Once again today we looked at jumonji no kamae kihon kata and although it is one of the fundamental kata models of Gyokko Ryu the students discovered a number of advanced concepts using the Shinobi Formula.
Unfortunately most people when they learn a kata model believe that the model is the lesson. The model is just the starting point. From it you have to unlock the external goals of each part to understand the effect it has on the attacker. You then have to use the Shinobi Formula to focus on gravity, shape, positioning, alignment, timing, cover and decision making while attempting to recreate the effect goal on the attacker.
This process within the formula is repeated over and over with every kata model training in two directions, one developing more and more specific goals to affect the attacker and second using gravity more and more to achieve those goals. The result of this process is to unlock the lessons our martial ancestors hid within the kata models. The cause and effect...
Yesterday we started Wednesday night classes again here in the dojo and on Zoom. The class is at Ninja Lab now to view at your leisure.
We continued with Jumonji no kamae kihon kata working on Shinobi Science skill sets 3,4 and 5, distance and alignment, timing and intent and cover and control. As ever we do not train in the skills we are good at, sometimes even great at, Dennis is always pushing us to go beyond. Which is both frustrating and exhilarating as a student.
So the beginning of class is bumpy. We are testing new parameters and skills and trying to understand the path to the next level. As we train pushing ourselves to the next level of understanding and skill we gain new insights into the art and to the capabilities we didn’t know we had.
Our movements became light, fluid and natural. We became connected with the moment and the answer appeared. We didn’t have to think about what to do. We weren’t separated from the moment doing something to make...
We started to have classes inside the dojo this week. I was very happy, ecstatic really, to have a companion in the dojo last night. We had a fantastic session training with Jumonji no kamae in Ninja Lab.
By focussing on the external goals of what happened to the other person variations of the kata emerged naturally. We didn’t try to do them. We didn’t even know what they were until Dennis pointed out that changes of our movement and shapes had resulted in a variation with the same outcome.
We had recreated the results of the kata on our opponent with a different movement pattern unintentionally because we were focussed on the external goals of the kata not on what we had to do. It was all about what happened to the other person.
As we relaxed and became more comfortable with recreating the outcome of the kata our movement became lighter and effortless. The results were very effective. The best part is when we were able to recreate these results on Dennis. Making Dennis...
I love puzzles. I even have a puzzle table. To recreate the puzzle you have to study the picture. In the beginning I start by separating the edge pieces from the others building the edge as I sort. Once the edge is done I study the picture looking for the easier recognizable areas to put together.
As I look for pieces to build an area I keep studying them and the picture. I find myself discovering certain nuances in patterns and colors. I walk around the table studying pieces and the picture from different angles. The more I get to know the picture and the pieces the easier it is for me to recreate the picture. To understand what looks like a black sky, is various hues of black, midnight blue and dark purples and all the shades in between.
Katas are like this. We see the whole picture and the pieces. First we work on just getting the outside edges done. Then we have to study all the pieces that go on the inside to get a full picture. We have to study the kata from different...
Everyone did great in class today. We were working with a very dangerous attack where the person gets in close and uses a knife to stab to the body. We actually spent most of the time working on the attack because most of my students, thankfully, have never been in a knife fight.
When you’re looking at something dangerous like this training can be difficult because students get caught up in the ‘steps’ of the technique. By doing this their focus turns inward to what they are doing instead of on the outcome they need to accomplish. The probability of a set of memorized steps working in a real situation is nil.
To get past this we use the Shinobi Formula to keep students focused on the outcome of the steps. This focus becomes their external goal or intent and allows them to maintain an observational awareness of their training partner, keeping them in the moment and able to make any necessary adjustments.
I couldn’t be happier with the results everyone was...
April Showers Bring May Flowers. How many of us are familiar with this saying? It certainly rings true this year as April has brought much rain and snow. So plenty of precipitation here. Flowers are sprouting up in fields, yards and forests. Trees and bushes are showing buds of color. Both bring the promise of more color, pollen and allergies.
With today being the last day of April and tomorrow the first day of May I wanted to learn more about this saying. It was written by Thomas Tusser in 1157. The original poem was “Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers” Chaucer is credited with an earlier version of the poem.
Thomas Tussers poem came from his publication A Hundred Good Points of Husbandrie. The book offered instructions and observations about farming and country customs. It was later expanded and republished as Five Hundreth Pointes of Good Husbandrie in 1573. You can still buy copies of it today.
A quip that I thought was no more than the equivalent of a hallmark...
Next week the dojo will begin indoor classes for those who are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and five weeks after the J & J shot. Please contact us before you come into the dojo and let us know your vaccine schedule.
Classes will be held inside the dojo, zoomed live and then put in Ninja Lab to view at your convenience. Classes will be held inside Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 11:30am to1:30pm. Evening classes will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30.
Saturdays will continue to be outside from !0am to noon unless the weather is crap, then we will move to Smith Park or have class (with masks) inside the dojo.
We look forward to training with you.
T & D
P.S. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Shinobi Science click below.
Teki Gaeshi is a Chuden level Koto Ryu kata. A couple of weeks ago Mark was teaching this kata in the Togakure Ryu class I take. He was explaining it from the Togakure Ryu view point and demonstrating it that way.
Togakure Ryu uses the Koto Ryu and Gyoko Ryu katas in unconventional ways to make the same outcome happen to the uke/opponent. Today I asked Dennis if we could look at this kata so I could train in it to better understand the lesson Mark was teaching.
So we took the original kata from Koto Ryu and put it in Ninja Lab. I had not seen the Koto Ryu version before. Training in it I discovered so many cool things.
I have a habit of holding my arm a certain way that is appropriate for the Koto Ryu katas I have studied but not for this one. What I thought was the entry strike to the person did not get the correct result, after experimenting I found the correct strike and location to off balance the person. This result led to the proper alignment for the kick in this Koto Ryu...
Most view the martial arts as a sport or a very physical exercise practice and in many martial arts that is what it is. Most martial arts study with the end goal of winning. At Shinobi Science we study with the end goal of surviving.
Many people would look at this as the same thing, yet it is not. To survive means the other person can believe they are winning, it means you don’t have to defeat them.
In my Togakure Ryu leadership class we study how to use the opponent's energy and strategy so they feel successful and believe everything is going well until it’s not. We let them have their reality, while we slip away unnoticed or they end up on the ground wondering how they got there.
Ninjutsu is all in the mind. How do you stop someone who wants to punch you before it happens? How do you act in a way that is incongruous from what they expected?
We train to not have to compete with a person to win. Instead we train to change their perception, of where we are, of what is...
Saturday training we started with learning to create a shove to twist and off balance the person with their weight on the forward foot. This exposed their kidney to a punch or stab. Stabber sisters you would have loved this.
Once we understood the attack and the effect of it we trained how to defend against it. What we studied was not the steps but the effects. The off balance can be created with different alignments based on our training partner but the effect of off balance is the same. How do we defend against the off balancing and stabbing no matter how we got there or who created it?
The answer is always the same regaining balance and stability in gravity while taking control of their space. The answer is in the outcome, the effect not in the steps.
We look forward to training with you.
P.S. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Shinobi Science click below