Giri

A word much valued in the history of Japanese martial arts but fewer and fewer demonstrate this or know it now!  Translated as duty, righteousness, obligation or burden it is the unspoken, the unquestionable, the understanding by unbreakable ties, it weighs heavy on those that understand it.  The west looks upon the meaning more towards loyalty and in some ways this is the closest many…

Jissen

Literally translated it means “combat or actual fighting” and is a word and meaning not known by many in the ways of Bujutsu.  When broken down further “Jitsu” means reality and “Sen” means to fight or battle. Bujutsu has many translations, for example from the philosophical “to stop warfare” to the practical, “the craft or way of warfare”.  Much depends on the way of thinking…

Toshukuken & Emonojutsu

“Toshukuken” and “Emonojutsu” mean to contrast the ways of fighting.  “Toshukuken” is translated as empty hands or for simplicity, Karate.  “Emonojutsu” is the way to use everything and anything around you to defend yourself or fight.  “Emono” does not mean weapon but is used to incorporate the way of weapons as well as the way of using everything.  The word some may know is “Buki”…

Bunkai

A term that should be known by students who study Japanese martial artists, which for some is part of the training whilst for others it is of little consequence and seen as a legacy of the old ways not needed in the age of competition.  Literally translated it means “analysis or disassembly”, “Bun” means to take apart, to segment and “Kai” means to understand referring…

Shomen

For many in the west studying Japanese martial arts the term “Shomen” will be known but not fully understood in its relevance.  This is further exacerbated by the use of sports halls and church halls where the ceremonial presence is missing and the hall vacant of the cultural significance always seen in Japan.  “Shomen” is broken down and translated (Sho) as(Tada)shii in Kunyomi meaning right,…

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…