Thursday, December 31, 2009

On behalf of all the TNBBC (to all the invisible readers who don't leave comments but who show up in the analytics) Happy New Year!

I am leaving work shortly, to go and help my mom prepare for Oshogatsu - Japanese New Year celebration. This is when Japanese families gather to eat too much, drink a bit, and look forward to a new year clean start. For Japanese American's, this is a hangover from the traditions brought by our grandparents/great grandparents, etc... On the menu are salmon, sashimi, red beans and rice, and all the traditional squiggly bits of seafood and assorted vegetables that reflect the new year and seasonal availability.  Soon I will have burned hand from making mochi. Fresh mochi is a good thing! More on Mochi

2009 was a flat out suck year for most of us for work. But for this budo crud, one of the bright spots for me was to see everyone in class get better at some aspect of their practice. Even better was to see the improvements in teaching ability from those teaching. Small things perhaps, but rewarding.  Even more rewarding then the bottles of aged brown liquor I've been given by the guys in the dojo.

For all you guys in the TNBBC, thanks for hanging around. To everyone else reading this, get back to practice.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Is Hapkido???

On Tuesday, Dec 22 2009, 6:15 pm, I will be the guest instructor at the Seattle School of Aikido for a regular Aikido class.

Hmmm… teaching an “Aikido” class. How do I share my experience, knowledge, and attitude toward martial effectiveness without sounding “violent” or haughty? I wish somehow in these situations I could have some sort of billboard, floating over my head, that reads: I wish for the least violent outcome for any bad situation, I don’t want to hit/cut/kick people, in fact, I’ve been working for years now on how to improve my grappling/ aiki/ jujutsu/ body skills so that I may be more benevolent and merciful, if I am able --given the circumstance. I came up from my teenage years and twenties in various striking or grappling or mixture striking/grappling and began to develop my best skills in my 30’s thanks to studying under Neil Yamamoto primarily, among other excellent teachers in other styles. My goals are the goals of Aikido, but I have taken a different road to arrive at the same conclusion.

My “Aikido” lineage comes through my teacher, Neil Yamamoto and his teacher, Bernie Lau. Do a quick online search, and you will find that this line is actually (and weirdly, to my mind) one of the pioneering lines of Aikido in the States, and certainly in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been lucky enough to have free reign to teach a study group under the auspices of the Icho Ryu umbrella, but with my emphasis on types of physical strategies, based on my experience and preferences in types of grappling and striking. Now, this coming Tuesday, Dec. 22 is the first time I’ve been honored with the trust to teach as a guest at an Aikido class. Thank you Neil, Chris, and the SSA community for this opportunity.

My syllabus will be as such:

Bow in

Core training

Tanren/Chi Gung

Stretching the hips

Proper weight shifting

The shape of Kote Gaeshi: what I’ve found the best form to be to affect uke’s core and structure.

2 straight line, or irimi versions of Kote Gaeshi—- discussion of tenkan and irimi stratgies.

Discuss the connection of the structure of Kote Gaeshi to that Shiho Nage. Illustrate with figure 4 “ki” lock. Practice figure 4 lock.

2 types of pin. Discuss strategies for each.


Bow out

Please join me if you can: cost is included in SSA tuition for members, for guests there is a $15 mat fee.

Happy Holidays and Merry X-Mess!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Thoughts on a Friday...

Crap, whose bright idea was it to give Fritz a sharp pointy sword? Sucka hits hard enough as it is!

Up/down is in/out. Sigh, got it boss.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Heavy hitters?

The substitute list for Chris (igotlotsatime) Moses has just been announced. Crossing over to teach the aikido basics class for the month of December is:

December 8th - Neil Yamamoto
December 15th- Helmut Floss
December 22nd- John (is Hapkido!!!) Connolly
December 29th- Jeremy Hulley

Sign ME up for class! My basics can always use a review. I know 3 can do and teach, even the Hapkido guy, and new guy Helmut ran a highly recognized kids program at Two Cranes. If he can teach kids, he can probably teach this old dawg a few new tricks.