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The Red Lotus Bukido 3884 Unit 2, Roundtree Rd. Jefferson, Maryland 21755

Red Lotus Bukido

Upcoming Events November 3rd - 3rd Annual Pumpkin Cutting Festival Starts @ 2:00pm

December 8th - King of the Ring Tournament Starts @ 3:00pm

Class Times Thursdays -

From 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Saturdays -

From 12:00pm to 2:00pm Phone: (240) 457-5605 Email: sensei@redlotusbukido.com Website: http://redlotusbukido.com/

NEWS Scroll In This Issue....

Red Lotus goes to Renn-Fest The class has a blast to the past!

Trial and Error Over the Centuries An Article By Sensei Johnpaul Vincent

Article #1 11/1/12


Trial and Error Over the Centuries By: Johnpaul Vincent

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or centuries on end, martial artists have been training with the sword. By doing so we connect with our ancestors and preserve a way of life. For them, the way of life was much more dangerous than it is now. They experienced a time were circumstances existed that a person’s life was at stake and that they had to utilize whatever means necessary to preserve themselves. Purely empty hand training, which is a large or total part of many modern arts, had little place in an age where everyone was armed. Using weapons is far more effective than not using them. This is as true today as it was for all of our ancestors. To be effective in a weapons based environment all techniques must adhere to the requirements of that environment. The operating system and techniques in Bukido adhere to the proper use of the sword. We do this by utilizing different systems;

on the path of the Way.

Iaido, or Iaijutsu, the art of drawing the sword. This practice is usually done with a live sword and teaches balance, control, function, as well as respect for the sword itself. Using a live blade is demanding and the inherent danger focuses the mind and accelerates the progress of the student. We do not use a live blade but instead use a bokken. Does this take away from the lessons a live blade can teach us? Yes and no. Although for safety reasons (not to mention insurance costs) we can not use live blades in class the student can practice Iai jutsu on their own, this is not as easy to do with the other arts. This quiet time of practice builds the understanding and sensitivity that is necessary to advance

It is in this spirit that Bukido lessons are blended together. Similarities exist between this Ryu (Fighting Discipline) and others but as one might expect there are more differences. The lessons taught are developed from interactions with many different swordsmen, compiling what works and what does not. Keeping the core but changing the omote or outer surface. Remember this key fact, what doesn’t work doesn’t matter. We must constantly remove those things that do not contribute to combat function. This is how the true arts evolved in the first place, functional trial and error over centuries.

Kendo, or Kenjutsu, brings into play working with another person. It allows the student to begin to understand and manipulate the three physical variables, distance, timing, and relationship. As the student progresses on this path he begins to exchange ken for kan. That is physical sight to perception. To quote Miyamoto Musashi “Perception is strong, sight is weak.” Perception allows us to become aware of those things that we cannot see. In addition to perception, students become aware of the here and now. By letting go of distractions, the students are able to channel all their attention to their opponent. Reaction time is increased and the students develop the thought process of “what doesn’t work doesn’t matter”.

Meet The Sensei!

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of Japanese, Chinese, and European styles of armed combat allows me the freedom to change my attack or defense style as needed in order to keep my opponent off guard. This diverse fighting style is what I strive to impart upon my students in Bukido. We study the Katana and Wakizashi, the traditional weapons of the Japanese Samurai; however, this does not limit our scope of knowledge or practical application. We also study the use of the Jian and Dao (traditional Chinese swords) and the combative use of shields commonly seen in Western martial arts. The diverse nature of the Bukido program allows students to explore a custom program not offered anywhere else.

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Name: Johnpaul Vincent

have been involved in weaponry and martial arts in one form of another for over twenty years. I began my martial arts studies at the age of thirteen; I earned my black belt in Shotokan Karate in 1992 at age seventeen while simultaneously studying European Fencing. After studying western swordplay, I went on to study Akido (a Japanese martial art) and Kendo (the Japanese art of swordplay). It wasn’t until my later teens and early twenties that I started to explore the Chinese style of swordsmanship found in both Tai Chi and Wushu (Kung-Fu). All the while I was teaching myself how to forge weaponry by studying the blades I had come in contact with. Crafting custom blades for martial artists allowed me to get information and knowledge normally held in reserve for advanced students and one-on-one instruction. I would typically offer to make a sword or weapon for a nominal fee in exchange for lessons on its use. Learning in this fashion allowed me to break the “style barrier”. Having knowledge

Red Lotus goes to Renn-Fest

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