Blog Profile / Mokuren Dojo

Filed Under:Martial Arts / Judo
Posts on Regator:573
Posts / Week:1.3
Archived Since:March 5, 2008

Blog Post Archive

First seven of Yon Kata

Here is another very nice demo of the first 7 techniques of Yon Kata, which we will be working on at Starkville next month. Of particular interest (to me, at least) are the two gedan techniques, in which Eddy gets a great lift at the end and splatters poor Adrian nicely. Show More Summary

Yon kata at Starkville in November

This is a rendition by some of our buddies across the pond of what I'm going to be talking about at Starkville next month. Koryu Dai Yon - also known in some groups (IIRC) as the Nage-no-Kata of Tomiki aikido. Much of it is familiarShow More Summary

Tomiki's murky past

I posed the question the other day, just because I was curious... When Tomiki went to study with Ueshiba (in 1926), did he take some ukes with him to practice with, or did Ueshiba already have a bunch of other students for Tomiki toShow More Summary

Kisshomaru shihonage

Looking for something else, I came across this 1957 video of Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the Founder's son, doing a demonstration of some very nice aikido. The first three minutes are shihonage - watch how nicely Doshu synchs with uke's ups and downs! You can really start to see it at about 1:30.. Show More Summary

Don't make your own job harder

A natural corollary to all this "Be gentle with uke" stuff I've been writing the last few days is.... If you are doing something that makes uke frightened or uncomfortable Then he will naturally resist, Therefore, you are making your own job harder.. Show More Summary

Learning judo kata for shodan

This weekend I'm going to be working with some of the Unionites on kata in preparation for shodan. It is going to be either Goshin Jutsu or Nage no Kata - I'm not sure which because there was some clamoring for both of them. Traditionally, folks do Nagenokata for shodan, but I don't mind them substituting Goshin Jutsu if that is more up their alley.. Show More Summary

Untying knotty judo and aikido

For most knots, you cannot untie them by pulling on the free ends. In fact pulling against the knot creates greater internal friction and allows the knot to bind tighter. So how do you untie a knot?. You untie a knot by pushing the ends together, creating so much internal slack that the knot just comes apart. Show More Summary

Whispering - not breaking

As tough, sporty, martial arts folks, we have a natural inclination to push through discomfort or fear. You often hear advice like, "Suck it up, Buttercup!" and "No Pain, No Gain," and "Pain is weakness leaving the body." It makes immediate...Show More Summary

Beginning and ending kihon

There is this practice seen mostly in pre-war aikido guys, like Tomiki and Shioda, and their students - the practice of measuring ma-ai by crossing handblades prior to practicing a technique. This practice is not seen as much (at least...Show More Summary

Get some jo in your aikido

I read it somewhere - not sure where - that the old jodo guys said that it was relatively unimportant to correct students on the things that go on in the middle of the kata. He was saying that the really important thing to get right was the beginning and end of the kata.. Show More Summary

The hammer and the nail

Sometimes (not as often as you think) you are the hammer, and sometimes (much more often) you are the nail.. I tell all my students that ukemi is the most important self-defense aspect of the arts that we do for several reasons... Unless you are paid to be the hammer (i.e. Show More Summary

Trial by fire

Back in the day (as I understand it) it used to be common for competition to be an integral part of ranking in judo. I'm not talking about the points system, where you accumulate points toward your next rank by competing, etc... I'mShow More Summary

The REAL reason for terminal rank

Why is it that in judo, 10th degree black belt is the highest rank attainable?. I have no way to find out, but I suspect (pure conjecture) that it has to do with the expected time-in-grade for each rank. As I understand it, the time-in-grade in years for each rank is equal to the rank. Show More Summary

Terminal rank

Over the years, a lot of folks have recognized that the modern colored belt kyu-dan thing that Kano-san came up with was an imperfect thing. I think even Kano realized during his lifetime that there were problems with it, but instead...Show More Summary

Judo rank vs. karate rank

When I was digging through Wikipedia for information for that last post about karate ranks I noticed an interesting thing.. When you read through any of the articles on the famous big-name judo guys, almost all of them contain pretty extensive detail about when they received each of their ranks. Show More Summary

Jump-ranking (sorta) in karate

While we are on the subject of ranking, there is an interesting story about the history of Isshin-ryu karate-do. I don't know where it falls on the spectrum from absolute truth to apocrypha to pure B.S. but I've heard this piece of 'history' from several sources over the years.. Show More Summary


In the judo world every so often someone will get a promotion based solely on their performance at an event like a tournament (or more rarely a seminar or camp). This sort of field-promotion is called batsugan. In fact, maybe I shouldn't say, "every so often," because it seems like it is not that uncommon at all. Show More Summary

Private York becomes Sergeant York

There are precedents stretching back through military history of people honorably circumventing the typical rank promotion system. One of these is the practice of Field Appointment or Field Promotion. A memorable example of what I'm talking about is Alvin York.. Show More Summary

Rank inflation

Inflation (per the dictionary) - a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money. So, by extension, rank inflation could be defined as a generalized increase in the cost/effort required to advance in rank, accompanied by a reduction in the value of each successive rank. Show More Summary

Meaning of kyu ranks

I've heard it said that any martial arts teacher in the world who is worth a damn could teach a newbie everything that the instructor knows about self-defense within the space of 6-8 months.. Coming up through the ranks, our teachers...Show More Summary

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