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Blog Profile / Mokuren Dojo

Filed Under:Martial Arts / Judo
Posts on Regator:1658
Posts / Week:4.6
Archived Since:March 5, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Uke-centric haraigoshi

12 months agoMartial Arts / Judo : Mokuren Dojo

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

The dreaded rank demo

12 months agoMartial Arts / Judo : Mokuren Dojo

When I was coming up through the ranks - particularly when I got to about the shodan-nidan range, our instructors liked to make their rank candidates go test in front of a pile of highly-ranked examiners. The rank demos would be at the...Show More Summary

New eyes and fresh hearts

Over the past few years, maybe 10 or 15 years, I've heard several practitioners of various schools of koryu kenjutsu and jojutsu say that they just don't get the attraction of aiki-jo and aiki-ken - that there is just not that much martial skill involved in aiki weapons practices as compared to koryu.. Show More Summary

Uke-centric ukigoshi

So, one of our emphases this year is an examination of nagenokata with particular emphasis on the role of uke. We have previously been working the first couple of techniques in this uke-centric fashion, but over the last week, we've gotten to kataguruma and uukigoshi. Show More Summary

Generations in budo

Coming up through the ranks, we used to talk about our relationships using a family analogy. All of our cohort of students were like budo-brothers and budo-sisters. The teachers of our teachers were like grandparents. Some of the folks that studied when our teacher was coming up through the ranks - those folks were like aunts and uncles to us.. Show More Summary

Uke-centric nagenokata for kids

A couple of years ago I started a series of articles about re-examining nagenokata from the POV of uke. I had found that this approach was especially effective for teaching children, but it also seems appropriate for adults.. I'd gotten...Show More Summary

2013 - A year in the life

Lately I've been reflecting on this past year (2013) and projecting some plans... In 2013 I planned to attend/teach one event per month (including my ABGs here). I ended up doing 10 instead of 12. Not bad... I started out with a trip to Corpus Christi for a get-away with Eric, Matl, Waddell, Nick, and some other excellent folks. Show More Summary

Hirano sensei's interesting kaeshiwaza

At about 5:05 in this video of Hirano Sensei doing Nanatsu no Kata, he does a really interesting counter. Uke is turning in for something like TKgoshi and Sensei just takes a knee. Uke falls as if it were a taniotoshi, but tori's action looks like a backwards ukiotoshi.. Show More Summary

Syllabus and drills are encoded in the kata

What does kata give to judo as an art? A lot of things, but the one I'm thinking about today is - Kata gives your instructor a syllabus and a set of suggested drills - sort of like a set of bullet points on what to teach when.. Take for instance, Nage no kata. Show More Summary

Major throws on non-dominant side

Every so often someone asks me something about learning throws on their non-dominant side, or someone recommends to me or my students to learn to throw left seoi or left osoto or something. I have mostly resisted this because one ofShow More Summary

Standardized kata - bah humbug!

Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago something about what I thought about "standardized" kata - as in the "official" version of Nagenokata etc... that has been put forth by IJF for purposes of judging competition kata performance.Show More Summary

How you like me now?

Want to discuss this blog post?Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group____________________Patrick

A study - gari-otoshi-guruma-gaeshi-gake

Want to discuss this blog post?Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group____________________Patrick

Happy little trees

Who remembers this fellow? Bob Ross was an artist who did a PBS show in the 1980's and 1990's - The Joy of Painting. He was much parodied (even self-parodied) for painting "happy little trees" and painting in "your world," but there was real artistry here.. Show More Summary

Kata for knife defense is big-time B.S.

This thing makes the rounds every so often, and it's a good 4-minute laugh-riot, right? Well, if we are honest, it makes instructors uncomfortable too, because of the kernel of truth within it.. In aikido and judo, we often do hand-to-hand randori or sparring with a goal of 50% success rate. Show More Summary

More productive aikido randori

Randori is a funny thing. Funny-curious - not funny-ha-ha. It is a lot of different things to different people. Randori is a test of your skills, an ego-booster and an ego-killer (at the same time), a fun social game.... For me lately, I've noticed an interesting thing about randori. Show More Summary

Kihon and suburi - keiko and renshu

The basic practice in Aiki-jo is called suburi (swinging), while the SMR jo guys do a bunch of kihon (fundamentals). These practices are largely similar, large motion fairly atomic-level foundational practices, and it is fairly easy to treat the two practices as the same.. Show More Summary


There seems to be a fine line between situational awareness and full-blown paranoia. As martial arts instructors, we like to promote awareness but we don't want to push the students and ourselves over the line into paranoid delusion - or do we?. Show More Summary

Take the Damn Fall!

A couple of days back I received a pretty cool rant from a pretty cool dude. Since I like to publish pretty cool stuff here on Mokuren Dojo, I asked if I could copy it over here as a guest post, and here it is... A Kind Suggestion from a Bewildered Judoka: I don't need to tell you that many judoka neglect the study of ukemi. Show More Summary


It almost goes without saying (almost) that in the context of judo and especially in newaza, you cannot affect, much less control the other guy unless you are physically in contact with him. This disregards some special weird effects at a distance that are possible - but this guideline mostly holds. Show More Summary

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