Blog Profile / Mokuren Dojo

Filed Under:Martial Arts / Judo
Posts on Regator:553
Posts / Week:1.4
Archived Since:March 5, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Rank Schmank!

I'm pretty tired of the subject of rank in martial arts, but since everyone around me seems so interested in it lately, and since people keep asking me what I think of this and that, I made a bet with myself that I could do a month's worth of posts on the topic of rank in the martial arts.. Show More Summary

Today I Injured a Kid

(Another excellent guest post from Andre Goran...) It’s only the second time my partner got seriously hurt in randori since I took up judo, and the first time in years, since I was a brown belt or earlier. It surprised me because I think of myself as a very safe opponent, but that wasn’t the case tonight. Show More Summary

Windsong Shochugeiko 2014

I just got back and started recuperating from Shochugeiko - the 2014 Summer Intensive at Windsong Dojo in OKC. Thank you, Nick, for hosting such a remarkable gathering! Not only was there an all-star lineup of instructors from Washington, Texas, and New York... Show More Summary

Karl E. Geis obituary

This is the text of Karl's obituary that made the rounds on e-mail... It is with great sorrow that we report the departure of Karl Edwin Geis from this world on April 7th, 2014, after succumbing to a prolonged battle with cancer. Mr....Show More Summary

Sensei Dave's "Law of the foot"

Super important, foundational heuristics... Keep your weight off your heels - you have one ACL per knee - keep it that way! Be last - always be last to put your foot down Point that foot where you want to go Put your weight over that...Show More Summary

Sensei, what would it take?

Most of us, when we start teaching martial arts either use mostly the structure and drills and syllabus - the scope and sequence that our teachers used. Or else perhaps we have some other ideal and we rearrange things and maybe re-work one or two things, but I think for the most part most of us teach mostly the way we learned.. Show More Summary


We are indoctrinated from day-1 in judo and aikido that the pre-requisites to doing a technique include... you have to have uke off-balanced (kuzushi) you have to move yourself to the right place (tsukuri) Most everyone buys into this...Show More Summary

Shikaku and technique vs. principle

A lot of instructors (including me) like to say that our arts are "principle-based instead of technique-based." That the ideas behind the techniques are more important than the techniques themselves. But that can be hard to implement because we all have a deep abiding love for cool techniques. Show More Summary

The intersection set

Judo and Aikido are related arts - you might even say they are sister arts. We often go so far as to say they are the same thing (sometimes we qualify that by adding, "but not really.") This relationship between judo and aikido goes right back to the beginning - both were at least partially derived from Kito-ryu. Show More Summary

Spring 2014 ABG preview - kuzushi & tactical aikido

The Spring 2014 Aiki Buddies Gathering is coming up in about a week, and this year the topics of interest are going to include - Kuzushi - particularly in the context of the connection exercises we call releases, and with particularShow More Summary

Rory Miller hints on toshu randori

Rory Miller has a pretty cool book about Drills... In which he gives some of the best description and hints for a drill that he calls "One Step," but which we call "toshu randori." Hints that we don't hear every day... This is my most basic drill. Show More Summary

Tachiwaza principles or heuristics

Proudly stolen from Nick Lowry - stuff to work on in standing judo - I love lists of hints like this... Be offensively oriented Every time a foot moves you have a chance Get religious with the line conditions: on, down and,across the...Show More Summary

Merritt Stevens Aikido

Once upon a time (about 30 years ago) in a land far, far away (Ohio) there was an aikido teacher named Merritt Stevens. Stevens sensei had a major influence on the development and spread of aikido in the Midwest. Merritt's son, Moe still teaches in Ohio - look him up.. Show More Summary

Nanatsu no kata speaks to the gokyo

When scholars try to figure out how dead languages sounded when spoken by native speakers long ago, it is largely guess-work unless they have access to a body of poetry written in that language. This is because the poetry provides clues as to how words sounded - what things rhyme with what other things and how the rhythm of the language went.. Show More Summary

Where we've been - where we're going

Lately I've been thinking about where I've come in the last 30 years or so, and where I'll be going in the next few - so I started putting together this timeline...30 years ago In High School Didn't know karate or any other martial arts existed. Show More Summary

Uke-centric kata and subtle patterns

Slight changes in nagenokata (as compared to the standardized form they came up with in the 1980's and 90's) reveal interesting patterns in the kata. Here's what happened.... We have been working nagenokata with our 8-12-year old kids. Show More Summary

Techniques in uke-centric nagenokata

Typically in nagenokata, we give the techniques names based on what tori is doing (floating hip throw, sliding foot sweep, etc...), and this is okay, but in our uke-centric exploration of this kata it is sort of counter-productive because...Show More Summary

Uke-centric kata and personality issues

Working with children on nagenokata has given me some interesting insights about kata in general and about teaching kata to adults. I'm not sure that kids are any less capable or intelligent than adults. In fact, I think that adults often have many of the same personality issues as kids - it's just that kids are more transparent about their issues.. Show More Summary

Uke-centric Tsurikomi Goshi

The last of the three hip throws in Nagenokata, tsurikomigoshi, is another bear to teach kids, partly because it is such a large-amplitude throw.. In my work with my kids on Nagenokata, I've been emphasizing the role of uke to the point of almost making the main purpose of the kata to demonstrate uke's ukemi skills. Show More Summary

Uke-centric haraigoshi

We do an ukemi exercise starting about the time students get a good handle on forward rolls from standing. We have the student stand in the starting posture for the forward roll, with his weight leaned forward onto the front foot, then...Show More Summary

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