Shinsa Matrix

Following the Blog I wrote on Shinsa (grading) the following is a condensed matrix of the elements that should be considered when evaluating the student’s performance to come to the right decision as to pass or fail.  This is by no means complete but will assist in undertaking a structured approach.  No. Key Requirements   Supportive information/comments 1   Kata no junjo (Correct order) Compulsory…

Shinsa

Literally translated as examination or grading and used ubiquitously in the dojo, it is that which underpins the fabric of standard and identity for all schools and styles of martial arts. Undertaken by many with honesty and sincerity but for others, just a fait accompli as part of the student retention journey and friendship obligation. Shoukyu Shinsa – This is for Kyu grading and means…

Uke

Uke (To receive/ to respond correctly to an attack/ defense/ parrying or blocking) Translated it means to receive but in simple terms, defense, parrying or blocking. The technique is undertaken differently for many styles. The thinking of just one way in approach is both dangerous and short sighted. Along with the multitude of styles the way of defending is for many subtle in execution and…

Shuriken Jutsu

  With the advent of gradually exposing the techniques needed to throw weapons it is around Sandan that the introduction of Shuriken is explored with students. This is necessary to compliment the need to throw Sai (Kojo no Sai) and Rochin (Kanigawa Tinbe) in kata and in kumite. The style of Shuriken taught in the syllabus is Shingetsu Ryu Shuriken Jutsu, which was passed down…

The Code of Training (The way of Bujutsu)

  Always train every day This can be as little as 20 minutes a day but you will still find benefit and keep balance between mind and body. This always facilitates a deep understanding of the three components, kihon, kata and kumite. “In calligraphy it is progress when the paper, brush and ink are in harmony.  Yet they are so wont to be disjointed!”   Train…

Dojo and Dojo Etiquette

The Dojo literally translated means “the place of training for the way of martial arts”. “Do”, meaning the path or way and “Jo”, meaning the place. This translation shows the importance of the Dojo and the reverence paid to it in Japan and serious schools of study. Unfortunately the use of sports halls and rented places in the west has devalued the sacredness of the…

Michi – “Do”

  Many have seen these words used in martial arts and would attest to understanding the difference and when to use them.  In reality this is not the case and they are so often used out of context or misunderstood. Whilst living in Japan I was exposed to both daily and realised there was a difference quite quickly in normal life.  It was not initially…

Kangeiko

Quite literally this means cold training and is more synonymous in Japan with the first lesson in the New Year rather than the literal meaning of austere training outside in the cold. Its purpose is to set the agenda for the year and once again bond the student to the teacher whereby the student is ostensibly asking for the teacher’s tuition and commitment for the…

Chikara

Translated as power this is what all seek and train for in both mental and physical dimensions. There are many ways to define and many proverbs both in the West and East that point the way in this pursuit. A well-known Japanese proverb is “Keizoku wa chikara nari ”, to Continue is power. For many the mental side is forgotten or taken for granted but…

The Ways of “Three” in Budo

  In my time spent on the path of training and study it has become increasingly evident that the relationship to approach and numbers in the Japanese ways of martial arts is very much bound by the denominator of 3. I have listed below some examples relevant to the practitioner, which are not complete or the span of extensive usage but act as examples to…