The Way Is In The Training..
The Way Is In The Training..
Violence is bigger than all of us. Just as we will never understand people fully, we can never understand a subject as convoluted and complex as violence.
Unless you’ve been exposed to a lot of violence, your training will be subjective. Most people’s idea of violence is one based off their own interpretation of what they learn in the dojo, see in the ring, or watch in a movie. In rare cases it comes from personal experience working as a police officer or prison guard. But how many of us deal with violent offenders daily?
Many practitioners are not able to separate reality from the stuff they see in the movies. And this is a problem if we are teaching others the same. We often use assumption, reason, tradition, and recreation as a way of training for real world violence.
Violence is ultimately about conflict. Conflict comes in many forms:
These are all different situations and all require different psychological, tactical, and physical skills. Yet they are all lumped into the subject of violence and self-defence. The only real experts are in fact the criminals who perpetrate violence onto others regularly and without conscience – the predators.
Do You Teach Self Defence?
The million dollar question is how do we train for something that is so hard to define?
Martial artists try to do it all. Self-discovery and enlightenment, physical fitness, street fighting, ring fighting, and self-defence. We try to be all things to all people. We even throw in military and combat training for good measure to macho it up. Whilst all these aspects can all be connected in some way, they are not interchangeable.
Training in a martial art is not necessarily training for self-defence. Training for a ring sport or mat sport is not training for self-defence either. And training for combat is also not self-defence unless you walk around with an automatic weapon in tactical gear on the street day to day.
Whilst all of these domains most certainly have practical applications that can be useful in self-defence training, they are not, in essence, self-defence training. Yet when someone rings up a martial arts school and asks, “Do you teach self-defence?” the answer is always yes. And that irks me. The dollar has become more important than integrity and our moral and social responsibilities.
If you look at the roots of most traditional martial arts and how they still train, it has little to do with dealing with modern day violence and assaults. If we take an amazing traditional art like ninjitsu and look at its origins and its reason for practice – assassination by stealth – then I think we can safely say many people are going to question its modern day self defence applications.
I love the traditional arts. They are amazing and how I got started. I don’t think one style or system is better than another. But I think the problem lies in practitioners being delusional about what it is they are training for. While carrying a ninjato, climbing trees, and disappearing into puffs of smoke might humourously be considered useful strategies to avoid conflict, they probably don’t have practical application for modern day self-defence in 2015.
My experience in learning technique in many systems is often like this: Attacker assaults defender. Defender does technique X. The technique is successful. Finish. And it woefully attempts to replicate real world violence. When you think about effective self-defence training, does waiting for ideal circumstances to perform technique X seem like a great strategy?
In many real life situations, unless we are assaulted by surprise there is both a pre-confrontation and pre-fight stage. So why aren’t we learning in training how to deal with the situation earlier to avoid the physical assault to begin with? It is foolish to believe that the chance of you being attacked under ideal circumstances will ever happen. Attacks don’t occur in well-lit spacious areas with soft matting and minimal contact.
Useful training needs to address how to recover from the fear, pain, and surprise of an assault as quickly as possible to survive. Stress inoculation must happen in training, otherwise we risk sending people into the wilderness with false confidence.
You may be injured and in pain before you are even aware of the conflict and what is going on around you in a real life situation. You will need to break free of the shock and surprise to beat your own fear and change instantly into the mindset of a predator from that of a victim. This needs to happen in just a few seconds in order to survive. This is no easy feat. But it needs to be trained if we are to successfully prepare people for “the wild”.
Real self-defence training then also needs to address how to avoid violence and how to not be assaulted in the first place, either through bad luck or stupidity. Training needs to be preventative and we need to spend more time learning prevention techniques. We should be looking to flee or avoid, de-escalate or negotiate; posture, stun and run; or comply depending on the context. If it has to become physical, then we must train to do so on our terms as much as possible.
Stop Being a Victim..
Waiting for a person to bring violence to you before you execute your technique isn’t a great strategy. We need to outwit, not just outfight. Non-reality based training sets you up to become a victim rather than learning to take the upper hand with initiative. There needs to be a change in mindset from one of reluctant victim to wary predator in order to shift the odds of surviving violence in your favour.
The Way Is In The Training..
The official name used to indicate more than 800 martial arts schools and styles spread across more than 13,000 islands in Indonesia is called “pencak silat”. However, this is actually a compound name consisting of two terms used in different regions. The word “pencak” and its dialectic derivatives such as “penca” (West Java) and “mancak” (Madura and Bali) is commonly used in Java, Madura and Bali, whereas the term “silat” or “silek” is used in Sumatra.
The ambition to unify all these different cultural expressions in a common terminology as part of declaring Indonesia’s unity and independence from colonial power, was first expressed in 1948 with the establishment of the Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia (Indonesian Pencak Silat Association, IPSI). However, it could only be realized in 1973 when representatives from different schools and styles finally formally agreed to the use of “pencak silat” in official discourse, albeit original terms are still widely used at the local level.
What are the origins of Pencak Silat?
It is not easy tracing the history of pencak silat because written documentation was limited and oral information was handed down from the gurus or masters. Each region in the archipelago has its own version of its origin which is largely based on oral tradition. Malay myths concur that pencak silat was originally developed by tribal groups in the archipelago through the observation of animal movements and other natural phenomena, in an effort to defend themselves from wild creatures and other environmental dangers. In the course of time, pencak silat eventually become instrumental in attaining social status when fighting among tribal groups, clans, communities and later kingdoms. Because of his/her skills a person could be feared and respected by the surrounding society, and secure prestige and political power.
Pencak silat as self-defense has always existed since human beings had to fight with each other and with wild animals in order to survive. At that time, people who were strong and skilled in fighting could attain a privileged position in society, and could become heads of clans or army commanders. In the long run, fighting techniques started to be regulated, so that a comprehensive martial art form was developed which was eventually called pencak silat. (Asikin 1975:9-10)
Subjugation happened because groups of people started to fight each other to gain control of power. In an effort to expand the conquered areas, kingdoms were created. To maintain and expand the power of these kingdoms, self-defense, with or without arms, was developed. (Liem, 1960:38-40)
When, where and how this process of systematization started nobody knows. What can be gathered from the scant information available is that pencak silat developed from the acculturation of various self-defense styles, which had developed locally under different names and with different characteristics.
Pencak Silat’s Role in History..
Pencak silat plays an important role in Indonesia’s history. Since the age of ancient Indonesian Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms like Srivijaya, Majapahit, and Kingdom of Sunda, these kingdoms used pencak silat to train their soldiers and warriors.
Archaeological evidence reveals that by the sixth century A.D. formalized combative systems were being practiced in the area of Sumatra and the Malay peninsula. Two kingdoms, the Srivijaya in Sumatra from the 7th to the 14th century and the Majapahit in Java from the 13th to 16th centuries made good use of these fighting skills and were able to extend their rule across much of what is now Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
According to tradition of Minangkabau, their Silek (Minangkabau pencak silat) can be traced to the fore father of ancient Minangkabau people, Datuk Suri Dirajo. It is said that according to old Javanese poetry, Kidung Sunda, the sentinels of the Prabu Maharaja Sunda exhibited great skill in the art of pencak silat when they escorted Princess Dyah Pitaloka to Majapahit as a potential bride for King Hayam Wuruk, and faced indignities that greatly affronted their honour. In a battle that ensued at the Bubat field (1346), the Sundanese forces fought to the last drop of blood, using special pencak silat moves and various weapons. Albeit the pencak silat styles employed in combat were different, we can still draw the conclusion that in Javanese kingdoms throughout the archipelago, pencak silat served the same function: to defend, maintain or expand territory.
Different styles of Pencak Silat..
There is no overall standard for Pencak Silat. Each style has its own particular movement patterns, specially designed techniques and tactical rationale. The richness of terms reflects a wide diversity in styles and techniques across the regions due to the fact that pencak silat has been developed by different masters who have created their own style according to their preferences and to the physical environment and social-cultural context in which they live. For example, West Java, Central Java and West Sumatra.
West Java is inhabited by a specific ethnic group with specific cultural and social norms. For them, pencak silat is part of their way of life or as they say, “the blood in their body”. In their language they say “penca” or “menpo” (from “maen poho’, which literally means play with trickery) to indicate their main four styles Cimande, Cikalong, Timbangan, and Cikaret and all the schools and techniques which have derived from them. The Sundanese people have always utilized penca/menpo for self-defense and recreation, and only recently have started to use it as a sport in national and regional competitions.
The bela-diri (self-defense) aspect of penca can be very dangerous. Therefore it was kept secret, especially its mystical aspect where only selected students were taught in phases. Penca as an art (penca ibing) has been a source of inspiration for traditional Sundanese dances such as Jaepongan, Ketu’tilu’, Dombret, and Cikeruhan and actually it resembles dance in its use of music instruments. These instruments, called “pencak drummers” (gendang penca), are devoted exclusively to penca performances and consist of two sets of drummers (gendang anak dan kulantir), a trumpet (tetet) and a gong. Pencak performances also use standard music rhythms such as tepak dua, tepak tilu, tepak dungdung, golempang and paleredan. Penca as art is not considered dangerous and can be openly shown to everyone. From generation to generation until today, penca performances animate wedding parties, rituals of circumcision, celebrations of the rice harvest and all kind of national festivities.
The Way Is In The Training..
Bruce Lee (Lee Hsiao Lung), was born in San Fransisco in November 1940 the son of a famous Chinese opera singer. Bruce moved to Hong Kong when he soon became a child star in the growing Eastern film industry. His first film was called The birth of Mankind, his last film which was uncompleted at the time of his death in 1973 was called Game of Death. Bruce was a loner and was constantly getting himself into fights, with this in mind he looked towards Kung Fu as a way of disciplining himself. The famous Yip Men taught Bruce his basic skills, but it was not long before he was mastering the master. Yip Men was acknowledged to be one of the greatest authorities on the subject of Wing Chun a branch of the Chinese Martial Arts. Bruce mastered this before progressing to his own style of Jeet Kune Do.
At the age of 19 Bruce left Hong Kong to study for a degree in philosophy at the University of Washington in America. It was at this time that he took on a waiter’s job and also began to teach some of his skills to students who would pay. Some of the Japanese schools in the Seattle area tried to force Bruce out, and there was many confrontations and duels fought for Bruce to remain.
He met his wife Linda at the University he was studying. His Martial Arts school flourished and he soon graduated. He gained some small roles in Hollywood films – Marlowe- etc, and some major stars were begging to be students of the Little Dragon. James Coburn, Steve McQueen and Lee Marvin to name but a few. He regularly gave displays at exhibitions, and it was during one of these exhibitions that he was spotted by a producer and signed up to do The Green Hornet series. The series was quite successful in the States – but was a huge hit in Hong Kong. Bruce visited Hong Kong in 1968 and he was overwhelmed by the attention he received from the people he had left.
He once said on a radio program if the price was right he would do a movie for the Chinese audiences. He returned to the States and completed some episodes of Longstreet. He began writing his book on Jeet Kune Do at roughly the same time.
Back in Hong Kong producers were desperate to sign Bruce for a Martial Arts film, and it was Raymond Chow the head of Golden Harvest who produced The Big Boss. The rest as they say is history.
The Way Is In The Training..
Imi Lichtenfeld, Israeli Grand-master (1910-1998). He started it in the late 1940’s when serving as Chief Instructor of the IDF for hand-to-hand combat.
As a young man growing up in Bratislava, Slovakia, Lichtenfeld was a champion heavy weight boxer, a top-level wrestler and an expert in judo / ju-jitsu. His father was a police officer who was in charge of teaching defensive tactics. Lichtenfeld grew up in an environment where combative sports, law enforcement and ferocious street fights played equal rolls. He took part in numerous street fights defending the Jewish quarter against local fascists and Nazis before and during the first phase of World War II.
Lichtenfeld immigrated to Palestine in 1942, which became Israel in 1948. Due to the political situation, Israel was immediately at war with its neighbours and did not have the luxury of having months of training soldiers in the boot camps. Because of this, the Israeli military needed an effective hand-to-hand combat system that could be learned very quickly, was easy to retain, and was very effective. Hence, the birth of Krav Maga in Israel. Beginning with Israeli Special Forces units, Krav Maga became the official combative training for all military personnel, Israeli police, and security forces.
Since then it has been studied, tested, improved and developed extensively. Krav Maga techniques are now applied in areas such as law enforcement, elite military units, VIP protection and civilian self-defense programs for men, women and children.
Krav Maga, Hebrew for “contact combat”, is the official self-defense and hand-to-hand combat system of Israel. Krav Maga is a very practical style of self-defense and is used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to train soldiers and civilians to become efficient in a short amount of time.
Krav Maga is an aggressive, anti-terrorist survival system without rules. It deals with personal safety issues in the context of defending against both armed and unarmed attackers with only one objective: to eliminate the threat in the fastest way possible. This Israeli system emerged in an environment where extreme violence was common and has been continually refined and developed in light of actual modern combat and self-defense experiences.
Krav Maga has received international recognition for its unique ability to train self defense techniques to civilians, military personnel and law enforcement alike.
Krav Maga has a survival based mentality and street survival tactics that include a hybrid of mixed martial arts techniques also utilized in boxing, karate, judo, ju-jitsu, muay thai. However, Krav Maga is one of the few fighting styles which adapts to the student rather than expecting the student to adapt to it. Krav Maga teaches students to build on their natural reflexes and to use whatever techniques necessary to defend themselves. It brings the students to a high level of skill in a relatively short period of time.
The Way Is In The Training..
By Tim Larkin.
Myth #1 You Should Reason With Your Attacker..
You’ve probably never pulled out a knife and demanded someone’s watch. That’s a good thing, of course, but it illustrates a vital point: Someone who would do such a thing doesn’t think like you. Deep down, you probably believe there’s a way to resolve a problem without anyone getting hurt. Attackers aren’t playing by the same societal rules you are, so you can’t react as if they are. All you can ever really do is level the playing field.
Myth #2 If You’re Attacked, Scream For Help..
You don’t have time to wait for a hero. During a truly violent encounter, you have about five seconds to act, and the safest self-defense technique to take in a violent encounter is to cause an injury. Mistakes usually come from some hesitation: pausing to see how things are going, lacking the will to really kick a man, or jumping around in a fighting stance. These are opportunities for him to recover and hurt you. The reverse is also true—if your attacker hesitates or makes a mistake, it gives you a critical moment that you must use to survive.
Myth #3 You Need To Cause Pain..
In order to be 100 percent effective, we have to discard the notion of pain as a useful tool in violence. You don’t want to “hurt” him; you need to injure him. Anything you do in a violent, life-threatening situation that does not cause an injury is worthless to you.
Myth #4 Being Fit Can Save Your Life..
No matter how fit or strong you are, the best way to hone your self-protection skills is to focus on targeting key points of the body. After that, improving your fitness level can increase the force you deliver to the targets.
Myth #5 You Need Technical Self-Defense Skills..
Technique without injury is only a cool trick, and injury, regardless of how it occurred (with technique or by accident), will always be more effective. It’s not important how the injury happens, only that it happens. His ribs don’t know if they were broken by a boot, a stick, or a curb; they just know they’re broken. All you need is force and a target.
Myth #6 Women Who Survive Are Fearless..
The first effect in any violent situation is emotion, and the most common one is fear. When a man steps in front of you holding a knife, your adrenaline starts pumping and your heart beats faster. These are reactions that can’t be avoided—nor should they be. It’s the fight-or-flight survival instinct that allows you to focus on beating your enemy or getting the hell out of there.
Many people fear they will freeze up or act irrationally. When you know how to respond, you’ll still feel a certain amount of fear that you could be hurt, or that you’re about to cause harm to another human being, but that will be tempered with confidence.
Myth #7 Focus On Blocking His Attacks..
Many self-protection classes teach you to react to an attacker’s actions. This defensive thinking can make you hesitate (“What is he going to do to me?”), lose focus (waiting to get hurt makes most people freeze), and ultimately be one step behind the attacker. In a threatening situation, don’t worry about what he’s doing; make him worry about what you’re doing.
Myth #8 Try To Back Away From Your Attacker..
In life-threatening conflict, if you’re not injuring someone, you’re getting injured. Backing up or attempting to counter his “technique” with another technique (as is typically taught in self-defense classes) only gets you in more trouble: Your body is a lot better at going forward than it is at going backward; for every two feet you move backward, he can move forward three feet.
Myth #9 Hit As Often And As QuicklyAs Possible..
Punching and kicking are akin to slapping an attacker around. If you’re in danger, you need to throw all your weight into a single target, or “strike.” Imagine you’re facing a giant predator and you have a big sack full of rocks. Throw a single rock and “ouch!” is the only reaction you’re likely to get. But swing the entire sack at him, hitting him in the head, and he’ll be out cold. That’s the difference between punching and striking.
The Way Is In The Training..
Here Are A Couple Of Videos That Prove This Saying. Please Enjoy And Be Amazed.
The Way Is In The Training..
Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born in Japan on December 14, 1883. As a boy, he often saw local thugs beat up his father for political reasons. He set out to make himself strong so that he could take revenge. He devoted himself to hard physical conditioning and eventually to the practice of martial arts, receiving certificates of mastery in several styles of jujitsu, fencing, and spear fighting. In spite of his impressive physical and martial capabilities, however, he felt very dissatisfied. He began delving into religions in hopes of finding a deeper significance to life, all the while continuing to pursue his studies of budo, or the martial arts. By combining his martial training with his religious and political ideologies, he created the modern martial art of Aikido. Ueshiba decided on the name “Aikido” in 1942 (before that he called his martial art “aikibudo” and “aikinomichi”).
On the technical side, Aikido is rooted in several styles of jujitsu (from which modern judo is also derived), in particular daitoryu-(aiki)jujitsu, as well as sword and spear fighting arts. Oversimplifying somewhat, we may say that Aikido takes the joint locks and throws from jujitsu and combines them with the body movements of sword and spear fighting. However, we must also realize that many Aikido techniques are the result of Master Ueshiba’s own innovation.
On the religious side, Ueshiba was a devotee of one of Japan’s so-called “new religions,” Omotokyo. Omotokyo was (and is) part neo-shintoism, and part socio-political idealism. One goal of omotokyo has been the unification of all humanity in a single “heavenly kingdom on earth” where all religions would be united under the banner of omotokyo. It is impossible sufficiently to understand many of O Sensei’s writings and sayings without keeping the influence of Omotokyo firmly in mind.
Despite what many people think or claim, there is no unified philosophy of Aikido. What there is, instead, is a disorganized and only partially coherent collection of religious, ethical, and metaphysical beliefs which are only more or less shared by Aikidoists, and which are either transmitted by word of mouth or found in scattered publications about Aikido.
Some examples: “Aikido is not a way to fight with or defeat enemies; it is a way to reconcile the world and make all human beings one family.” “The essence of Aikido is the cultivation of ki [a vital force, internal power, mental/spiritual energy].” “The secret of Aikido is to become one with the universe.” “Aikido is primarily a way to achieve physical and psychological self- mastery.” “The body is the concrete unification of the physical and spiritual created by the universe.” And so forth. At the core of almost all philosophical interpretations of Aikido, however, we may identify at least two fundamental threads: (1) A commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict whenever possible. (2) A commitment to self-improvement through Aikido training.
Aikido was first brought to the rest of the world in 1951 by Minoru Mochizuki with a visit to France where he introduced aikido techniques to judo students. He was followed by Tadashi Abe in 1952 who came as the official Aikikai Hombu representative, remaining in France for seven years. Kenji Tomiki toured with a delegation of various martial arts through fifteen continental states of the United States in 1953. Later in that year, Koichi Tohei was sent by Aikikai Hombu to Hawaii, for a full year, where he set up several dojo. This was followed up by several further visits and is considered the formal introduction of aikido to the United States. The United Kingdom followed in 1955; Italy in 1964; Germany and Australia in 1965. Designated “Official Delegate for Europe and Africa” by Morihei Ueshiba, Masamichi Noro arrived in France in September 1961.
Aikido makes use of body movement (tai sabaki) to blend with uke. For example, an “entering” (irimi) technique consists of movements inward towards uke, while a “turning” (tenkan) technique uses a pivoting motion. Additionally, an “inside” (uchi) technique takes place in front of uke, whereas an “outside” (soto?) technique takes place to his side; a “front” (omote?) technique is applied with motion to the front of uke, and a “rear” (ura) version is applied with motion towards the rear of uke, usually by incorporating a turning or pivoting motion. Finally, most techniques can be performed while in a seated posture (seiza). Techniques where both uke and nage are sitting are called suwari-waza, and techniques performed with uke standing and nage sitting are called hanmi handachi.
Thus, from fewer than twenty basic techniques, there are thousands of possible implementations. For instance, ikkyō can be applied to an opponent moving forward with a strike (perhaps with an ura type of movement to redirect the incoming force), or to an opponent who has already struck and is now moving back to reestablish distance (perhaps an omote-waza version). Specific aikido kata are typically referred to with the formula “attack-technique(-modifier)”. For instance, katate-dori ikkyō refers to any ikkyō technique executed when uke is holding one wrist. This could be further specified as katate-dori ikkyō omote, referring to any forward-moving ikkyō technique from that grab.
Atemi are strikes (or feints) employed during an aikido technique. Some view atemi as attacks against “vital points” meant to cause damage in and of themselves. For instance, Gōzō Shioda described using atemi in a brawl to quickly down a gang’s leader. Others consider atemi, especially to the face, to be methods of distraction meant to enable other techniques. A strike, whether or not it is blocked, can startle the target and break his or her concentration. The target may also become unbalanced in attempting to avoid the blow, for example by jerking the head back, which may allow for an easier throw. Many sayings about atemi are attributed to Morihei Ueshiba, who considered them an essential element of technique.
The way Is In The Training..
Who Is This Guy??
Judo had its origin in the ancient Japanese art of jujutsu, a system of hand-to-hand combat. The bushi of feudal Japan (samurai) are usually credited for developing jujutsu (at their time the art was known as Yoroi kumi-uchi, a grappling method for fighters fully clad in Japanese armor). However, the Nihon Shoki (the Chronicle of the Japanese nation) documents public unarmed competitions (hikara-kurabe) dating back to 230 B.C.
Jujutsu has been known by several names throughout Japanese history: taijutsu, yawara, kempo, kugusoku, kumiuchi, koshinomawan. What is unique to the art is that one did not use brute strength to overpower an opponent, but rather skill, finesse and flexibility. Economy of energy, balance, and grace were the outstanding hallmarks of the good jujutsu practitioner. Unlike the Western hand-to-hand fighter, the jujutsu fighter was expected to be soft and pliable, winning by appearing to yield.
In classical form, during the feudal period, jujutsu was part of the bushi training, along with archery, spearfighting, swordsmanship, horsemanship, maneuvering, and etiquette. Its importance grew with the rise of the bushi class after the late Heian period. Throughout subsequent periods of Japanese history (Kamakura, 1185-1336; Muromachi, 1336-1573 into the Tokugawa period, 1603-1868) the art became more diversified and specialized, being taught in schools (ryus). Ryus organized around different aspects of the art, perpetuating their founders’ vision.
The schools differed in emphasis and strategy. Some specialized in throwing (nage), others in groundwork (osae, shime, kansetsu), and others in striking (atemi). In matters of strategy, some schools valued taking the initiative in combat while others preferred timely reaction to an opponent’s aggression. Those that followed the principles of swordsmanship insisted on sudden, total attack. Others preferred to neutralize the opponent’s attack once it was in motion.
Given the constant state of war in Japanese feudal history, ryus tested their vision of jujutsu on the battlefield, where the premium was on survival. The three hundred years of peace that followed the Japanese civil wars led to a change in the nature of the art. Under the harsh Tokugawa martial codes combats between bushi became rarer and heavy warfare far less frequent. On the other hand, unarmed combat became more common. The rise of the common citizen at the end of the period required that jujutsu techniques be adapted to the needs of everyday life.
At that time, several ryus lost their insistence on ceremonial or ritual posturing in favor of a more practical approach to hand-to-hand combat. By the end of the Tokugawa period, the ancient martial arts of Japan (Bujutsu) created for the warrior class began to lose importance as the martial ways (Budo) created for the commoner gained ascendancy. Budo was not simply a collection of fighting techniques but also a spiritual discipline, a way of life.
During the Meiji Restoration after 1868, the transition from Bujutsu to Budo was completed. Several branches of the martial arts changed names and orientation entirely. Kyujutsu became Kyudo, iai-jutsu became iaido, aiki-jutsu became aikido, and jujutsu became Judo. There was a shift from warfare techniques to everyday life principles, with the spiritual side of the arts being more emphasized. Schools now passed their tradition to students in the form of techniques, philosophy and codes of ethics. Students were expected to be fully versed on hand-to-hand combat, but also to embody the philosophy of the ryu’s founders.
Dr. Jigoro Kano, founder of modern Judo, was born in the town of Mikage in the Hyogo Prefecture, on October 28, 1860. Shihan Kano never viewed the martial arts as a means to display physical prowess or superiority. As a pacifist, he studied them to find a way to live in peace with other human beings. In his youth Kano studied Jujutsu under a number of different masters. Sensei Teinosuke Yagi was his first teacher, but at the age of 18 he entered the dojo of Tenshin-Shinyo Sensei Hachinosuke Fukuda. Upon graduation from Tokyo University, he studied the Kito tradition under Sensei Iikubo. By his mid-twenties, Shihan Kano had been initiated into the secret teachings of both ryus.
Kano’s search for a unifying principle for the techniques he learned led him to the first principle of Judo–Seiryoku Zenyo (maximum efficiency in mental and physical energy). To him, only techniques that kept practitioners from spending much physical and mental energy should be incorporated into the system. One should use the energy of one’s opponent to defeat his or her aggression. He called the resulting body of knowledge Judo. To propagate his art Kano founded the Kodokan (the “school to learn the way”) at the Eishoji Temple in 1882.
Kano built his system around three major sets of techniques: throwing (nage waza), groundwork (katame waza) and striking (atemi waza). The throwing techniques, drawn from the Kito ryu, were further divided into standing (tachi waza) and sacrifice (sutemi waza) techniques. Standing techniques included hand (te waza), hip (koshi waza) and foot (ashi waza) throws. Sacrifice techniques include full sacrifice (ma sutemi waza) and side sacrifice (yoko sutemi waza) throws.
Kano’s groundwork and striking techniques were drawn more heavily from the martially oriented Tenshin-Shinyo ryu. Groundwork is organized into holds (osaekomi waza), strangulations (shime waza) and joint locks (kansetsu waza). While Kano taught groundholds earlier to his students, the secrets of shime and kansetsu waza were saved for those who had attained a higher ranking in the art. High ranking students were also expected to know the art of resuscitation (kappo), so as to conduct their training in a safe and responsible manner.
Judo’s striking techniques included upper (ude ate) and lower limb blows (ashi ate). Among the striking techniques were those utilizing fists, elbows, hand-edges, fingers, knees and feet as striking points. Because of its lethal nature, Atemi waza was also taught exclusively to high ranking Judokas at the Kodokan.
Judo was taught in a well-structured process. Standing techniques were organized into five sets ranking from less strenuous or technically difficult to more advanced (the Gokyo no Waza). Ground and striking techniques were organized in sets also. The sets were introduced slowly as Judokas became more proficient in the art. Students were divided into mudansha (color belt level) and yudansha (black belt level). Mudansha students were ranked into five classes (kyus) while yudansha were ranked into ten degrees (dans). Ranks indicated the student’s level of expertise in the art as different techniques were introduced at each new rank.
To complete the transition from jutsu (martial art) to Do (way of life), Kano added a strict code of ethics and a humanitarian philosophy to his newly created system. Kodokan instructors and students were expected from the beginning to be outstanding examples of good character and honest conduct. Any hand-to-hand combat outside of the dojo, public demonstrations for profit, or any behavior that might bring shame to the school could lead to suspension or expulsion from the Kodokan.
Kano’s ultimate concern for the well-being of the whole individual and of the community is reflected in his teaching methods and in Judo’s second guiding principle. Kano utilized four teaching methods in his dojo: randori (free practice of all Judo technique), kata (pre-arranged forms, considered the more technical rituals of the art), ko (his systematic lecturing), and mondo (periods of question and answer).
The debates between Shihan Kano and his disciples led him to the second principle of Judo, Jita Kyoei (the principle of mutual benefit and prosperity). Kano believed that the diligent practice of Judo would lead to the realization that one could not progress at the expense of others, that in mutual prosperity lied the key to any real progress in human life. He was so taken with the principle that he regarded its diffusion, through the practice of Judo, as his greatest mission in life.
Most of Judo’s development took place around the turn of the century. In 1889 Kano traveled to Europe and America to promote his martial art. He would make as many as eight trips to other continents to propagate Judo before his untimely death at sea, on May 4, 1938.
The technical aspects of Judo came into full maturity in 1900 with the founding of the Kodokan Yudanshakai (association of black belt holders). On July 24, 1905 eighteen masters representing the leading Japanese Jujutsu ryus gathered at the Butokukai in Kyoto to join Kano’s system. Kano’s work had triumphed over Jujutsu in Japan, replacing the Tokugawa period aggressive martial arts with the more sophisticated way of life he had envisioned. The final touches were added in 1909 when the Kodokan became a foundation and in 1920 with the revision of the throwing techniques called the Gokyo no Waza. The art’s intellectual and moral philosophy came into full being by 1922 with the foundation of the Kodokan Cultural Judo Society.
Between 1912 and 1952, when the International Judo Federation was founded, several Japanese experts immigrated to other continents, spreading Judo teachings. Sensei Gunji Koizumi, 7th Dan, went to Great Britain in 1918, founding the London Budokwai. Mikinosuke Kawaishi, 7th Dan, one of the world’s foremost experts on Judo kata, went to France in 1922. Sensei Sumiyuki Kotani, 8th Dan in 1952, trained the first team of American Air Force Judokas at the Kodokan. That team became the seed of what is now theUnited States Judo Association.
As Judo spread throughout the Western world it slowly gained the form of a sport. Its eventual popularity in World and Regional Games and inclusion in the 1964 Olympic Games led more and more to an emphasis on the physical and competitive aspects of the art, sometimes at the expense of its intellectual, moral and spiritual underpinnings. In 1982 (on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Kodokan) the Kodokan Judo throwing techniques, the Gokyo no Waza, were revised and expanded, then in 1997 the Kodokan added two additional throws.
The Way Is In The Training..
Kung Fu, an ancient sport popular in China, has a very long history, during which a variety of skills were created and massively improved. Originated from the hunting and defense needs in the primitive society (over 1.7 million years ago – 21st century BC), it at first only included some basic skills like cleaving, chopping, and stabbing. Later the system of Kung Fu formed and developed mainly as the fighting skills from the Xia Dynasty (21st – 17th century BC) to the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368), and reached its peak during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 – 1911). In modern times, it develops well and becomes not just martial skills or physical movement. It is also a way for keeping fit, entertainment, and performance.
Chinese Kung Fu started to form during the slavery society (around 11th century BC – 403 BC). Upon the foundation of the Xia Dynasty, it well developed to be more practical and standard to better serve battles. During the Shang and Zhou Dynasties (17th century BC – 256 BC), martial dance was used to train soldiers and enhance the morale of the army. The theory of Tai Chi was put forward then to lay a foundation for the early system of Chinese martial arts. Later, the vassal states in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 – 476 BC) paid much attention to the fighting skills used in the battles. Qi Huangong (716 – 643 BC), one of the state kings at that time, even held martial arts contests twice a year to select heroes.
The development of Kung Fu started during the feudal society (221 BC – 1911). After the Emperor Qin Shihuang (259 – 210 BC) unified the central plain of China, the fighting skills among the soldiers gradually developed into Guanzhong Boxing which was called Hong Fist later. Wrestling, fencing, sword dance and sword fighting were popular during the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC – 220 AD). For example, Xiang Zhuang, a famous general at that time, played sword at Hongmen Banquet with the intention to kill Liu Bang, who later became the Emperor Gaozu of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD).
In the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), at the request of Yue Fei and other patriotic generals, a large number of soldiers and common people tended to practice Kung Fu. It was at that time that Southern Fist (Nanquan) became a popular style taking Hangzhou as the practice center. The Southern Fist mainly emphasized the motions of upper limbs. The movement of elbows and knees was the assistant skills. Later, many similar groups were established to promote the integration of northern and southern martial arts.
In the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368), since Han nationality was thought of as the ragtag, Han people were forbidden to practice Kung Fu in groups, but they secretly gathered to play. It’s said that Jueyuan, the abbot of Shaolin Temple at that time, succeeded the Eighteen Arhats Fist to create the Seventy-two Fists (Huaquan). Later, he learned Li Family Fist, Baimo Fist and Choy Li Fut to further improve all the skills into One-hundred and Seventy-two Fists, including Five-Element Boxing and Eight-Diagram Boxing.
In the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), Long Fist (Changquan), Hong Fist and Kicking Legs appeared with the single and pair practice. The combination of the northern and southern styles composed the Shaolin School Boxing. Qi Jiguang, a famous patriotic general in the Ming Dynasty, compiled all the skills throughout China at that time, including Long Fist, Short Hands, Hong Fist, Bazi Fist and other skills and people called them Southern Shaolin Boxing. Later, Long Fist, Short Hands, Five Fist and Hua Fist of Shandong Province, Five Shapes Boxing and Crane Boxing of Fujian Province as well as the Hung Kuen, Wing Chun and Choy Li Fut of Guangxi and Guangdong provinces became the mainstream during that time.
In the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911), Han people were still forbidden to practice Kung Fu in groups and Southern Shaolin Temple gradually declined. The Shaolin Temple at Mt. Songshan in Henan was under strict supervision. Even the monks were not given the right to practice. However, some works on martial arts were widespread in folk circles. During the middle and end of the dynasty, the basic classification of Internal Boxing and external Boxing was formed, whilst the Northern Legs and Southern Fists became well known. After the first Sino-British Opium War in 1840, many folk martial arts groups sprung up to prevent the British army entering Guangdong. Many specific genres including the Form/Intention Boxing (Xingyiquan), Hung Kuen, Southern Shaolin Boxing, Wing Chun and Tai Chi started to be well improved. After 1864, Hung Kuen, including Hua Fist and Eight-Diagram Boxing was introduced to Jiangsu and Zhejiang areas.
During the Republic of China (1912 – 1949), Jingwu Gymnastics Club, the first non-government Kung Fu organization, was established by Huo Yuanjia and Nong Jinsun. Later it developed many branches in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries.
Nowadays, China government tends to attach more importance to traditional Chinese Kung Fu which has been compiled as content of courses. Every year many performances and contests are held to encourage civilians to learn and inherit the skills. Various groups or organizations have been founded for better advertising and developing, such as International Martial Arts Federation and Chinese Martial Arts Association. Many schools are correspondingly established to teach all kinds of skills, such as Wudang Sanfeng Martial Arts School and Songshan Shaolin Martial Arts School. Moreover, Chinese Kung Fu has come to the world stage to attract more and more foreign people to enjoy and learn.
Modern Kung Fu..
The Way Is In The Training..