  arranged  for  the  regular  exercise  how  to manage  the  body  in  attack  and  defence,  and  how  to employ  one's  strength  most effectively.    


The physical education  is specially  taken  into  consideration   for  the choice of  these  forms : so  they  are  adequate   for  the st udy of  Jud o  and  for .the  practice of  its  movements, irrespective   of   age   and   sex.     Furthermore,   as   the methods of  attack and defence   are   there   manifested expressively,  the  study  of these  forms   are   quite   enjoyable,    and   are   prone   to   deepen   the   interest   of Judo.   These forms can  be  performed   regardless   of dress and  location.


The Forms  of  Decision  aim  at  the   teaching   of the  principle   of   body-managing    and   the   theory   of attack and defence with  t he   techniques  of   attacking the  vital  points.


The so-called  Forms  Antique and those of •Five' teach  the  general   principle   of   techniques,   including many  interesting  phases of Judo : so  they  can be said "Art in judo."


The  Forms    of    National    Physical    Education (based  on  the  principle  of Maximum-Efficiency) were devised  for a   gymnastic   system,   as   the   nomination shows.     Its  Single  Exercise  aims  at   the   training   of techniques  of  attacking  the  vital  points, and the Companionate   Exercise    is   chosen   from  the forms of Gentleness    and   of    Decision,   aiming   at   the   same points  of  importance  in  these  forms.