A few minor announcements

2010 sees a lot going on in the London traditional martial arts scene. Here are a few points:divulliLondon Institute of Traditional Karate (OTGKA’s Honbu Dojo) are now offering a href=”http://londonkarate.wordpress.com/karate-classes/”Saturday Karate classes/abr /br //liliSensei Linda Marchant now offers a a href=”http://www.southwestlondonkarate.co.uk/karate-classes/karate-class-schedule.php”Thursday night Irikumi session/abr /br //lilia href=”http://namyang.co.uk/index.php”Nam Yang Kung Fu/a are making Lion and Dragon Dances along with Kung Fu and Iron Shirt Chi Ging demonstrations for Chinese New Year at Trafalgar Square on the 21st Febbr /br //lilia href=”http://www.senishow.com/index.html”The Seni Show/a is set to return to Excel London on the 29th and 30th May/li/ulHopefully I’ll be back to form before long. Till then I’ll be at the back of the class. After all, i”never was a greater mistake made than by he who did nothing because he could only do a little”./i/div

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Changes to Goju Ryu in the UK

Recently announced, a separation between

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More injuries!

Flu and a bust up wrist – I suspect RSI from working too many hours – have taken me away from the dojo for a whole month. Feel lardy and heavy, despite doing weights and running at home. I need to get up and shake some flab – Karate tonight!

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Taiko Drummers at Japan Matsuri

These guys were the awesome finale to the night. Love the beats from Tokaido!br /br /object width=”400″ height=”300″param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /param name=”movie” value=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6678507amp;server=vimeo.comamp;show_title=1amp;show_byline=1amp;show_portrait=0amp;color=amp;fullscreen=1″ /embed src=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6678507amp;server=vimeo.comamp;show_title=1amp;show_byline=1amp;show_portrait=0amp;color=amp;fullscreen=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”300″/embed/objectpa href=”http://vimeo.com/6678507″Taiko Drummers at Japan Matsuri 2009/a from a href=”http://vimeo.com/minxy”Misae Richwoods/a on a href=”http://vimeo.com”Vimeo/a./p

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Japan Matsuri – Genkiko demonstration

A rare demonstration of this little known martial art that has some similarities to Tai Chi and Chi Kung.br /br /object width=”400″ height=”300″param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /param name=”movie” value=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6678214amp;server=vimeo.comamp;show_title=1amp;show_byline=1amp;show_portrait=0amp;color=amp;fullscreen=1″ /embed src=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6678214amp;server=vimeo.comamp;show_title=1amp;show_byline=1amp;show_portrait=0amp;color=amp;fullscreen=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”300″/embed/objectpa href=”http://vimeo.com/6678214″Genkiko Demonstration at Japan Matsuri/a from a href=”http://vimeo.com/minxy”Misae Richwoods/a on a href=”http://vimeo.com”Vimeo/a./p

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Aikido demonstration at Japan Matsuri festival

The a href=”http://japanmatsuri.com/”Japan /aa href=”http://japanmatsuri.com/”Matsuri/a festival took place at Spitalfields market, London on the 19th September 2009. A wide range of cultural art and activities took place all accompanied by delicious Japanese street food and happy helping of Sake.divbr //divdivAt the outside martial arts stage I was intrigued to see a demonstration by the a href=”http://www.londonaikikai.com”London /aa href=”http://www.londonaikikai.com”Aikikai/aa href=”http://www.londonaikikai.com” /aa href=”http://www.londonaikikai.com”Aikido/aa href=”http://www.londonaikikai.com” club/a. a href=”http://www.londonaikikai.com/index.php?option=com_contentamp;task=blogcategoryamp;id=23amp;Itemid=64″Sensei Davinder Singh Bath/a, a 5th Dan, led the set and I was initially impressed by the thorough warming up of the joints. With Aikido’s well known expertise in locks and throws, one would expect these guys to be rather comprehensive in building supple wrists! Certainly there were exercises I felt I may add to my Junbi Undo, or preparatory training./divdivbr //divdivAs the demostration progressed I was wowwed by their suppleness and relaxation – one cannot be flexible whilst stiff. /divdivbr //divdivIt was also interesting to note that many of the open handed movements such as strikes came from weapon training. A weapon naturally makes the need to move much more pronounced since there is no empty handed blocking of a sword! Okinawan Karate and Shaolin Kung Fu both emphasise movement and evasiveness and both have links to weapon fighting, so it was wonderful to hear that familiar term – Tai Sabaki or body moving – as being the most important part of an Aikido practitioner’s response to an attack. However, unlike Karate’s emphasis on powerful striking skills, the Aikido-ka seemed to me to be much more focussed on spatial awareness and the practice movements went beyond the type of contact commonly seen in Kung Fu “sticky hands” or Karate. It was fascinating to see them take this practice to it’s limits and I marvelled at how in tune with the flow of movement their entire body had become. There was definately something to take away from it./divdivbr //divdivNaturally the attention the style placed on balance made me look at their stances. It was interesting to see that they place both feet in a line, something very similar to the way a swordsman might stand. Striking arts like Karate tend to suggest that feet shoulder width apart enables one to attack with maximum power whilst maintaining mobility. It also means that “the gateway” or the point where the stance can be pushed relatively gently and it cannot withstand it, is in a position to 45 degrees from center. That means the stance isn’t easy to sweep, however if someone steps in, you may become vulnerable./divdivbr //divdivFeet in a line makes one wonder if an opponent with sweeping skills like a Judo-ka would present issues since it’s harder to hold one’s balance to that or a strike that pushes one at 90 degrees – possibly a strong roundhouse kick or mawashi geri. However feet in a line makes other types of evasive manouvre more easy and makes it such that one moving in one one will have to come a full 90 degrees around before the gateway becomes open – no easy task. /divdivbr //divdivI’m not sure that much sweeping is practiced in Aikido, certainly none was shown. It’s equally quite hard to envisage an armoured Samurai swinging in a roundhouse if his sword was somehow not available so possibly these considerations were of little concern when the art was formulated and in no way dampened my admiration of what I saw as a fine display of skill. It’s simply the way they do things. All martial arts have things that are their greatest strength and all have the areas that are most difficult for them to compete upon. /divdivbr //divdivMy personal opinion is that it is a fool who disregards a martial art for it’s weaknesses. I watched their display eagerly because their strengths in evasive footwork and redirecting an opponents energy were phenomenal and something I would love to take into my own study. The grace and elegance with which they move is testiment to their mastery of technique for this isn’t the type of art that requires the outer aggression of kickboxing nor the sweat of the grappler; the spitefulness of some of the retaliatory techniques is often hidden by it’s outer form. I don’t think I’d be able to type this today if I’d been exposed to half the wrist locks Sensei Bath put his students through!/divdivbr //divdivSo, without further chat from me, here’s a thanks to Sensei Bath and his students displaying some excellent Aikido skills in this video below:/divdivbr //divbr /object width=”400″ height=”300″param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /param name=”movie” value=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6670087amp;server=vimeo.comamp;show_title=1amp;show_byline=1amp;show_portrait=0amp;color=amp;fullscreen=1″ /embed src=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=6670087amp;server=vimeo.comamp;show_title=1amp;show_byline=1amp;show_portrait=0amp;color=amp;fullscreen=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”300″/embed/objectpa href=”http://vimeo.com/6670087″Aikido Demonstration at Japan Matsuri 2009/a from a href=”http://vimeo.com/minxy”Misae Richwoods/a on a href=”http://vimeo.com”Vimeo/a./p

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S#!$ happens…

div style=”text-align: left;”One week after coming back from my broken foot, guess what?/divdivbr //divdivimg src=”http://www.londonfist.com/uploaded_images/img273-755420.jpg” style=”display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;” border=”0″ alt=”" //divdiv style=”text-align: center;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: left;”I dislocate a knee cap and get myself onto crutches. Twice. /divdiv style=”text-align: left;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: left;”I get back after that and rip the ligaments in my left foot./divdiv style=”text-align: left;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: left;”I’m starting to feel bad luck!/divdiv style=”text-align: left;”br //divdiv style=”text-align: left;”On the otherhand I’m starting to get good with just arms. Bring it on! I’m back in training and hoping to start getting around some dojos again soon./div

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It’s been a while

Just a quick update to say after getting my foot fractured and dislocated in November, not realising (thought it was just a nasty bruise) and then having it stamped upon three weeks later, I took a little time off to recoup. Only to come back and dislocate my knee. Sorry for the lack of posting guys, I’ll try to get back to things once I’m off the crutches. In the meantime, it’s back to practicing biting technique – well there’s no running away is there?!

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Poland Gasshuku with Master Morio Higaonna

br /

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Tuesday Prep

Basics with Lindabr /

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