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This week marks the 50th year training in Martial Arts. Having started my training in 1965 as a birthday present from my father. The Ishikawa Judo Dojo was on Broad Street in downtown Philadelphia …
Source: 50 Years On The Path
This week marks the 50th year training in Martial Arts. Having started my training in 1965 as a birthday present from my father. The Ishikawa Judo Dojo was on Broad Street in downtown Philadelphia just a few doors down from my families health club. I would take the bus from my home in Broomall to the 69th Street Station and transfer to the Elevated Train to Broad Street. After class my dad would take me to lunch on Saturdays before again taking the 1 hour commute back home. I would attend class several nights a week along with Saturdays. This continued for 4 years until my enlistment in the Military. During that time I competed in the Junior AAU getting a Bronze Metal, did numerous demonstrations for the Dojo as well as my High School. Martial Arts was already starting to define my life.
After my time in the Military where I boxed as an amateur and moving to Florida I began training with Master BC Chin in Northern Kung Fu and Yang Tai Chi Chuan. After about a year of training I started fighting full contact professionally in the Florida local circut. At that time there was no weight class and I would often compete against guys 50 pounds or heavier more than my scawny 145 pounds. I was in the best shape of my life and trained at least three hours at the studio 4 times a week and practice for several more at home each day.
Rather than go into my whole martial arts history at this time, let it sufice to say, Martial Arts became my life regardles of what else I was doing to earn a living. I would say that my travels to Japan and throughout the US training contributed to several failed relationships and marrages.
Now I run a small school in New Hampshire and am trying to figure out how to retire from the business world and earn a living with the Dojo. This blog and website is one of the steps needed along with multimedia ad campains and to market myself as one of the most senior high ranking masters of Tradition Japanese Martial Arts in the Western World.
I will continue to add to this blog with details and stories during my 5 decades of training and teaching Martial Arts.
One of the conflicts that arise in taking the martial path is that at some point there is a realization and even an impulse to shrink from the violence we see in the human condition. Although we are trained to perform violence when required and confront death in order to transcend the limits of worldly existence there is a dramatic moral crisis that is central to developing the faith needed to perform our sacred duty. A paradox interconnects disciplined action and freedom. We must explore within ourselves concepts such as duty, discipline, action and knowledge to allow for our ultimate understanding of phenomenal existence. Our freedom lies in disciplined action that is both performed without attachment to the action itself while being dedicated with loving devotion to those we hold dear. How can we continue to act in a world of pain without suffering and despair and enable ourselves as warriors to control our passion and become me of discipline? The real battlefield is the human body, where within this material realm we struggle to know oneself.
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Understanding the relationship of Kuzushi and Tsukuri in grappling is one of the most misunderstood but fundamental skills needed.
Kuzushi is a Japanese term for unbalancing an opponent. It refers to not just an unbalancing, but the process of putting an opponent in a position, where his stability, hence the ability to regain uncompromised balance for attacking is destroyed. It is considered an essential principle and the first of three stages to a successful throwing technique: kuzushi, tsukuri (fitting or entering) and kake (execution).
The methods of effecting kuzushi depend on maai (combative distance) and other circumstances. It can be achieved using tai sabaki (body positioning and weak lines), taking advantage of the opponents actions (push when pulled, pull when pushed), atemi (strikes), or a combination of all three. Included means of applying kuzushi is by either direct action, induced action or direct action of your opponent as in countering technique.
The nine actions utilized by Tori (applying technique) to overcome the defensive standing of Uke (receiving technique) are:
1. Tobi Komi – jumping in
2. Mawarikomi – spinning in
3. Hikidashi – pulling out
4. Oikomi – dashing in
5. Daki – to hug holding
6. Debana -Thwarting the opponent
7. Nidan Biki – two stage pull
8. Ashimoki – leg grab
9. Sutemi – body drop
To apply kuzushi the tori must start by turning the legs, utilizing the full body to create optimal range positioning and strengthen the posture while opening the angle to attack the trunk of uki.
In addition to proper kuzushi, tori should turn shoulders, create a hip-shoulder torsion along with an inclination post-turning and a vertical anterior-posterior lettingdown to create tsukuri.
If done effectively the combination of kuzushi and tsukuri along with increased turning, increased forward unbalancing, forward propulsion and angled attack will allow the application of kake.
The whole Kuzushi Tsukuri Kake effective movement is without separation. Effective technique comes from minimizing the amount of energy expended along with shortening the motion path for correct positioning.
Saturday June 8th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
FREE CLASS Introduction to Tai Chi Chuan
This class open to the public will introduce the art of Tai Chi Chuan. Participants will learn some basic Chi Kung exercises, the opening moves to the form, warmup and breathing drills.
Please register early to hold your spot. Email myofuansensei@gmail or call 603-673-5331
Location: Myofu An Budo Dojo – 159 Savage Road, Milford, NH 03055
Tai Chi Chuan, a style of Chinese Martial Arts, sometimes described as Poetry in Motion, with its gentle, slow and non-jarring movements produces a high degree of relaxation and a balanced unification of body and mind while stretching and toning the bodies muscles and circulating the internal healing energy (Chi). You are left feeling alert, revitalized, yet relaxed with increased focus, harmony, and strength for your daily life.
By increasing blood and oxygen circulation throughout the body, Tai Chi improves physical conditioning, decreases fatigue and develops endurance. Practice has been found to reduce blood pressure. As one progresses through the Tai Chi set, the heart rate increases to aerobic exercise levels while the movements promote deep relaxed breathing.
Natural correction of posture through the use of Tai Chi is achieved by movement promoting the proper alignment of the spine with the shoulders and pelvis. Flexibility of the joints is also fostered by slow sustained stretches. The practice of Tai Chi additionally involves use of all major skeletal muscle groups. Alternating slow stretching with full muscle contraction relieves muscle tension and improves tone. Strengthening the muscles of the lower back and abdomen is especially good for people with low back pain.
One of the major ways that Tai Chi helps the individual is its capacity to increase the local circulation of Chi, especially in the extremities. When an individual does Tai Chi sequence in a relaxed manner, the muscles around the veins, arteries, and nerves will be relaxed, allowing the Chi to distribute itself more evenly and to flow more easily in those particular areas. By improving the local circulation of Chi, less stress is put on the internal organs.
Through the combined effects of local circulation and deep breathing, Tai Chi practioners have found that the slow motion empty handed sequence can cure or help alleviate a variety of disorders.
In these days of high stress living, Tai Chi offers both a physical and mental outlet. The relaxed awareness with which Tai Chi is performed, produces effects similar to meditation.