"I have committed the worst sin you can commit. I have not been happy. " Jorge Luis Borges
n this life, sooner or later, we all reach our level of inefficiency. And not just once! Nobody knows about everything but even if such a thing were possible, the instrument that governs this weapon, the mind, always looks at things through the color of the glasses it wears. Ancient sages say that we are bubbles of energy, autonomous powers, accumulators of forces and stresses interacting with the environment. Being invested with loads, information reaching us passes through the prism of the layers that make our bubble and, before leaving, meets the same distorting barrier. If in the receipt and issue of the information we can find polarizations and mutations in the nature thereof, most of that change happens, for better and for worse, through the processing, since we all perform this task according to our personal nature and pre-learned patterns. We see an apple and we know what it is, because we have already tested it. The system automatically fills our mouth with saliva because it reminds positive information... even if at the end the apple proves to be acid ... It is the simple metaphor of our inability to deal with things in complete control... We do our best! And this is no small thing in a crazy world, so far away from the simplicity of the biological, from the natural order, while we live our lives inserted into societies and formulas so far from our original nature and under immense pressure like man had never lived before. Complex processes are based on countless simple subroutines. We can intervene in the analysis of those complex processes with awareness applying to it our judgment and understanding, but most of the job works "automatically", based on small things we take for granted. If it were not so, we'd be forced to process everything which would cause us an infinite wear. The negative side of the control is the fantasy of omnipotence. This always generates frustration and ultimately, if we don't amend our claims, depression. The positive side of this process is disappointment, the threshold of wisdom; like bulls in the "ring" of life, we charge against "red rags" (*) only to find out that thereâ€™s nothing behind each one of them. As long as disappointment is natural and positive, it allows us to mature, drop ballast, grow spiritually; when it's extremely pretentious, it acts like a steamroller which destroys everything, be it positive... be it negative. The mind is a wonderful tool, but it was not built to have complete control of everything; such a feat is impossible. Lucidity is a rare treasure, but always limited by the nature, apprenticeship and momentary willingness of the torch bearer.
(*) Note benne (also called "deceits" in bullfighting language)
"Duck limbs are short, but if you try to extend them, it will be painful. Crane legs are long, but if you shorten them, it will also cause pain. So, what is naturally long need not be shortened and what is naturally short need not be extended. In this way, it will not be necessary to remove grief. Pretending to regulate everything is violating nature." Zhuangzi
Like in archery, we must aim the sky to hit the target, but every arrow coming out of our bow will be affected by the force of gravity, wind and thousands of other factors. Hitting always the target in life is impossible, don't torture yourselves for it. It's not only useless, but it's also negative, it dries and sweeps what it touches, letting us see only the bad things of life, and so life, with no taste of any kind, loses the essential oil that makes it a possible mechanism of evolution, transformation and change. Lucidity is an attempt, not a continuous and unfading state. It is the aiming of the bow; voluntarily upward ... yes, but aware that at that time it's likely that we lose sight of the target. So there is in all this an act of abandonment, a leap into the void, an act of faith, in the hope that the arrow reaches the target. Those who want to control everything are not lucid, because they ignore the factor of their selfhood and end up interpreting everything the wrong way, severing in their own claim the jugular artery of what is true. Such pretention is nothing but arrogance camouflaged behind an attempt; lucidity however, requires humility, it counts on its own ineffectiveness, with its own and inevitable mistake and therefore it blames no one. Compassion, like true charity, begins with oneself. Defects that make us human are paradoxically what make us so effective and versatile; assuming the beauty of the imperfect, it is part of compassion for oneself. The controller, a slave in his own morass, only sees errors in his environment which he is consequently determined to transform at will. Needless to say, he becomes a dictator, a terrible prosecutor, who even in those mistakes he may recognize, he will always see the shadow of others as the ultimately responsible. Thus, regardless of how powerful his mind is, or how intelligent his analysis might be, his personal positioning will inevitably lead him to misconception. We cannot be lucid and controller at the same time. Of course, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try to establish an order in our lives! As Sun Tsu said, "he who makes many plans, has more chances of winning than the one who makes few". But it was also this same author who claimed that if there is anything better than having a good plan, is being able to change it. A strenuous effort, sustained over time, intelligent and endeavored, is great and necessary, but no one can achieve the impossible and believe that "trees can grow right up to heaven". If we do, we risk becoming sad, frustrated and unnecessarily unhappy beings. It's never too late to reverse this process, because our program is so effective that included this variable. To reinitiate the system it's necessary to return to the
beginning, to the boy who is somewhere inside, behind all those gadgets that mind placed upon him. The paradox of knowledge is that it requires oblivion, abandonment, fluidity, to become wisdom; the genuine oil that surrounds this whole process is a tempered mood, subtly spirited, cheerful as the smile of an old, because this, in its opposite, reflects much more the child we have been able to safeguard within us ... and the child's innocence, ability to wondering, surprising, nosing around... We will err, we will arrive at dead ends... And so what? It's normal! We are not perfect! Reset the program.
Alfredo Tucci is Managing Director to BUDO INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING CO. E-mail: email@example.com
Reportage Text and Pictures by:
Salvador Herráiz. Karate 7th Dan
HIS LAST YEARS AND HIS LOST GRAVE: THE MISTERY... IS IT REVEALED? Most Karate practitioners have always thought that Master Gichin Funakoshi’s grave was located in the temple Engakuji, in Kamakura. Very little people know that in Kamakura, there is just a memorial monument of the Master not his grave. So: Where is the real grave of Gichin Funakoshi? How is it? Who knows it? At the time of the 50th anniversary of his death, (Master Funakoshi died on April 26, 1957) and after a long investigation, our collaborator Salvador Herráiz has found the real place, the eternal rest place of Gichin Funakoshi. He shows it to the Black Belt Magazine readers, in an exclusive interview. Also as a tribute to this anniversary, he tells us in detail, all the events that surrounded the last years of O'Sensei. A unique ar ticle for a unique Master.
ichin Funakoshi had a very intense life, especially from his arrival to Tokyo in 1922 but it turned out to be a very unhappy one in his last days. Let’s time travel until the time in which fortune turn his back on Gichin Funakoshi. The Second World War explosion would mean a powerful blow for Japanese population. Both Karate and Funakoshi lost many friends and students. But in Funakoshi’s case misfortunes had just started. Gichin Funakoshi lived the happiness of his dream, of his Shotokan dojo largely built with economic donations collected by his friend Kichinosuke Saigo, grandson of the legendary Takamori - (someone who should be already familiar to our readers, from another article published by Black Belt Magazine)-. On July 29th 1939, the dojo Shotokan was finally inaugurated. The good friends, and excellent karate specialist, Wado Uemura and Yoshiaki Hayashi, together with Gigo Funakoshi, became the main instructor instructors at Shatockan.
Hayashi was very good and his large height was not nothing but tur ning his great skill into something spectacular. The dojo was basically made of wood and there was a small courtyard at the entrance. From that point, where there were a few makiwaras installed, it was possible to gain access both to the dojo and to the house that was in front of it. But, happiness was ending. On March 10th 1945 (many people think, it was April 29), a great attack to Tokyo took place. Starting from midnight the 280, B29 bomber that took off from Guam arrived to Tokyo dropping more than 1.600 tons of bombs that almost caused the complete devastation of the city and more than 100.000 dead people. The Shotokan Dojo and the adjacent house of Funakoshi were completely destroyed as well. The fire did not leave anything standing. The only thing that survived was the "" hanging entrance sign “Shotokan”, because it was made out of metal. The dojo was in the Zoshigaya neighborhood in northern Tokyo. Nowadays, it is impossible to guess
the exact place where the Shotokan dojo was located. Serving the cause, I have attempted it myself. After a long investigation and including the help of a whole Police Group assigned to the neighborhood police station, it has been impossible to identify the exact place. The only achievement was to mark off the area in a large way. It is about some narrow back streets, very dark at night, and next to the Mejiro artery and close to the Kishibojin pavilion. But nobody knows the exact place today. Besides it would definitely be very much changed after 60 years. Not even the oldest people in the area remember the place anymore. After the catastrophe, the Karate Master left to live with his son Yoshitaka. He left a note on the remaining part of the door, such a note had his address on (later on he will go to live with his oldest son Yoshihide). Then he traveled to Oita, in Kyusho where his wife waited him ever since she was evacuated from Okinawa, before the famous and bloody battle in which thousands of people from Okinawa perished. Among those
THE FAMILY GRAVE IN SHURI: Funakoshi’s Family Grave in Shuri, Okinawa, 1941. From left to right: Woman not identified (it might be Tsuru, Gichin’s oldest daughter, or Katsu, the first wife of Gichin’s son Yoshio), Uto (Gichin’s second daughter), Gozei (Gichin’s wife), and on the other side Gichin Funakoshi, Yoshio (Gichin’s second son), Giji (Gichin’s Uncle), Gishin (Gichin’s cousin), Shitzuku (Yoshio’s oldest daughter) in front of her we have Yoshihiko (Gichin’s nephew) and to the right end, Hatsuko (Uncle Gishin’s oldest daughter ).
Reportage dead, there were some important karate specialists. After the destruction, lessons for the few karate practitioners left who kept practicing Karate in Shotokan at the time, started to be given at the primary school Takada Dai Hachi that was closed when its students had been evacuated to rural areas. In fact, the classes never had more than 4 students. Funakoshi’s hope as far as Karate was concerned; it was placed on Yoshitaka (Gigo). Although he perfectly knew his son could not live too long. GIGO was born in 1906 and when he was 7 years old medical doctors diagnosed him tuberculosis that according to them it would not allow him to live more than 20 years, and he already was 39! Gigo was his father's first assistant from the premature death of Takeshi Shimoda, in 1934. Gigo
worked as an X rays technician for the Health Ministry at the Imperial University, although photography had always been his hobby. Thanks to his hobby, today he have many of his pictures with Egami and Hironishi, pictures that were mostly taken by him. Thanks to those pictures we can watch excellent stances as for example: manji uke. This final blockage from the kata Pinan Godan was very distinctive and it was known with this name, manji uke, "blockage in swastika", because it had a very similar look to the famous cross. Gigo, well-known in the dojo as Waka Sensei - (his father was Ro Sensei) - had a height of 155cm and a weight of 55kg. He was very good technical fighter, however he was not excessively interested in free combat, as several of his contemporaries have declared. Nei
Chu So, a Gogen Yamaguchi’s student in the Goju School won him in a very much talked defeat in an exchange between dojos. In 1945, the same year of devastation, Yoshitaka Funakoshi (Gigo) began to succumb to the illness that had been harassing him for some time then. It is not very clear if it was due to tuberculosis or leukemia, but it is certain that Yoshitaka was already hospitalized when his lungs hardly worked. Yoshitaka wanted to die at home and so it was. It happened in November 1945 in the tokiota neighborhood of Yodobashi, (barely three months after the end of the terrible war) specifically in Ochiai, in a well-known place called Green Court. Hironishi, Yoshiaki Hayashi and Wado Uemura, the first 4 Dans granted by Funakoshi attended the funeral next to the closest relatives,
Monument in memory of Gichin Funakoshi in Engakuji, Kamakura. In front and to the left, there is an engraved stone in which Nobuhide Ohama mentions all the merits of Funakoshi. Salvador Herraiz pointing at the Master’s poem, at the monument in memorty to Funakoshi in Engakuji, Kamakura.
since others could not move from Okinawa. In that moment they were his highest category people since other pioneers as Hironori Ohtsuka were already in another line. But yet another strike will shake Gichin’s soul. Gozei, his wife was a good, saver and hard-working woman that never complained about the untied dreams of Funakoshi. When she was exhausted due to hard working, Gozei used to go out to the street and practice a kata, which recovered her. Gichin married Gozei in 1888. In August of 1947 at Oita, an asthma attack would cause Gozei to die. There, a respectful funeral was held, something it was not common for people outside town. In fact, it must have been the first time that such an exception was made and it was due to the affection people from that area had for Gichin’s wife. But soon after Gichin would pick up her ashes and take them to Tokyo (in fact, they
would not never arrive to Tokyo, since they were deposited in the lost grave, we will talk about next). On his way in the train, Funakoshi who carried Gozei’s ashes received the condolences from students and friends that came closer to the stations he was passing through. Something very touching as he once recognized. After Gozei’s death, the Master lived with his oldest son Yoshihide again. Yoshihide had his house in Hayashicho, in the Koishikawa neighborhood (where Meiseijuku was, where Gichin had started to teach Karate in Tokyo). Yoshihide managed a dry cleaner during a long time, and he always accompanied his father Gichin in the Tokyo adventure. Over there he would form his family and he would have a son, Ichiro (later an Army General) and two daughters, Sanae and Kuniko. On the other hand, his brother Yoshio remained in Okinawa and he kept living there.
He married twice (with Katsu and with Eshi) and he had nothing less than four daughters and three sons. Gichin Funakoshi also had, as we know: Yoshitaka (Gigo) who married Fujiko and they had a boy called Yukio. Gichin completed his family with two daughters: Tsuru and Uto. After so many setbacks in his life, Gichin Funakoshi had few incentives, he was lacking interest in life, he became absentminded and he looked tired, sad... When today’s Master Harada from Shotokai requested Funakoshi (with Hironishi recommendation) instruction in Karate, the Master agreed to it and he started to teach him in his son's house Giei. During the lessons, Gichin spent most of the time sitting down in seiza. Funakoshi arises from his own ashes, he recovered part of his happiness and he was again friendly and fond of joking again, like he always used to be. Little by little he started participating in
1 - Gichin Funakoshi flanked by his son Giei and his grandson Ichiro (Gieiâ€™s son), during an act in Kenkojuku Dojo, on November 30, 1955. 2-Gichin Funakoshi with one of his daughters and the family of this one.
Reportage Karate activities and caring about Karate topics again. It is very interesting, the meeting held in Osaka around 1950, with Master Kenwa Mabuni (who was accompanied by his important students Ryusho Sakagami and Ken Sakio, current Emeritus Shito Kai President and 9th Dan JKF). Apparently, the reason behind the meeting had to do with Funakoshi's desire that his best pupils (Isao Obata and Masatoshi Nakayama) studied the Gojushiho and Nijushiho Katas with Mabuni. According to Ohtsuka, “Funakoshi was a great person, in addition to that, he did not drink alcohol, he did not smoke and he was not disrespectful with women. He was the type of person who never got any enemies, though he was not a good organizer. He lacked the leader's skills and in some things he needed as much help as a kid." It has always been known that Gichin Funakoshi regularly traveled by train up to Kamakura. The less known reason was that he was studying Zen in the Engakuji temple, his other passion in addition to Karate, Funakoshi was temporarily isolated from teaching Karate (until some pupils rescued him from this break) and he took shelter in Zen. Engakuji means “the complete lighting temple", which name comes from the fact from that a round mirror burdened in a stone was found during its building. On the back, an inscription was engraved in Chinese ideograms what in Japanese is pronounced as Engaku meaning "perfect achievement". It happened in year 1282 and the person in charge of his construction was the Chinese Master Wu Hsueh Tsu Yuan, known in Japanese as
Magaku Soguen. The foundation took place under the shogun Hojo Tokimune’s patronage; to commemorate the defeat of the Mongolian invasion which happened a pair of years earlier. Engakuji, the biggest out of five Great Temples is an important Zazen center from the Meiji age, and it would be later known for being the Zen teaching center of the known Master Taisen T. Suzuki. Kamakura is one of the more worshipped cities in Japan. It is said that it is the Zen capital and its numerous temples sprinkle a beautiful landscape, those temples are located among the several hills surrounding the city. During a century and a half, between the years 1192 and 1333, Kamakura was the capital of the first Shogun governing period, since Minamoto no Yoritomo decided it this way. That political capital feature along with a cultural capital feature and magnificent temples of Zen influence were built. In fact, Kamakura is see of 19 Shintoists sanctuaries and nothing less than 65 Buddhist temples. To mention a few, I will do so with the following temples: Hase dera, Myohon ji, Sugimoto dera (the oldest one in Kamakura, founded in the year 734), Koncho ji, Hochi ji, Jomyo ji, Jufuku ji (all of great importance in the Zen Buddhism), the Sanctuary Hachiman gu, Great Buddha, stately statue of more than 13 meters high. But, of course, the temple that has our biggest interest is the Engaku ji temple, located to the north of the city, where they always said that the Master Gichin Funakoshi’s grave was. The Zen Buddhism had been introduced in Japan (as we know
3-Asahisa Shugen (to the left side), Kichinosuke Saigo (centre) and Gichin Funakoshi (to the right) in the temple Engakuji, Kamakura 4 - Gichin and his exhibition group that showed Karate before the Prince of the time Hiro Hito, during his visit to Okinawa. 5- Yoshitaka Funakoshi. 6- Yoshitaka, Gichin and Yoshitaka’s wife, Fujiko. 7-Ken Sakio (current leader and Shito Kai), Kenwa Mabuni and Gichin Funakoshi, at the Osaka station. Behind, Ryusho Sakagami and Isao Obata, and though he does not appear in this photo, Masatoshi Nakayama was also present.
from China) at the end of the XII century. Its simplicity was remarkable and the Samurai Warriors from Kamakura were interested in the trend as well as the common people. The Kanto earthquake, in 1923, the same one that destroyed the metal plates for Funakoshi’s book, destroyed part of this temple, although it was not able to make it disappear, since Engaku ji still has inside its enclosure, 17 out of more than 40 secondary temples. Funakoshi was very influenced by the Zen doctrine and for its essence, the austere discipline called shugyo, and in some aspects so it was reflected in Karate. Number five, for instance, represented in several aspects of his martial art as the maintenance of the five Pinnan of Itosu, the five levels of Dan he used, etc. it came from the importance of this number in the Zen. In fact, there are five in the teaching of Buda. The five levels of maturity that easter n religions differentiate, and more specially, five levels of knowledge that Zen - (Buddhism in general) and Shinto have, they are all obvious factors that influenced Funakoshi in some of his decisions. Really, Zen Grove Buddhism has five level ranges of lighting, established by the Chinese Master Tung Shan Liang Chieh (Tozan Ryokai in Japanese). The Shingon sect, very known by its practices with fire and water (walking on hot coals and meditating under the cold waterfall), it is a Buddhist sect with five initiations. Even in the Indian origin yoga, there are five degree levels. Already when he was living in Okinawa, Funakoshi was attracted by the Zen. In the Okunoyama's
8 - Wado Uemura, Yoshiaki Hayashi and Yoshitaka Funakoshi, three big friends and the Shotokan technique specialist 9-Gichin next to Yoshitaka (who has his son Yukio on his knees). 10 - Yoshitaka Funakoshi’s funeral: At the front we can see his brother Giei (wearing glasses), his mother Gozei, his father Gichin Funakoshi, his son Yukio holding his portrait, his wife Fujiko and his sisters. Behind them, there are other relatives and friends, among whom there were his biggest friends Wado Uemura and Yoshiaki Hayashi, on the top row, second from the left, 11-Emilio Bruno and Isao Obata at the monument in memory of Funakoshi in Engakuji, in Kamakura.
Reportage Park, very close to the nowadays Okinawan Budokan, one finds the only building of the area and it is a Zen Temple. Gichin Funakoshi used to walk along that place. The influence of Zen in Funakoshi, also came from Yamaoka Tessu (18261888), who already used the expression "the wind in the pine trees” when he was in charge of teaching at the Itto Ryu school ("a sword"). For him the expression symbolized “to evade the Ki of the adversary. In Okinawa there is another Engakuji. It is the main temple of the Buddhist Rinzai sect. It was build by Sho Shin King (the Second Sho Dynasty) to honor his ancestors and especially his father, the previous Sho En King, whose mortal remains rest over there. This other homonym temple was build between 1492 and 1495. In 1933 the place was designated as a National Treasure. Then, during the Second World War, in the battle of Okinawa, a big part of the temple was destroyed. In 1968 the necessary parts were reconstructed and in 1972 the temple was designated Historical National Place by the Japanese Gover nment and it was also designated as a Cultural Good by the Okinawa Prefecture. Funakoshi also used to visit it very often. Funakoshi had been visiting the Engakuji since many years ago (happier times) but his visits increased in frequency after the disappearance of Shotokan and the deaths of Gigo and Gozei. It is even said that it would have been here, in Engakuji, where Funakoshi decided to change kanji Tode for Karate. He loved chatting with the temple’s abbot, Furukawa Gyodo. In Engakuji, Funakoshi thought over, very much about Karate do and Budo in general, finding many answers through Zen. Funakoshi managed to pacify his mind in the Engakuji Zen. In the times of big sadness, Funakoshi found quietness in this place that excited him, starting then to increase the frequency of his trips there, which they actually became daily trips.
Funakoshi kept his Zen practices in Engakuji, almost as a secret. This facet of Sensei was not much known while he was alive. It was practically discovered when a monk who was studying in the temple, revealed that Master Funakoshi usually went there every day, to sit down and to meditate. Till then, Zen seemed to be only a hobby for Funakoshi, but not a passion to which he was dedicating so much time. It was a place where Funakoshi also made some good friends among the Zen monks. On April 1st 1955 Funakoshi attended the inauguration of the first JKA dojo, at the Kataoka Center in Yotsuya. JKA was officially constituted since May 1st 1949. Shigeru Egami was very faithful to Funakoshi until the end. He was closely together with him in the Funakoshi’s last years. An incident at the Shotokan Dojo had already been forgotten: when Egami went against Funakoshi decision to grant the Black Belt to a 17-year-old young man, who was Shimizu’s son and one of first Funakoshi’s pupils in Meiseijuku. It seems to be that Gichin, somehow disturbed, was close to hit Egami. Yoshitaka stopped it by stepping between them, and he found himself being sent on the air by his own father. Gichin was a very cheerful person that hardly ever got angry or sad. That time was an exception. Shigeru Egami was in charge of personally accompanying and helping Gichin in all ways possible during Gichin’s last days. The truth is that apart from the most nearby family, nobody looked after the famous Master. In fact, when Egami’s stomach disease worsened and he even went into surgery no other high level karate specialist replaced him. What a pity! The same year, on June 21st, a great ceremony was realized to commemorate Gichin's life. It took place in the Ryogoku stadium and it gathered the mere amount of twenty thousand people. Kichinosuke Saigo and Risei Jigoro Kano’ son, realized their offerings in
the memory of Funakoshi, before more than twenty University Karate clubs and the Wado Ryu leaders (Goju and Shito) who carried out their demonstrations (as it could not be otherwise). Kanazawa and Mikami made a combat exhibition that as it is known they would repeat a little bit later in the future sports competition. Gozo Shioda, Aikido's Master also took part in the tribute. At the end of March and during
Up: Headpiece of Gichin Funakoshi’s grave.
April, 1957, Gichin was so much lacking energy; he was unable to move, dying exactly at 8:45 on April 26th, 1957. At the time of Gichin’s death, Egami was close to him, at the edge of the bed. Gichin Funakoshi's funeral was not as all lovers and fans of the art would have liked it. In the preparation of the funeral, disagreements emerged between both big groups of Funakoshi s line: the JKA and the Shotokai.
Giei thought his father did not have any representative position within the JKA; therefore he did not see why the JKA was supposed to be in charge of organizing such important act. The Shotokai organization already existed but it was immediately after the organization of the Master’s funerals when it gained greater importance. Hironishi, Egami and Yanagisawa became more important. The Shotokai
organization had been known, among other things, for never granting a grade higher than 5th Dan to respect what Funakoshi had set. Harada, Oshima and Hironishi had that grade. on the other hand, Egami was in fact 4th Dan, since he did not accept the 5thDan offered to him by the JKA, during the short period of time that he was integrated in this organization. Hironishi would last longer in JKA, but he would also give it up later.
Mochizuki, the small Buddhist temple monk, where the rests of Gichin Funakoshi truly rest.
Hironishi taught Karate in the University of Chuo, club that although it belonged to the Wado Ryu School, it had changed to Shotokan in 1940. The fact is that both groups, led by Masatoshi Nakayama in JKA on one side, and by Motonobu Hironishi Shotokai, Shigeru Egami and his pupil Yanagisawa on the other side did not think alike about the Taikyoku Katas. Even though these basic Katas are accepted nowadays and they were practiced by most Karate groups of Funakoshi, in those times, they were not accepted by the JKA that Nakayama Sensei was already leading in practice (with time they would accept it but …, it would already be late). The JKA was supported by the Universities of Keio, Takushoku and Hosei, and the Shotokai was supported by those of Seijo, Gakushuin, Noko, Chuo and Sensehu. Waseda's University was a special case, since it was between the devil and the deep blue sea by not officially supporting the funeral organization. But the university sports responsible person, Mr. Ohama supported personally the tribute. Due to his friendship with Funakoshi he took care of coordinating the tribute ceremony. Finally, the Gichin’s funeral celebrated on May 10th, it was organized by his older son Yoshihide Funakoshi and by Shigeru Egami and Motonobu Hironishi, that is to say, Funakoshi s oldest son and the Shotokai leaders. During the funeral all flags from Funakoshi School Dojos were hanging. All of them? Not really. The JKA, the Takushok University, the Keio University and the Hosei University, did not allow their flags to be present, as a protest to the Shotokai insensitivity. The latter understood such an action, as an insult and lack of respect to the memory of Master Funakoshi and his family, specially represented by his oldest son Yoshihide. Shotokai requested Nakayama Sensei and the JKA to apologize for that reason. Shortly after, a reconciliation attempt was carried out, but without much decision and condemned to fail. In fact, Nakayama went to see Hironishi to invite him to enter the JKA, but Hironishi would only consider the
proposal if Nakayama apologize with the Funakoshi family for his attitude during the funeral and on top if he accepted the Taikyoku katas as a legitimate part Funakoshi’s Karate. But Nakayama wanted to inverse the process, so to say, that Hironishi entered the JKA first and later, once inside, he gave his ideas and he made his proposals. There was not an agreement and things not only were not the same but the relationship between both groups worsened, since within the Shotokai did not forgive the JKA’s “snub” during the Master’s funeral. In fact, the club Karate leader from the powerful Chuo University, not only he did not want to join the JKA when he was asked to -(as many groups did)-, but he did not want to know anything else about this organization which he even labeled as a stupid group.. Considering Gichin Funakoshi’s way of being, conciliatory, humble and sensible…, the times immediately after his death were the most adapted to his spirit, his desires and to what he deserved. What a pity! Nevertheless, for us, karate specialist interested in the Karate’s history and philosophy, it is not just the Shariden, in the Shozokuin pavilion -(by the way absolutely beautiful)-, the most interesting thing of Engaku ji. What really interests us is the memorial of Master Gichin Funakoshi built years later in Engaku Ji. Kamakura designated as city only a few years ago, in 1939, is actually a small city compared with others, and it is about 170.000 inhabitants spread in a 40km2 surface. To be honest, I liked the city; I had never been there in my previous trips. Besides, I found out an old shop with a great deal of eastern weapons, some of them very old, some of which I brought home with me. I am not going to tell, the peripeteia, not to risk requisition from me. The monument in memory of Gichin Funakoshi was raised by the Shotokai organization, on December 1, 1968. Kenji Ogata was in charge of design and it included calligraphies by Funakoshi and Asahisa Soguen (1891-1979) the principal temple monk. One of the inscriptions is known worldwide: "Karate not sent
nashi" ("there is no first assault in Karate"). But close to this Funakoshi's precept, there is also an inscription with Gichin’s poem, the one he created during his ship trip to Tokyo for the Ochanomizu exhibition in 1922. Such poem goes as follows: “In an island, in the South Sea, an exquisite art has been transmitted. It is Karate. To my regret the art is in decadence and its transmission is in question. Who will commit himself to the huge tasks of restoring and reviving it? I must deal with this task, who else but me? I swear to do so, before the blue Sky”. Truly, it is necessary to say that there has been other very important Karate Masters in history. Probably with higher technical skills than Funakoshi, as he had admitted and made understand with certain actions (Shinken Taira, Hironori Ohtsuka, Kenwa Mabuni, etc …have also made it clear in more than one occasion). But it is equally fair to recognize that it was Funakoshi who did the most for the general knowledge and world development of our martial art, as well as he was beyond doubt who impregnated it with the philosophical aureole that should accompany it. Along with the main part of the monument in Engakuji, another engraved stone contains an inscription of Nobuhide Ohama, who speaks about the person being honored in the following terms: “Gichin Funakoshi Karate do Sensei was born on June 10th, 1870 in Shuri, Okinawa. Since he was eleven years old, he started studying To Te Jutsu under the instruction of Anko Azato and Anko Itosu. He did it diligently and in 1912 he became the Okinawan Shobukai president. In 1922 he settled down in Tokyo and he became a Karate do's professional instructor. He dedicated his entire life to the development of Karate do. He lived 88 years and he left this world on April 26th 1957. By reinterpreting the To Te Jutsu, Sensei Funakoshi developed Karate do without losing its original philosophy. As the bugei (classic martial arts) Karate looks for Mu, the lighting to purify itself and to obtain an empty thought, transforming the ”jutsu” into “do”. Through his famous words "Karate ni sente nashi" ("there is no first attack in Karate") and "Karate wa
Karate kunshi not bugei" ("The Karate is the martial art of intelligent people "), the Sensei helped us to better understand the term jutsu. In an effort to commemorate his virtue and his big contribution as pioneer to modern Karate do, we, his loyal pupils organize the Shotokai and erect this monument in Engakuji. "Kenzen Ichi" ("The fist and the Zen are the same thing, they are one thing"). Undoubtedly, the peace that here is breathed is enormous, which invites to practice a different Karate. The Asai family from Shotokan usually said that they liked staying among the trees of Kamakura. For them, the spirit Chi entered the trunks of the trees and it stayed there during the night. Nowadays, old JKA instructors usually come to an annual ceremony before the monument, in which they do Karate techniques, readings and speeches, with the attendance of invited pupils. My belief (as many others belief) is that this precinct of Kamakura was lodging the grave with the ashes of the Master Gichin Funakoshi, collapsed a few years ago. I not only learned that this monument was not actually his grave, but his real grave was not known by almost anybody and therefore visited as symbol of respect to whom -(schools opinions aside)- was the main father of the geographical Karate evolution to the main island and
then to western world. The real place of Master Gichin Funakoshi’s eternal rest was a very different one and several kilometers away. My research, very complicated in spite of Master Harada’s tracks, took me to little by little delimit the area. I remember that I even appealed to a Japan police team to explore “the suspect area”, a team which helped me as much as possible. The Yokohama Office of International Relationships also helped me out in a very valuable
“I kept searching and I finally limited options to a couple of places separated by 30 kilometers. I found out what I was looking for, I had found the exact place.”
way. Even a friend from the Embassy of Japan helped me, but in spite of his good will, his investigations were erroneous. The researches finally, took me to another very different area. The temple authorities went so far as to even confirm me, (once they verified that in fact I already knew it), that the Funakoshi Family grave was in their lands. It was only necessary to find the temple, since this area of Japan has dozens and dozens of temples, many of them are small and unknown even for the area inhabitants. I remembered that Master Fumio Demura is from Yokohama and then I asked him for help, but… in this case, it was impossible for him, as he told to me, due to the huge amount of small temples in the area. But I was not going to give up! …To correct a historical mistake about Master Funakoshi’s place of rest, a mistake that existed from the 50s. It always seemed an interesting topic to me Though as the readers know, I belong to the Wado Ryu, school to which I am technically dedicated to -(with the logical influences from other schools though, those that seem enriching for me and for my pupils)-, Master Funakoshi always has seemed to me like someone to whom, we all owe very much. He suffered very much in life and to make the Karate known was his dream, a dream that he that he fully achieved. On the other hand, we
THE REAL TOMB OF GUICHIN FUNAKOSHI: NAME
Shoto Gichin Funakoshi Gozei Esposa de Gichin Yoshihide (Giei) Hijo mayor de Gichin Fuku Esposa de Giei Ichiro Hijo de Giei Daisuke Hijo de Ichiro Akiko * Esposa de Ichiro
April 26, 1957 August 4, 1947 March 2, 1961 November 10, 1968 August 10, 1996 November 10, 1968
AGE 89 years 71 years 71 years 66 years 2 years
* Akiko, Ichiro Funakoshi's wife still lives today, but her name is already engraved on the tomb where her remains will rest when she dies, along with her husband and young son.
DESCENDANTS OF FUNAKOSHI GICHIN
should not forget that Funakoshi was one of three experts - -the first one out of them- - that taught Karate to the Wado Ryu creator, Hironori Ohtsuka. The other two were Choki Motoku and Kenwa Mabuni, that is why I have the greatest respect for the three of them (moreover all the former Karate Masters … and I have it for almost all people as well). The relationship of Gichin with each one of these Masters was different. He felt a clear respect and admiration for Mabuni (something obvious when he sent his son Yoshitaka to study with him). And he felt a technical admiration and he had a good friendship with Ohtsuka (that it was partly lessened due to the jealousy of Yoshitaka).With Motobu things were different. Although there was a discreetly correct relationship between them, Choki Motobu took a clear antipathy for Funakoshi. There were two main reasons for that; first: they both had opposite opinions regarding the free combat practice and the effectiveness of techniques; second, the fact that in September 1925, the Magazine Kingu wrote an article about Motobu street feats, and the people in charge made a mistake by putting Funakoshi’s face in some allusive drawings. I kept searching
and I finally limited options to a couple of places separated by 30 kilometers. I found out what I was looking for, I had found the exact place. One gains access to the temple by walking up a short but steep hill, after leaving a road behind, the same road that has brought us from the small town where we got off the train. To the left of the temple buildings, there is a small cemetery that goes over the hill. In front of the cemetery and in the high part opposite to some graves, there is a very beautiful bamboo forest that shows us the stems this plant is capable of developing in a short time, if it has suitable conditions. At first I wanted to find the grave by myself, but finally I needed the best possible help. I am received by the monk who takes care of the temple and the cemetery, and his wife. They are Benshu and Shokou Mochizuki. He helps me a great deal by translating me all the names engraved on the headstone, those who share the grave (most of them, close relatives of Gichin). Actually, I already knew the above mentioned names, but I let his translation to serve me as a confirmation The Mochizuki couple has a school of Buddhism in the temple he manages. They are delighted and proud to tell that one of the couple's
grandparents was a friend of Gichin. The truth is that they both fulfill us with attentions and when it is time for us to leave; they seem not to let us go. To me it is also difficult to go away from that place. The place of the grave was chosen by the great friendship that linked him to whom lies in the contiguous grave. Anyway, Gichin already had his life in Tokyo. When he first traveled to Tokyo in 1916 and later in 1922 with his dream in mind it was a trip without comeback (despite some sporadic returns). The ashes of Funakoshi had joined finally those of his wife Gozei, from whom he was separated for so many years by the geographical distance and the circumstances. Ever since, they remained together and so they still are up to day. The place is a pleasant small cemetery, within the lands of an isolated Buddhist temple. It scarcely has flowers or visits …, his mortal remains rest far away from fame, in a grave that is somehow lost, hidden, secret and private. When I was on the verge of discovering the real Funakoshi’s grave, just as in other opportunities, I had an idea going around my head, such idea was about sharing and announcing the exact place, since it might be interesting for many fans of
Karate Sensei Funakoshi. But once in the sacred place, my ideas cleared up and my heart said to me that Funakoshi was very quite there, in an isolated area of peace, far away from any unsuitable bustle and that perhaps was better not to reveal the exact place. ... If there are real interested people in visiting the place, I might give them the appropriate indications in a privately, but …, without any folklore out of place. It has always seemed to me fair to honor the great missing Masters (also I have done so, when they were in life, in case that I have known them). I have met the majority of important Karate Masters alive, in their dojos, in their houses, in their environment, but graves
can also be interesting, while being at such places, it is possible to feel the spirit of their inhabitants and to fuse with their energy, if one approaches them with the suitable sensitivity. I remember that twenty years ago, I spent a long time at the grave of Master Hironori Ohtsuka. Later other graves came along (Nakayama Masatoshi, Oyama Masutatsu, Sasakawa Ryoichi …) some that I will probably present to the readers in some other opportunity. This does not mean that I do not pay the due attention to those alive. ¨”Being polite does not mean stop being courageous”. Napoleon used to say “Sometimes, it is good to open the graves, to talk with the dead people”
Reportage I have to say that writing articles, books, etc, it is not my goal … My main goal is to research the depths and curiosities of Karate, as an interesting complement to my practice. Then, I share these researches with others, who could be interested in, but what I mentioned above is not my reason to research, but rather a later secondary consequence. I do not research to write but I do it to have the pleasure of knowing those depths. Later I share those researches for others to take advantage of them. To all readers: please allow me not to reveal the exact place where the real Sensei Funakoshi’s grave is, since it seems to be that the family wish is to avoid
turning the grave location into a much visited place. My friend Yumiko already told to me that Japanese believe that visitors are not going to appropriately respect the place of eternal rest, and that is why, they refuse to reveal certain important figures graves, perhaps, they have sometimes a reason to do so. I believe that such a problem would not exist, in view of the low interest that these topics cause among current karate specialists, included Masters and high degree Karate practitioners, but in any case, I will certainly respect this way of thinking. I want to end with a Thomas Campbell's phrase that goes like this: "To live in the hearts that we leave behind us, it is not dying ".
Engraved plate with Funakoshi’s Family names whose mortal remains rest here together. Up: Salvador Herraiz along with the real Gichin Funakoshi’s grave Below: Salvador Herraiz and the monk Mochizuki, secret guardian of Gichin Funakoshi’s remains.
ANTI AGGRESSION SELF-DEFENSE FOR WOMEN INNOVATIVE METHOD OF SELF PRO KRAV "More and more women are looking forward to learning how to defend themselves..." Is fear and panic the ferment of selfdefense? Is it a temporary and merely commercial phenomenon? Or is it the feeling of insecurity, as some closet thinkers say, what creates this fear of aggression? In other words, won't it be the horrors of society and its media parade the real cause of the gangrene of self-defense? Who holds the truth, if truth exists in this matter? Anyway, let's be very pragmatic and treat this problem more or less present among many women who are suffering from its side effects (insomnia, fear of being alone at home, going out at night or going to certain places, nausea, lack of confidence, and the list goes on...).
t's therefore a broad topic, if not a challenge, to present and make you feel like learning the Anti Aggression Self-Defense method For Women of Self Pro Krav or SPK. My intention is not that of approaching the subject from a philosophical, psychological or economic point of view, but from the realism of common assault that women can suffer. It is clear, for the sake of truth and without discrimination, that there is a marked difference between the physical attributes of men and women. Does this differentiation work against the female gender? Certainly, women are less macho and therefore they are more aware of their possibilities and their limitations. In other words, faced with the danger, women are more realistic. Moreover, when it comes to get out of a violent attack, they have fewer qualms to hit, bite or respond in the genital areas of men. Advantage or disadvantage, the question doesn't arise at the time of the assault, and any theory about it is superfluous. Let's be realistic in front of the danger of the street and the brutality of the attacks. Generally, women are not assailed in the same way as men since motivations for the aggression are often different. In most cases, the man who attacks a woman looks at his prey rather as an object of desire and lust, thinking he has enough physical superiority to
reach his goal. But women are not as weak as you might think, and they are probably more determined than men. They also have some physical benefits associated with sex that they should know how to use, if needed, to get out of a dangerous situation. All they need is a more realistic training, based on simulations, in order to prepare them to get out of a bad situation. But we must be honest and tell them that the method is not a magic recipe, there is no such thing like a definitive blow by which women can become invincible. Nothing is ever safe, even if you are an expert or a combat sports champion, because we can't predict the imponderable or control fate. Therefore, let's stay being h u m b l e , b e c a u s e escaping
without losing honor, must remain the first and last choice, and only when this is not possible, the method may prove useful. For Captain Jacques Levinet, founder of Self Pro Krav, female module, and author of a book on the method, what happens when an attack is imminent? This phase is crucial to the way forward. Proper evaluation of the situation will determine the success or failure of the practice of our method. But how can we assess a situation of stress? We must exercise our minds with a relatively simple brain exercises, asking ourselves the following questions to manage the crisis: Why? When? Where? What? How much?
Reason for the aggression Is the attacker demanding money? If there is extreme risk of losing life, it's better to yield, while trying to collect as much information as possible to describe the
Self Defense aggressor so that he can be later identified. In case of sexual assault, your honor, but never your life, will deserve that you defend yourself. Finally, in the case of gratuitous violence, the degree of danger will make you choose between acting and escaping if the risk of sequels is too big.
Moment of the aggression The scene can occur during the day, in which case the visibility will enable you to better identify the perpetrator or perpetrators (physical features, number, etc.) as well as the possible ways out. On the contrary, if it happens at night, it goes without saying that you will not be able to pick up as much information as in the first case, but the tone of voice of the attacker will be a significant element. The more or less difficult weather conditions (rain, snow, wind, heat) also play a role, for example, a stifling heat or a slippery road, especially in case of persecution. We conduct training sessions in dim light or in fatigue situation so that trainees can get used to these special circumstances.
Scenario of the aggression If the place is open (street), it may be possible, although not sure because cowardice is commonplace in these cases, to count on the immediate environment because of the shouts due to the outsourcing of the victim's inner reaction. On the other hand, if the aggression occurs in a closed environment (apartment, private place), you can only rely on your inner strength and lucidity to escape. The scene can also occur in a crowded location (neighborhood, stadium, street demonstrations) or in a risky zone (supermarket, shopping area). In these cases, we must consider the movement of the masses and the number of attackers. This situation requires more suspicion and smell, since courage is not usually characteristic of criminal fact witnesses.
Surroundings of the aggression It's necessary to get accustomed to the environment settings of the aggression. A desert place will necessarily require from you to have a broad view of 360째 to find a trivial support element (sand, water, a piece of wood, a stone, a chair ...) that could help you answering the attack. The crowd, even if they don't help you in a direct way, can protect you and take you away from the aggressor. Considering the apparent danger of assailant (or assailants), firearms or knives, is also a key element of the "How?" Finally, the emergency exits must always be your primary concern to be able to run away.
Perpetrators of the aggression The number of aggressors is crucial to position yourself if you can't run away. You must always be placed at the ends of the group to carry out a first response that facilitates your escape as soon as possible. Being able to describe the attackers is also a
main component of the female Self Pro Krav training method, very useful to later identify the perpetrator or perpetrators of the crime and begin to repair the mental and physical damage. The typical pattern of our exercises begins by determining the gender, ethnic type, apparent age, size, corpulence, color and haircut, special signs (shaved head, beard, mustache, way of walking), clothes (type, color, etc.), prescription glasses or sunglasses, voice pitch and accent, and the use of a particular slang or language. To this must be added the direction and means of escaping of the attackers. For the founder of Self Pro Krav or SPK, aggressions often begin with a brutal phase of insults or demands. An inevitable dialogue is then set. In our courses we insert this type of relationship so that women get accustomed to this problem which is structured as follows: breathing, language, lies and voice intonation.
Breathing Without a controlled breathing, there's no possible action. You don't
breathe naturally in cases of violence. Our discipline favors abdominal breathing that permits centralize inspiration in the belly area to handle stress and bring the energy to the ground. The goal is to "stick to the ground" and avail ourselves of the telluric energy, instead of breathing only through the pulmonary respiration, which causes a loss of balance and capacity of reaction.
The expert advice The way of breathing in case of aggression is: long pulmonary inspiration through the nose with your mouth closed, abdominal air lock with your mouth open, slow abdominal exhalation through the mouth during the dialogue phase, dry exhalation through the mouth in the moment of response, relaxation and resumption of pulmonary inspiration, for maximum ventilation, once the danger has gone or during flight. Training allows you gradually to reach this goal, and the results are spectacular, especially at the level of confidence. Conversely, bad breathing reduces the visual field of the victim: it's the "tunnel effect",
Self Defense well known by professionals. We no longer control the body or capture the opportunities to escape or response, we focus our mind. The result is a general immobility which annihilates any will to act. Our method greatly helps women, in general more gifted than men for changes in the respiratory rate. Bad breathing is synonymous with constricted vision, imbalance and impotence. Crisis accelerates breathing and causes panic. *** Regular seminars for women and training courses to become instructor are provided by the expert at the Jacques Levinet International Federation of Self Defense and Police Training (AJL).
*** Coaching and training online by Captain Jacques Levinet in several languages are also available on request. Mailfirstname.lastname@example.org Website - www.selfdefensepourlesfemmes.com Tel. +33467075044
Tradition and Evolution in Aikido Have you ever wonder ed about how much humanity has evolved throughout history? What would it have become of us without such development?! Would we be jumping from branch to branch or we would still remain amazed with fire? Without evolution, life simply would not exist. I pose one more question: why couldn't Aikido evolve too? Punctuated by the opinion of many '' experts '', the O-Senseiâ€™s Martial Art has always been labeled as ''traditional'', when, contrary to what is currently being said, not even Sokaku Takeda's Daito-Ryu could be considered traditional, as it evolved from very ancient Japanese Martial Arts, when these disciplines were used to survive, the same way that Ueshiba Sensei conceived them and practiced them in his better days, as ''an Art for the War.'' Text: Alfonso Longueira Aikido 8th Dan www.aikido-longueira.com Photos: ÂŠ www.budointernational.com
How great were those days when I could walk late and night down the street from my father's hand and we usually saw the famous ''sereno'', the watchman who provided that forgotten atmosphere of security and calm to all those of our generation... Today, unfortunately, we have evolved into more troubled days and it would be unwise for us to walk around at night in many of our locations. And now that we need Martial Arts more than ever, they have become ineffective! When we enter a dojo to learn a Martial Art, we don t seek to learn besides a determined way of thinking. Why should we have to strive to get into the Japanese culture, when Japanese themselves are willing to look like Europeans and Americans? In the West we live well, and we should be aware of that. In addition, both eastern and western cultures have their pros and cons, just like Aikido.
Longueira Ryu â€œIf we talk about evolution, we must necessarily refer to the effectiveness of Aikido, something that has been changing over time and not precisely toward the martial plane.â€?
Longueira Ryu The bad reputation that Aikido has earned because of these things makes people seek other Martial Arts, in the face of the inefficiency which in recent years has poisoned this beautiful Art. Of course, an Art of Peace, but in this point I'd like to remind all the ''purist'' and ''traditional'' practitioners, that, as tradition wisely say, "If you want peace, prepare the war.'' This is what I preach in my Aikido and what we all should do if we want our Martial Art to evolve properly, unlike the way it's done in Spain (although it's the same the whole world over), where they try to deny an evolution which, in my opinion, exists, but is not the correct one; today we call evolution to see a first, second or third Dan conducting a class without the guidance of any Master, who only attends his Dojo 2 or 3 times a week; not to talk about those who claim to follow one or another Master, when all they actually do is attend the annual stage or seminar of said Master, thinking they are capable enough to teach and considering themselves his delegates or disciples. And what about the rest of the year? Does their ?-sensei, wherever he is, send them his wisdom by mail? In short, Aikido is lear ned practicing, as ?-sensei said, and not sleeping as some learn. If we talk about evolution, we must necessarily refer to the effectiveness of Aikido, something that has been changing over time and not precisely toward the martial plane.
â€œIn short, Aikido is learned practicing, as? -sensei said, and not sleeping as some learn.â€?
About the effectiveness of Aikido Aikido is a very effective Martial Art for self-defense, our own and that of those around us, but for this we have to practice it in a concise form. Why practicing 40 movements when there's enough with just one? Apart from an absolute waste of time, we are prolonging our vulnerability and neglecting other potential aggressors. And not only that; we are also allowing our opponent to recover his balance so that he can attack us again. Reportedly, Aikido is a Martial Art that is used to deter the adversary. I fully agree! But in order to achieve that, we should use a strong and effective Aikido. Of course, all depends on whether we take up Aikido classes with the idea of learning a Martial Art to defend ourselves or we are just seeking some type of gymnastics. Giving priority to the simplification of techniques, the next thing that is generally practiced in Martial Arts (except in Aikido), is the use of real attacks in order to learn how to cope with 'difficult 'situations. What good is memorizing that Aikido is an art to deter the adversary, if we don't know the way an angry man, ready for anything, can attack us? So learn and practice these always giving the maximum of ourselves and remember that, if it should occur any damage, it's better that it happens in the Dojo, where you can learn what you are capable to do and correct your defects, and not in the street, where a hard blow or a weapon can make that it's the last thing you see. Be ready for any situation, any reaction of the adversary; train with hardness instead of strength, and without fear of pain, which, after all, is a hypochondriac concept. Therefore,
because efficiency is a concept somehow ''abstract'', it was the different possible viewpoints what precisely allowed the Art of ?-sensei to evolve into different styles of Aikido, in which can fit multiple personal tastes.
About the different Aikido styles Observing the development that Aikido has suffered in recent years, we realize that such evolution must be thanked, in no small part, to the great masters who were formed in the school of ?-sensei;
Longueira Ryu â€œI personally believe, unlike the Aikikai, that the rest of Aikido styles are but different versions (according to their founders) of one same Art.â€?
Aikido people who, like Ueshiba had done with the Daito-Ryu, sought for other practicing ways; or ?-senseiâ€™s students who founded their own style trying to keep Aikido like something more effective. Such is the case of Masters like Gozo Shioda or Minoru Mochizuki, who have created their own method. A fact that, in its own interest, the Aikikai has not labeled as Aikido, claiming that only the art they practice is Aikido. Of course, everyone is free to do as he pleases. Even discrediting Ueshiba's great pupils, when everyone knows that without them, Aikido would never have crossed the Japanese border. And, of course, they are also free to silence other grandmasters that fell into oblivion, because of their "heresy" -in the words of the "High Command"-, as is the case of my admired Tadashi Abe. A man, in my opinion, with the principles of a true samurai; a man who didn't hesitate to leave everything behind to follow his ideals and the concepts that his beloved master (as he use to say) had taught him, and by which he had entered the school of ?-sensei. Since everyone is free to believe and act, I personally believe, unlike the Aikikai, that the rest of Aikido styles are but different versions (according to their founders) of one same Art and that despite their technical differences, they all have things in common, such as promoting the practicing of the art (especially Aikido), lead a healthy lifestyle and resort to violence only when there's no other way out. Every style of Aikido has a spark of the mastery of each one of Ueshiba's students and shows their vision of Aikido when they first entered the Dojo of ?-sensei. Therefore, to abandon or despise these styles would be a loss of culture, a perverse fact, no matter what they say, that demonstrates that they only care for money, something unworthy of the ' Martial Art of Peace'' that its preachers trumpet. That said, I keep wondering about the reason of so much rivalry among styles. Some say that theirs is the best, others claim that what the neighbors do is not Aikido ... Why? Don't we realize that the more variety, the more possibilities to choose the style that better suits our
physical abilities, our personal tastes and preferences? Why such rivalry when genealogically we all stem from the teachings of ?-sensei? What does it matter if Koichi Tohei wanted to concentrate in the development of the 'ki' or Minoru Mochizuki was more inclined to a tougher Aikido? They all came from the same source: the school of ?-sensei. Not to mention that those who criticize are the ones who have most profited of the teachings of these Aikido visionaries, because when those who are now ''ruling'' were "nobodies" (now they feel so smug about their position), these Great Masters were... the Aikikai. We have a great deal to learn from our karateka neighbors, who have one single organization under which coexist all the Karate styles existing today, and all are promoted equally, leaving to the person who enters a Dojo for the first time the option to choose the type of Karate that he or she is looking for, with no need to impose any method in particular. Don't we realize that because of these influences,
w e c a n ' t f re e l y c h o o s e a s t y l e o f A i k i d o a n d , therefore, we will never excel in the same way that if we were in the area that we like and feel at ease? That's a choice that I've always granted my students, as well as that of participating in all possible courses of different disciplines. I'm not worried at all that the student in question decides to change his style (as long as he does it without cheating or deception); indeed, if he did, I'd give him my blessing having a drink with him to see him off and I would be humbly pleased that he was happy, since this is what all those who call themselves Masters should do. This complicity among styles is not a new magical formula I discovered, nor is something new to help promote Aikido. Complicity is something that ?-sensei himself wanted, no matter to whom this may hurt. In fact, there's a scene (pretty well known to the Yoshinkan Aikido and the Aikikai tries to forget) occurred during an exhibition of Aikido and other
disciplines in which coincided ?sensei (representing Aikido) and Gozo Shioda (for Yoshinkan Aikido), and Ueshiba, as the founder of Aikido, sat alone while Gozo Shioda sat in the place of the advanced students. Well, Regardless of the differences existing between them (so they said), ?-sensei called Gozo Shioda to sit beside him as the creator of Yoshinkan Aikido, greet him, and start the event. It seems incredible that the founder, from his humility, wanted both Aikido styles live together and we, in our arrogance, dare to deny it. "The worst blind person is the one who refuses to see" says an old Spanish proverb. Moreover, ?-sensei wanted to leave Minoru Mochizuki as his successor, instead of his son Kissomaru. Who
said that Ueshiba didn't want hardness? Let's not add our own conclusions. Without further ado on this topic, be encouraged! Don't fall in love with the practice of the first master you see; search out and seek the one that most suits you and when you find him, keep practicing also with others, learn from their vision and then turn to the Master you have chosen so that he gives you the final touch. This is what I did with Igor Correa (pupil of Minoru Mochizuki and Tadashi Abe), my mentor. If that Master doesn't allow you to do that keep searching, he is a bad Master. To bid farewell, I'd like to recommend you to train as much as possible and follow your own ideals. Don't let no man impose it to you,
be it this or that Master. Free yourselves of forms or styles, take care to investigate what you learn and don't think of promoting one or another Master. Think only of promoting Aikido in general. When you practice, remember the Grand Masters who gave everything so that today we can practice Aikido, and try to practice it with the love and courage that they did. As Minoru Mochizuki once said: ''Martial Arts of Japan are not only a Japanese heritage, but of all mankind'', so keep your spirit up in your practice, in your way, in the evolution (always on and on) ... And I hope that our practice of Aikido can gather us as a student or as a teacher (but always with humbleness) in any Dojo of the world. See you soon!
â€œWhat does it matter if Koichi Tohei wanted to concentrate in the development of the 'ki' or Minoru Mochizuki was more inclined to a tougher Aikido? They all came from the same source: the school of?sensei.â€?
Video & DVD
The DVD "Krav Maga Research and Development" comes from the will of four experts in Krav Maga and combat sports, Christian Wilmouth and Faustino Hernandez, Dan Zahdour and Jerome Lidoyne. To date, they lead several clubs and a group of twenty instructors and monitors from multiple disciplines, from Krav Maga or Boxing to the MMA, Mixed Martial Arts. This work is not intended to highlight a new method or a specific branch of Krav Maga, it simply aims to present a Krav Maga program that focuses on the importance of the "content" and share their experi
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Texto: Marco De Cesaris Fotos: ÂŠ www.budointernational.com
The use of elbows and knees are undoubtedly the bane of any fighter who faces a Thai boxer. Training to "sharpen" this weapon is a great investment in our defensiveoffensive arsenal. Despite its importance, no one had made so far a specific work with practical and concrete proposals to develop its power and find the technical correction that allows the elbow to reach its target wearfree and without exposing ourselves to our opponent. Marco De Cesaris is a columnist and frequent contributor to this magazine. It is difficult to present him without falling into the obvious and logical reiterations, but for those who still don't know him, De Cesaris is one of the few Arjan recognized and respected in Thailand. The government and the universities of that country have sought his advice and teachings on several occasions. De Cesaris has incontestably led the recovery of traditional Muay Boran and has brought it closer to the West in books, videos and courses worldwide. Just a decade ago the existence of Muay Boran was still questioned, now everyone talks about it! These things happen! ... However, in this case, the pioneer has received the due recognition and respect from the community... despite whatever some might think and whether they like it or not! Once again, De Cesaris presents a new DVD to the many passionate scholars of the Arts of Thailand. Alfredo Tucci
Elbows: the ultimate weapon
Elbows: the ultimate weapon The elbow strike is perhaps the most feared weapon by professional fighters of Martial Arts and combat sports. Many consider it a technique excessively dangerous to be applied in the sporting circuit ring, and it should only be learned for self-defense situations. But, as a matter of fact, elbow strikes are the true "trademark" of Muay Thai; in fact, Thai boxers have always learned to use their elbows effectively in combat, just as
through its constant practice they also learn to defend themselves successfully from such absolutely vicious attacks. The elbow, if used correctly, is like a razor. The pointed shape that appears when bending firmly the forearm allows you to carry out attacks that cause easy and deep cuts on the head or face of the opponent. And while for many it is its most impressive feature, actually the elbows of a Muay Thai expert can perform many other ferocious actions, both in attack and defense.
Elbow blows are trained in order to cut, to drill the bones sensitive areas (such as temples or breastbone), to break (attacking the joints or ribs), to impinge on the muscles (arms or legs) and even to attack the internal organs (kidneys and liver, to name the two most classic examples).
Also, in the defensive phase, the elbows, along with the forearms, are able to create around the Muay expert a real protective shield, very tough and hard to beat. With specific training in the Mae Mai traditional forms, the practitioner learns to cope with any type of attacks with fists, knees, legs, and even many types of grips to the neck, limbs or trunk.
A thorough study requires classifying elbows strikes depending on the trajectory of the blow, its use and the distance between the one who hits and the target. Traditionally, in the orthodox styles of ancient Muay, elbow techniques were structured into 5 categories (at this point it should be noted that many of the techniques
belonging to these five categories can also be executed in jump): • Sok Wiang Lai: in this category, the effectiveness of techniques is achieved thanks to a quick and explosive swing or cut. The energy is channeled in the shoulder and is quickly transmitted to the arm to execute the blow with the tip of the elbow. If executed properly, the effect is deep lacerations on the
face of the adversary. The most typical technique in this category is the Sok Dti or diagonal cut. • Sok Pratè: these blows intend to break into the target with the movement of the entire body. The arm is placed following a very precise typology of angles formed between the forearm and the body. After, the whole body mass is violently projected toward the
target. The most suitable elbowing example to represent this category is the medieval knight who places his spear facing the enemy, and then launches all his weight and that of his horse against him. The most emblematic technique of this group is the Sok Pung or penetrating elbow. • Sok Ti Lom: this group includes the most appropriate techniques to strike downward. In many situations, the most effective way to attack the opponent with the elbows is throwing our weapon from top to bottom, resorting to a sudden knee flexion (the execution of which is not as easy as it may seem) to increase the striking power. In some cases it may be necessary to use a part of the opponent's body as support to make a jump, gaining altitude to perform an even more devastating blow. The example used to describe the elbow strikes of this category is the Sok Sahb or crushing elbow. • Sok Soey Kum: when the distance is particularly small and the opponent is ready to grab us, the most experienced fighters keep the guard up, knees slightly bent and hit upward with their elbows, with a quick whiplash. These are the blows that are integrated into this category. Being very difficult to develop power with these movements, it is essential to learn to use the whole body in executing the elbow strikes, parting from the legs movement, pass to a push from the hips and then a rapid contraction of the back muscles, to then involve the shoulder muscles as a last link in the kinetic chain of the blow. The typical example is the Sok Gnad or vertical cut.
“Also, in the defensive phase, the elbows, along with the forearms, are able to create around the Muay expert a real protective shield, very tough and hard to beat.”
â€˘ Glab Sok Lang: The last category of elbow strikes is studied to hit backward an opponent who approaches us from the back or to throw an attack forward taking advantage of the body rotation. The rapid rotation of the hips and the intervention of the powerful muscles of the back, place in both cases the elbow strikes in this category among the most devastating weapons in the arsenal of a Muay Thai fighter. The trajectories and the angles of execution of this type of elbow strikes may vary depending on the position of the performer with respect to the opponent, the intended target, the distance between the two fighters and the actions preceding the strike itself. The most famous example of these elbow techniques is the Sok Glab or backward elbow strike. To properly train the elbow techniques, the first step is to execute those techniques during every training session and in particular during the Dtoi Lom or Shadow-Boxing, the ideal moment for perfecting the performance of
â€œA thorough study requires classifying elbows strikes depending on the trajectory of the blow, its use and the distance between the one who hits and the target.â€?
blows in motion. In ancient times in Thailand, to this fundamental phase was added the practice of elbow strikes in the water (in a river), to develop harmoniously all the muscles of the trunk and arms involved in the execution of the different elbow techniques. The second step is training with the Master and the paos (Thai pads or focus gloves), to teach the student executing attacks against a moving target. Attacks, defenses and counterattacks have to merge smoothly and without interruption; that's why the coach must succeed in helping the
student to develop the right choice of time and the sense of distance to achieve "closing" to the opponent, grabbing and hitting him in the most effective way possible. The essential complement in this phase is training the blows against the heavy sand bag, which is needed in order to prepare and condition the elbows and, above all, to increase the power of the blows
in the very short distance. It is noted that, traditionally, conditioning the elbows was made by hitting repeatedly a coconut, to get to split it in two with the tip of the elbow. Finally the controlled application of elbows strikes should always be performed with extreme caution in the sessions of hand to hand combat. In the execution of the most dangerous techniques, Mae
“The elbow strike is perhaps the most feared weapon by professional fighters of Martial Arts and combat sports.”
Mai forms must be trained by pairs. This latter type of training (which is also a consolidated form of Muay Boran competition), allows you to refine many of the actions rarely executed in combat (with its particular defenses), rapidly increasing technical the background of the Siamese Art practitioner who wants to complete its purely martial facet.
“But, as a matter of fact, elbow strikes are the true "trademark" of Muay Thai.”
â€œTo properly train the elbow techniques, the first step is to execute those techniques during every training session and in particular during the Dtoi Lom or Shadow-Boxing.â€?
â€œDe Cesaris is one of the few Arjan recognized and respected in Thailand. The government and the universities of that country have sought his advice and teachings on several occasions. De Cesaris has incontestably led the recovery of traditional Muay Boran and has brought it closer to the West in books, videos and courses worldwide.â€?
The term “Self Defense” has a negative connotation that from the start can yield failure for the user. The problem is that this label already portrays in the mindset that the individual is a victim of a violent act or aggression and that the practitioner should perform a defensive action. This premise of acting after the fact is why most people succumb to the aggressors’ actions and never fully recover from the initial attack or fear inducing situation. The Woman must not become defensive; she must be aware of her situation and not dismiss or ignore possible threat. She must become proactive and gain the initiative and momentum while forcing confusion in the attackers’ mindset to have a possibility of advantage. Kyusho Self Protection is a vital training process that deals in the realities of an attack. It is simple yet powerful training process that enables the smaller, weaker, slower or older less aggressive individual a chance against the larger, stronger, more aggressive and potentially crazy attacker. By using the weaker anatomical targets of the body in conjunction with your own natural body actions and tendencies you can easily protect yourself or others, even under the stress and physical limitations when your adrenaline kicks in. And by working in a stepped and progressive manner with your own gross motor skills (instead of someone else’s techniques), your chances victory are eminent. And by working in a stepped and progressive manner with your own gross motor skills (instead of someone else’s techniques), your chances victory are eminent.
REF.: • KYUSHO-21
A new era in Wing Tsun? There is no doubt that some things are changing. In recent years the world of W ing Chun has undergone significant changes in all aspects. Actually it's quite normal if we study the style incredible growth in the number of practitioners and schools around the world. Let's bear in mind a detail to which I referred in my first book (High Level. BudoInternational): About 1965 there were hardly fifty Wing Chun practitioners worldwide. Considering that today, only 60 years later, we can affirm, without fear of error, that the number of fans and practitioners of this style exceeds half a million worldwide is not difficult to think that an increase of this size speaks of a phenomenon never seen before in the history of Martial Arts. This incredible growth around the world can respond to various reasons that we could analyze in another article in the coming months. But in this month's issue I would like to make a reflection that some friends often pose me: Are we witnessing a new era of Wing Tsun?
et's consider the question and try to give explanation to a few points that can be really interesting for Wing Tsun fans. For years, since the arrival in Europe of the style, there's always been a fierce debate among practitioners of the most traditional schools and those advocating an evolution to adapt the system to current times. This debate placed them so far away from one another in their positions and motivations that it could be said with certainty that they were different styles. I have had the opportunity to hear discussions so strong and controversial that would surprise more than one, with polemical arguments in the defense of their position/opinion on technical or training aspects that fall outside the realm of the rational. All claim to have the REAL Wing Chun. Personally, I have written some articles in this direction in which I tried to put myself in the place of both views to better understand their positions. It is not always easy, but I see empathy as one of the most important qualities of human beings that could solve many of the problems of our style and of course of society in general. For 18 years I belonged to an institution that promoted the practice of Wing Chun in the search for efficiency in combat and its applications in selfdefense. I've always had a concern about it and I must admit that for many years of my life I devoted all my efforts to this task. Sometimes I asked my masters and mentors in the association on certain aspects of the style, although my queries were not exactly about the effectiveness of the style and its applications in self-defense. It was more about other items such as strategy, philosophy and the influence in the style of the knowledge of traditional Chinese culture, and all those elements that have been influencing the evolution of the system, etc ... I always received the
• Photo 1: Interview with Sifu Patrick Leung in AVTA (Ving Tsun Athletic Association). • Photo 2: With Grandmaster Yip Chun (son of the late GM Yip Man). • Photo 3: With Sifu Wayne Yung (Snake Crane Wing Chun) at the Hong Kong University of High Technology. • Photo 4: Grandmaster Kim Man Cham's visit to the school (Lineage of GM Wong Shun Leung). • Photo 5: Interviewing Grand Master Kim Man Cham at his school in Hong Kong.
same answer: â€œTHAT'S OF NO IMPORTANCE AT ALL; such things won't make you any more efficient!â€? For a long time I believed without question the words of my masters. How it couldn't it be otherwise, a student must believe in his "fathers/masters" without doubting his words.
But truly, that's not always good; having elapsed a few years and after knowing different points of view, other institutions and hundreds of masters, I've come to important conclusions: 1. No one (not even my excellent masters) have the absolute truth. 2. All have a small part of that truth. 3. Shutting yourself in defending a position/opinion prevents you from knowing very important elements of other people who are studying an art with the same intensity and passion than you. 4. If we lose our humbleness and respect for other schools and practitioners, we are doomed to the disappearance of our exceptional style. 5. WingTsun Kuen is a style of Chinese Boxing and therefore is an important part of Chinese culture. Any attempt to separate basic elements from the style, such as Chinese Philosophy, Medicine and the history of the Chinese people, is to condemn the style itself to become a self-defense system surrogate, like all those hundreds that come up every year. 6. Tradition and moder nity are not at loggerheads when we talk about WingTsun. On
• Photo 1: Interviewing Grand Master Yip Chun in the AVTA (Athletic Ving Tsun Association). • Photo 2: Interviewing Grandmaster Chan Che Man in his house. • Photo 3: Visiting the school of the late GM Leung Sheung, accompanied by GM Chan Che Man. • Photo 4: Overview of Hong Kong Bay from the "Avenue of Stars".
At the Ving Tsun Athletic Association Headquarters,
the contrary these two elements are destined to come together in the right balance of yin and yang. 7. Whatever you do, whatever you say and whatever you practice, there will always be those who criticize, therefore better not paying too much attention to criticism.
Following these conclusions, in my position of an â€œEvolutionary" practitioner, I posed to travel to the homeland of the style to meet today's most important masters of Wing Chun Kuen, especially those who had had a more or less direct contact with Grand Master Yip Man.
With a group of friends and colleagues of the WingTsun department of the Spanish Wrestling Federation, we organized a trip to interview, visit and know personally these Masters and, on returning home, I can only describe the experience as outstanding. Although I had heard many times that there were not too many interesting things for Wing Tsun in Hong Kong and that it was in Europe and the US where you could find the highest level ... I preferred to see it with my own eyes and hear directly some of these testimonies. And what I found were persons united by the same passion: Wing Chun. Hardworking and honest people, humble and hospitable persons, practitioners and generous masters who maintain their practice and devotion to this style as the greatest of treasures. The one that was inherited from their masters and they transmit to their Photo 1: At the headquarters of Wing Tsun Leung Tong Kum in the presence of Grand Master Cham Che Man. Photo 2: In the obliged visit to the Avenue of Stars, before the statue of the legendary Bruce Lee. Photo 3: The delegation of the FELODA Wing Tsun department paying their respects to the tomb of GM Yip Man. Photo 4: Interviewing Sifu Crish Collins in his academy "Collins Action". Photo 5: Dinner with Sifu Gary Wong and Grandmaster Cham Kim Man.
“Starting next month, this WingTsun column will serve to publish the interviews that I had the honor to do to masters like Sifu Yip Chun, Sifu Chan Che Man, Sifu Crish Collins, Sifu Chan Kim Man, Sifu Patrik Leung, Sifu Wayne Yung, etc.”
students as a true treasure of Chinese culture. Good-hearted people who are united by a passion for this ancient art. I am fully convinced that a new era is possible for WingTsun; starting next month this WingTsun column will serve to publish the interviews that I had the honor to do to masters like Sifu Yip Chun, Sifu Chan Che Man, Sifu Crish Collins, Sifu Chan Kim Man, Sifu Patrik Leung, Sifu Wayne Yung etc., where we can see again that what unites us is infinitely greater than what divides us. To check this, we just need the keys that will open the doors of this new era for Wing Chun. These keys are simple and have very familiar names: humility, empathy and, most important of all, RESPECT. Now it's time to try them out. We'll return next year to keep that connection with the origin that SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN LOST. Starting next month in this column. Sifu Salvador Sánchez.
The "Kyusho Tactical Control Program" (KTCP), was designed for Subject control escalation with Legal, Medical and Tactical Deployment research, field-testing and coordination. The scope of this program is for use by but not limited to, Law Enforcement, Security, Emergency Medical or Response, Coast Guard, Military, Governmental Agencies, Body Guards and Personal Security. This Basic Module is comprised of one set of 12 primary targets and integrated into 4 modules of escalating force restraint continuums. There are several weak structures in the human body that can be utilized by an Agent to simply gain control of a perpetrator more efficiently than conventional use of force methods. This would be in the protocol should a situation escalate past the verbal command stage. These Kyusho (Vital) points are where the Agent can make use of internal systems of physical control such as, Nerves, Tendon Structure and natural Nerve Reflexes of the body. Not requiring heavy force Fine or complex motor control or even sight… all of which is subject to failure and loss in high adrenaline states. This information is dedicated to the Brave and Resilient Members of these Agencies around the world… Thank you for what you do!
REF.: • KYUSHO 22
All DVDs, wichi is produced by Budo International, si provided and alone in the formats DVD-5 or MPEG-2, in VCD, DivX or the like is however neves offered with a special holograma sticker. Besides our DVD is characteristed coverings by the hig quality in pressure and material. If this DVD and/or the DVD covering do not corespond to the requirements specified above, it concerns illegal pirat copy.
ORDERS: Budo international.com
REF.: â€˘ LEVI LEVI8
All DVDs, wichi is produced by Budo International, si provided and alone in the formats DVD-5 or MPEG-2, in VCD, DivX or the like is however neves offered with a special holograma sticker. Besides our DVD is characteristed coverings by the hig quality in pressure and material. If this DVD and/or the DVD covering do not corespond to the requirements specified above, it concerns illegal pirat copy.
ORDERS: Budo international.com
Kung Fu At the beginning of my Martial Arts career I shared the idea of what a real Kung Fu Grandmaster was with the people in my surroundings. The image of an old, wise master with a long beard who is sitting in meditation high up on the top of a mountain awaiting the chosen student. On my way in Kung Fu education I gradually stopped believing in this image and I already had my first doubts about this theory. As one knows, after an extensive search for the real master, I decided for Kung Fu legend Chiu Chi Ling, holder of the 10th degree in Hung Gar Kung Fu, who had already been an internationally wellrespected Grandmaster back then. And it was also him who completely corrected my notion of a master by saying: â€œWhen you are good at something, and which has to do with other people, then it is only a question of time until everyone notices it and knows about you.â€?
“The key message to be taken from this may very well be that it’s never worth giving up. Important here is having a goal, a clear path, a wise strategy, an iron will and discipline. Everything else is a question of time. Oh and of course finding the real and true Kung Fu Master.”
lonesome grandmaster on the top of a mountain? If he was indeed a real master, then students would flock to him in droves in order to learn from him, I was thinking. So, there is no solitary master or secret monastery after all? My answer to that question today: No, there is not. Not any longer. And it is not as if I had not been looking out for it! This fact may perhaps disillusion some readers. And again a sentence of my sifu (master) comes to my mind: “You’re welcome.” If one seeks out the real Art of Shaolin, all readers may rest assured that there are sources at which the real Shaolin Kung Fu can be found, as proven by my own master. One only has to look out for slightly different factors. As I’ve mentioned before, if you are really good at something, then it is only a question of time until people learn of it and know about
Kung Fu you. And again this is also how I came across my Sifu. When I realised what a man of great stature my master was in the world of the Martial Arts and what heritage he passes on, at that moment, my own path became clear. This I wanted too. I wanted to become a real master. I have spent all my life not only transferring the real and true Art of the Shaolin Monastery into the Western world but also spreading it in the Western world; through the ancestral lineage of my Sifu, of the family Chiu. At the beginning it was very hard, slowly but surely however, it turned out to be a success. I became known, in Asia at first, then by and by also in the rest of the world. And my master’s statements were suddenly not only in line with his numerous awards, certificates and with his own life, but also with my own. Word of my succession under the wing of Chiu Chi Ling and my life’s work spread, as I said, at first primarily in Asia. That is why all the more so I am of course also very pleased with the latest events, for they take place here in Switzerland. Just recently, at the “Masters Hall of Fame and Honor” in Basel, I have been granted the award of Grand Master and Founder of 2015; an honourable award which has been given to me by the “The European Martial Arts Council”. It is a special honour to me, because it happened here with us, where most of my students learn and where the familiarity of our good thing has just started taking its root. Time and again I am very grateful and pleased to see that our art, our
school and what we achieve together positively touches outside persons. Something, which also my teacher Chiu Chi Ling manages to do up to this day, every single day. The key message to be taken from this may very well be that itâ€™s never worth giving up. Important here is having a goal, a clear path, a wise strategy, an iron will and discipline. Everything else is a question of time. Oh and of course finding the real and true Kung Fu Master. The key factors to look out for I have already mentioned to some extent: Is he known (especially among the Kung Fu practitioners)? Also for his skills? Did he also learn from a real master? These are probably the most important criteria. In addition, a deeply ingrained need should be fulfilled, namely that of being healthy and that of coming one step closer to oneâ€™s goals each and every day. This is something I happily get to hear from my students again and again, which in turn always motivates me again and again to be on my way and to make our art and the KUNG FU SCHOOL MARTIN SEWER accessible to as many people as possible.
This new work on Fu-Shih Kenpo by Soke Raul Gutierrez is centered on the traditional forms of the style, their applications and self defence. We will have a deeper insight into the form "The Tiger Defends Himself", with each of the corresponding technical applications, the form "Tiger Teeth", and a special work on weapons. Then the Master will explain in detail the extense series of advance techniques on self defence, indicating the whys of certain movements, the necesary precautions to take into account, possible angles and the variations that could be applied in each technical group. The DVD completes itself with a series of combat techniques for competition and conditioning work. where Master Gutierrez explains how to prepare oneself physically with the use of weapons, arms and leg conditioning, self defence preparation and for combat. Without any doubt this work is rich in knowledge based on the exchange and coordination of different styles and how to learn to respect the differences from each source of works.
REF.: â€˘ FUSHIH-2 All DVDs, wichi is produced by Budo International, si provided and alone in the formats DVD-5 or MPEG-2, in VCD, DivX or the like is however neves offered with a special holograma sticker. Besides our DVD is characteristed coverings by the hig quality in pressure and material. If this DVD and/or the DVD covering do not corespond to the requirements specified above, it concerns illegal pirat copy.
ORDERS: Budo international.com
Body Mechanics In Keysi, I have a big training project and I place special emphasis on conveying the principles, as this is linked to a code of values; this code tells us that simplicity and friendliness are not synonymous with weakness. If we want to see the values ??of others, we must first know our own and that means knowing our body, our mind and our own emotional state and it's through this dedication to the acknowledgement of our inner self, that the Keysi is growing and there are many professionals who are participating in our training programs.
e developed our physicaltechnical part through body mechanics; this is our breeding-ground, our crop field. As we gradually acknowledge our body mechanics, we become more and more conscious of our skills and our physical weaknesses. The human body is a map that must be studied and deciphered. In the Keysi we give you a map and the map will give you the knowledge of the first steps. But the second and most important step is to set aside the technical and enter the territory of inspiration, a place where instinct accelerates and where we will discover that there is something beyond the relative domain of time, space and matter, where we will meet our real possibilities. This involves recognizing our skills and weaknesses. â€˘ "Skills", the development of natural abilities gives us a picture of the possibilities of our physical potential. â€˘ "Weaknesses" is a false image of ourselves, of what we think is our limits.
Technique skills and weaknesses The essence of the technique in the Keysi is the fact that it can be transmitted, we all can lear n the technique from each other, it's reproducible, transformable and it can be improved in any of its areas and it improves over time and with the practice. As we go on progressing, our body mechanics will coin its own personality, adapting itself to the needs in order to achieve a high level of response. This is where we lear n to analyze and investigate, discovering and improving our
skills. As a result, we also discover our weaknesses. This is a hard task; only by dint of steady and unremitting toil we will make that our weaknesses become skills. Body mechanics is a means to achieve a clear objective, which is that of achieving maximum action/reaction responsiveness in the different levels of risk involved in a confrontation. The Keysi technique is the repetition of certain actions to reach those goals. This technique is based on a fundamental pillar of trial and error, and so, on a test basis, thousands of repetitions and an analysis of the errors will bring about a consequence that will allow us to achieve the proper procedure to the needs of each person.
Mind and Emotional State The way of thinking in Keysi is not classical, nor is based on the accumulation of techniques or acting fixed rules; techniques and information are necessary to have a real understanding of our physical capability, but to have an immediate response in a real situation, we need Instinct. Our body-mind and emotions are like a three-sided pyramid. To achieve a high level of response, you have to not only learn the technique. If the physical body is the vehicle with which we can have an explosive response, the mind is the driver able to analyze the situation and carry out the connection between our physical and emotional condition. The connection between the two will determine the capacity for
â€œThe way of thinking in Keysi is not classical, nor is based on the accumulation of techniques or acting fixed rules; techniques and information are necessary to have a real understanding of our physical capability, but to have an immediate response in a real situation, we need Instinct.â€?
neuronal action/reaction, between the emotional state and the physical action.
Emotional state to reach our Instinct Instinct has been socially tamed, but it will never be eradicated. It's by instinct that man evolves and survives. This taming limits our minds and makes us seek our references in limiting. Analyzing the technique, I've noticed that it allows us to carry out our actions with the least time and expense of potential energy, making our movements more efficient, but I have also noticed that technique is the outer part, what we physically show, and this, applied in a real situation, it is not functional. Here's where I reset and adapt this technical concept to my principles, seeking what is for me the most important, the Instinct. Through the technique, you may develop great skills. Technique can be taught, but not the instinct!
â€œIf Technique, Knowledge and Theory are to know something, Instinct is to do it. Instinct allows us to do things when others are still wondering if it would be possible to do it.â€?
Instinct is born with each person and we must reawaken the primary cunning, this is a mental and emotional process. Both technique and knowledge are required to take real control of our physical body, but in order to have an immediate response in a real situation we need to recognize our emotional state. The Keysi method works to wake up and be aware of that emotional state, creating scenarios where through analysis and action, we
developed a way of acting in the street. If Technique, Knowledge and Theory are to know something, Instinct is to do it. Instinct allows us to do things when others are still wondering if it would be possible to do it ... When we get to do it, we know it and feel it. This is a process in constant Development, Evaluation and Adjustment to the Keysi keys, and is these keys are what make it be the technical and intellectual challenge that it is.
Always with the Ochikara, "The Great Strength" (called e-bunto in the Shizen vernacular tongue) or secret wisdom of the ancient Miryoku Japanese shamans, as a backdrop, the author takes us into a world of genuine reflections that are capable to move at once both the reader's heart and head, thus placing him continuously in front of the abyss of the invisible, as the true final frontier of personal and collective consciousness. The spiritual taken not as religion, but as the study of the invisible, was the way of the ancient Miryoku sages to approach the mystery in the framework of a culture as rich as unknown, to which the author has wholeheartedly devoted. Alfredo Tucci, Manager Director to Budo International Publishing Co. and author in the past 30 years of a large number of titles about the Warrior's Way, offers us a set of extraordinary and profound reflections, which can be read individually in no particular order. Each one of them opens up a window to us through which we can take a look at the most varied subjects from an unexpected angle, now dotted with humor now with forcefulness and grandiosity, placing us in front of eternal matters with the view of the one who has just arrived and doesn't agree with the common places in which everyone coincides. We can affirm with conviction that no reader will be indifferent to this book; such is the strength and intensity of its contents. Saying this is saying a lot in a world crowded with collective mangers, interested and behavioral ideologies, manipulators and, in short, spurious interests and mediocrity. It is therefore a text for big souls and intelligent people who are ready to look at life and mystery with the freedom of the most restless and scrutinizing minds, without dogmas, without transient morals, without subterfuges...
Weng Chun Kung Fu â€“ A martial art as well for girls and women? Article: Maestro Sifu Philipp Hackert, Weng Chun Kung Fu Pictures: Weng Chun fightress Anjali Lal and Sifu Master Philipp Hackert
Why would someone ask the question if a martial art fullfills the needs of girls and women self-defence in the first place? Have we not learned that there are no differences between the genders at all? Is this the long time menâ€™s prejudice thinking again? I do not think so. During my last 15 years of teaching weng chun kung fu in my own school and in many self-defence classes, I have always found that women have a different requirement regarding the martial arts.
irst we have to admit that women are disproportionately often victims of menâ€™s violence. But attacks on women are very different from attacks on fellow men, generated by too much testosterone or alcohol. Since here two men start insulting each other before they throw kicks and punches and then go for the close distance, a man always will try to immediately grab or hold a woman with full force and immobilize her. As most women are not aware of their natural capability of fighting, this strategy much too often will be successful and intimidate and paralyze the victim. After having achieved that, the attacker can easily continue with his plan without fearing any resistance. For all of these reasons, Weng Chun Kung Fu represents a great system in the martial arts that exactly gives women what they need most for their self-defense training:
• The chisao-distance in Weng Chun Kung Fu: To practice Weng Chun Kung Fu means to spend a lot of time practicing selfdefense in the chisao-distance (where the forearms are already touching the forearms of an attacker and where most attacks on women take place). With the help of countless ingenious practice routines you will teach your body to feel the attack immediately and use it for your own game. So the attacker will run through his own effort into a serie of lightning fast defending techniques, which run out of reflex and take away any chance of resistance! Any further attempt to gain controll by the attacker through rough power will immediately release another counterattack („riding the tiger“). As height, weight and power is not of such a big importance in the chisaodistance, the defender here can play his card of technical superiority best to successfully fight back!
• Internal power When developing weng chun kung fu our forefathers did not think of using raw muscle power or speed – on the contrary they were looking for methods and
strategies how to win a fight against a stronger and faster opponent! These methods include using the whole body weight in any action, so your arms and legs will not work seperately from your body but they will be used totally connected with the whole body against the attacker. This allows even a lighter and smaller person to develop enormous power in a fight! Besides that a weng chun fightress will permanently use laverage and the momentum oft he attack against the offender, which also means a maximisation of power. Of great importance as well is controlling the space („dragon“): in weng chun kung fu you learn to always intuitively stand in the right angle which allows you to counterattack directly any further attempt of attack. If you use power, it will be the power oft he bridge „Che“, often called „inch-power“: your bodyweight will explode in close distance against a vital point oft he aggressor! For that you do not need big muscels, but the right training, best choice would definately be the wooden dummy or any sort of pad. Another way of generating internal power is to release fast combinations of strikes, kicks, leverages, throws and chokes which hit the attacker in high speed and produce pure panic.
• The bridge „Da“ The bridge „Da“ in Weng Chun Kung Fu teaches you to strike the „right point“ with the „right weapon“. For instance, is the attack still on the level of grabbing a women in a discommode way, she will have the choice of various finger-, wrist-, arm- and shoulder-locks which make totally clear that she is able and willing to hurt or even harm the ligaments and joints of her attacker. But should the attack be more serious and brutal like clinching in a very hard way, choking or ripping the hair, the weng chun kung fu training offers her a variety of badass techniques such as kicks in the crotch or against the knee, knee-kicks or ellbow-strikes against the head, punches or finger- attacks against soft targets like the inner organs, the throat or the eyes! In such case of emergency the locks and throws will not be slowly and carefully any more like in the dojo but explosive and in high speed to stop the attack here and now!
• Good dojo vibes If I would have to choose a dojo to learn to defend myself, I would look for the percentage of women training in that school! I think that women react more sensitive then men on things as a friendly, respectful and polite atmosphere, on important external things as order or cleanness in a martial arts school and on how the students treat each other.
Originating from southern shaolin, all these things are of great importance to all weng chun schools: Each dojo is seen as a temple following the weng chun hall („weng chun dim“) in southern shaolin where weng chun was developed, which means that it is always entered with great respect. This continues in the relationship of the students and teachers: we see us as a big collective of weng chun practitioners, just as the sanga oft he monks in southern shaolin. The goal of each of the students and teachers must be to help each other to constantly grow through training weng chun kung fu. Wrong competition, oppressing others through using power or more knowledge or even hurting someone carelessly is a serious violation of the rules!
• Sparring To really reach the level where you are able to defend yourself in a very stressfull situation, you need to practice as well in a free sparring situation! There the weng chun practitioner is learning to improvise, to use all the many thousand times practised knowledge freely and spontaneously against all sorts of attacks! Besides you will be confrontated with bad feelings like fear, greed and confusion („Tam, Pa, Mong“), which you will learn to handle better each time. But you also practice to like to attack („Bok“), to enjoy to control („Fok“), to be tricky („Jau“) and to flow in by using the attack („Lau“) more and more. But as the technical training must be easy and always protecting the fellow practitioner, so must the sparring be a joyfull exchange of techniques, a fearlessly trying out of new things and learning and growing together! For those who want to go beyond that, there are great competitions as Sanda, K1, Thaiboxing or MMA where one can challenge an opponent in a fair full-contact fight. With the weng chun kung fu-system our forefathers have developed the perfect style for women self-defence. But there are also many other martial arts styles which fullfull that purpose – the most important goal of us all must be many more girls and women training martial arts and learning to defend themselves!
WING CHUN GUNG GUNG FU: FU: The Explosive Art of Close Range Combat
Five brand new Wing Chun DVDs 1 DVD: “Bot” Jom Doh Basics Complete “Bot” Jom Doh Form, 108 Motions, Historical Information about the Wing Chun Broadswords, Detailed Knife Blocking and Striking Techniques, “Bot” Jom Doh Footwork, Details of the footwork orientation of the form, One-man “Bot” Jom Doh Drills 2 DVD set: “Bot” Jom Doh, Applications, Drills, Concepts & Principles Applications of the motions from the “Bot” Jom Doh form, Knife vs. Knife, Knife vs. Pole, Drills, Concepts and Principles, Specially created Knife drills for the Wooden Dummy, Detailed Knife Blocking and Striking, Knife techniques as compared to their empty-hand counterparts, Cutting Principles
Sifu Randy Williams’ extensive collection of books on Wing Chun in 6 volumes, the series contains the history of Wing Chun, the theory and description of all Wing Chun forms in detail, Volume 6 is focused on instructing the system and provides additional information about Wing Chun Combat Theory from A to Z! This great work, originally written in 1988 and newly revised and updated is a must for the library of any serious student of the art. You can order the entire series as a set of 6 books, or by individual volume, and the new DVDs can also be ordered individually or in sets directly from us through our website:
1 DVD: CRCA Wing Chun “Biu Jitsu” Groundfighting Contents: The concept of “Reverse Engineering,” Chokes; Rear, Front Standing, “Guillotine,” Head-and-Arm, Side-Mount Shoulder Choke, and many other Groundfighting drills and techniques.
2 DVD set: “Look Deem Boon” Gwun Volume 1 ( 55 min. ) Content: Pole Details, Pole Drills, Pole Footwork, Form Overview, “Look Deem Boon” Gwun Form, 6 ½ Strikes of the Pole, Applications: Pole vs. Pole
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“Look Deem Boon” Gwun Volume 2 (60 min.) Heavybag Drills, Dummy Drills, Two Man Drills, Form overview, Pole vs. Knife
Traditional Martial Arts, Combat Sports and Self Defense Magazine. Free read & download. Online issue. 200 June 1 fortnight - Year XXIV
Published on Jun 4, 2015
Traditional Martial Arts, Combat Sports and Self Defense Magazine. Free read & download. Online issue. 200 June 1 fortnight - Year XXIV