Minus seven degrees, seven people at Saturday's training. It was so cold, one of our students who normally wears shorts wore pants! It was so cold we decided not to record as we were afraid the camera might be damaged.
It was a very sunny day which is an incredible gift at this time in winter. Those of us that were able to make it to class were not only enjoying the training but were enjoying the sun. I even put sunblock on my face, yes I burn that easily. When we started training I realized it was completely unnecessary as I had on a mask, sunglasses and winter hat, there was no part of my face exposed to the sun at all!
The training was fantastic! We were all in good humor, laughing and training. It was great being together. This all came together because each one of us decided to take the first step. We decided to go and showed up.
Maybe you have been or are interested in the martial arts. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try it. Maybe you used to train and took a break for...
Yesterday we wrapped up the Jack Dempsey boxing classes. The morning class we explored what he terms snapback/pull aways which we would term riding the energy of the punch. The evening class we explored feinting and drawing.
What became glaringly clear is that to be successful at any of this you needed to understand the taijutsu movement and body dynamics/shapes of all of the punches. You don't pretend or fake a punch or movement to feint or draw the opponent out. You actually have to throw it, commit to it ,to the very edge of where the punch launches. You balance in gravity at this edge; it's actually more of a teeter in gravity and then figure out what other punches can be launched at this point. So you launch one punch and if your opponent reacts to it finish with a different punch. If your opponent does not react you just finish with the original punch thrown.
When learning this there is a pause when teetering in gravity to figure out what other punch or punches can be launched...
I love this art but there have been aspects of it that I was not eager to embrace. When I first started, rolling/ukemi scared me, especially dive rolls. I asked one of the Boston seniors who had incredible and beautiful rolls how he got there. His response: “Practice, practice from different kamae, practice different directions, practice on different surfaces, practice in different environments, practice, practice, practice in any creative way you can come up with.”
So I did. I practiced 8 directional rolling from one kamae/shape and then another. I practiced from standing, kneeling, laying down, sitting in a chair and on the ground. I practiced getting to the ground and getting up from it. I practiced from running, walking and standing still. I practiced inside and outside. I rolled sideways, up and down hills, with and without weapons, in class and outside of class. I rolled with and without breathing because in the beginning sometimes I would forget to breathe....
Today as we continued with Jack Dempsey boxing evations we worked on the clinch, sneaker, little bobs and apple/cork bob. I have watched little to no boxing so these terms mean nothing to me. They evoke no picture of what we were going to train on.
The clinch was like weird, close in, bad dancing. Dennis explained what it was and demonstrated. He walked me through how to do it with him. It was a powerful way to hold off the opponent and then release them into a strike. The whole maneuver, clinching them in, then using the release to launch the strike is what Dempsey called a sneaker. When we applied the concept with ninpo adding different strikes, kicks and the whole body as a target. It became Wicked!
If you would like to know more about all of these concepts and join us in training on some of the coolest stuff ever click the link below.
It was a beautiful sunny day today for training outside. Although it was only about seventeen degrees and the wind was blowing. The regular local training members were still there despite the cold weather.
We continued to work on Jack Dempsey’s boxing material in Ninja Lab. This week we worked on his deflections of strikes and countering in the same movement. Despite the wind and slippery conditions everyone was doing well working on keeping balance and allowing gravity to move their bodies into the correct shape to both deflect and attack.
It was a good day of training. Makes you feel good as a teacher when people come out to train despite the weather. Then we finished up and like a bunch of little kids all my students made a beeline to T to get some of the baked goods she brings each week for everyone.
Maybe it’s not my teaching…
If you’re interested in more information about Shinobi Science or you’d like to get a cookie each week after training,...
When I first started this art if you had told me that I would be able to hit hard enough to lift Dennis off his feet, be able to toss guys across the room effortlessly, be able to evade, fight and escape from a chair, against a wall, on the ground, in a box with a fox…. I would have said I don’t believe you. If you told me that 50 year old me would be stronger, more efficient and more capable in a fight than 30 year old me, I would really think you were nuts.
Yet that is exactly what has happened. This art has changed me. It changed my perception of myself, what I am capable of, who I can be. Even with all of the crazy events of 2020 I am happier. I am calmer. I have more confidence. I am more prepared to do what is needed to stay safe. I am way more dangerous :)
Training in this art I became more, evolving into the best version of myself and I am not done, still training.
If you would like to find out more about Shinobi click the link below.
We look forward to training...
One of our training members asked a question today while we were experimenting with the body movement for slipping past straight punches coming toward our head. His question was about the sequence of body movements and which body part moved first. The question was a very logical question based on the steps of the experiment however it brings up an issue about focus..
Very often martial arts students as they learn new movements are focussed on themselves as they attempt to get their body to follow the instructions. This internal focus while important to understand what you are doing is not the correct focus for training in body movement. Your focus must always be connected to an external goal or target. Science has actually shown that externally focussed words used in instructions versus internal ones cause the body to move more efficiently.
Even when we are moving slow and really looking into the specifics of how a movement is done with the body the external goal must still be part...
Be Bold. What does that mean? Be bold enough to stand up for your principles? Your beliefs? Your community?
To us at Shinobi Science it means to question. Question your principles, question your beliefs, question your community. Questions open up your heart, mind and soul to new paths, new journeys, new strengths and vulnerabilities. Questions lead to understanding, compassion and seeing with new perspectives.
We train and ask questions, do experiments, examine the results. Then start over again with new questions. The techniques/katas are multifaceted like diamonds. If we do not question and observe them from multiple perspectives we will not see all the facets. We will not see the entirety of all the lessons and possibilities a technique/kata has to teach us.
If you are bold enough to question and begin a new journey click the link below.
We look forward to training with you.
Driving Saturday morning in a torrential downpour, with the wind gusts taking out power lines, I thought, is anyone really going to show up to train? When I got to the park to train well yes they did. We are all the same kind of crazy.
Luckily we had an awning to train under so we were not getting completely soaked. It was an interesting day to be outside. As we practiced, stopping our partners punches, working on our breathing we listened to the rain pounding all around us and the wind thrashing the trees. The wild force of nature around us was incredibly powerful and yet beautiful.
It is what we train in. We practice to float in gravity and move with the nature that is inherent in us but that we have forgotten as we grew to adults. We are finding our way back to fluid natural movement. As we continue to train, we create moments when we experience the powerful and beautiful nature of floating in gravity and being in the moment. The more we train the more we move with the power and...
By the title you can tell what we worked on today. Stopping not blocking. Blocking implies going out to get the punch to stop it. With the size differential between Dennis and I, if I did that it would end in me bouncing off Dennis and either landing on my butt or flying across the room or both. Not exactly the outcome I am training for.
The way to stop the hook was to figure out what force vector was needed to stop the punch. After that it was what retaliatory strike would create the force vector and shape necessary to stop the oncoming punch and strike my partner.
Once I figured out the shapes needed it was a matter of maintaining intent and staying focussed in the moment. Intent and focus propelled me from my starting kamae to my ending kamae which stopped the punch and delivered my strike sending Dennis flying.
This is the outcome I train for. It was an amazing feeling and fun too!! If you would like to train for superpowers, have fun and feel amazing come...