Sunday, August 3, 2008

2008 SMAA Seminar (11)

The last class of the seminar was taught again by Suino Sensei, SMAA Judo Division sixth dan. He continued to explore seoi nage. Fabian Sensei had previously shown the older Hontai Yoshin Ryu version of this throw, thus illustrating the connection between the modern martial art of judo and elder Nihon jujutsu methods.

But on Sunday, Suino Sensei had students use seoi nage in response to a punch or collar grab, stressing that judo remains a martial art and not merely a sport. He then transitioned into using the same entry and tai sabaki for harai goshi, a “sweeping hip throw,” one of his specialties. His judo classes are always fun and fast paced, with Suino Sensei’s outgoing personality and ever-present bubbling enthusiasm permeating the mat area.

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2008 SMAA Seminar (10)

Following lunch, Fabian Sensei, SMAA sixth dan, continued illustrating ancient jujutsu joint locking techniques. Several of these methods can be seen in modern jujutsu offshoots like judo. (One example is judo’s waki gatame elbow lock, and Fabian Sensei taught the Hontai Yoshin Ryu version of this grappling technique.) On Sunday, he focused on applying joint locking skills to punching attacks. He concluded with a remarkable demonstration of Hontai Yoshin Ryu, aided by his students Brian Barnes Sensei and Mathew Hawthorne Sensei, both SMAA members from Kentucky.

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H. E. Davey's subsequent class in Saigo Ryu jujutsu also accented the importance of moving from the lower abdomen for coordinated power. With Fabian Sensei as his uke, the “receiver” of his techniques, Mr. Davey taught how to escape from attacks from the rear.

2008 SMAA Seminar (8)

Sunday--July 27, 2008
H. E. Davey started training on Sunday morning with another Japanese yoga class, continuing his explanation of mind and body unification principles and exercises. He taught the following points at the 2008 SMAA Seminar:

Four Basic Principles to Unify Mind and Body
1. Maintain a positive mind.
2. Train the mind to arrive at full concentration.
3. Use the body obeying the laws of nature.
4. Train the body progressively, systematically, and regularly.

He also followed up on Rippy Sensei’s emphasis on the tanden, explaining that this natural center in the lower abdomen can serve as a point of mental focus for calming the mind, while coordinating the mind and body.

Friday, August 1, 2008

2008 SMAA Seminar (7)

Nicklaus Suino Sensei taught the last class on Saturday. Following his typical high energy warm-up exercises, Suino Sensei explained that he would show how Kodokan judo had evolved new entries for various throws due to the influence of competition. He began with the classical tai sabaki, “body movements,” for setting up seoi nage. Then, he taught a new approach, that’s popular in sport judo, to this common shoulder throw. This innovative entry was nonetheless based on skill more than muscle. It still retained classical judo’s accent on maximum efficiency with minimum effort.

Saturday concluded with a great party and BBQ. Don Prior Sensei and his wife Amy were wonderful hosts, just as they were at the 2006 SMAA Seminar & Conference.

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Joe Rippy Sensei, Wado Ryu sixth dan and the seminar’s special guest instructor, was next. He affirmed the importance of the mind-body unification principles and exercises H. E. Davey covered in his Japanese yoga training, emphasizing that anyone, in any martial art, could benefit from these concepts.

Rippy Sensei’s instruction started by highlighting the tanden, a point in the lower abdomen, and he explained that movement must originate from this point. However, most of his class was on tai sabaki, “body movements,” for evading an attack. He stressed that these skills originated from the influence of jujutsu on Wado Ryu karate-do.

2008 SMAA Seminar (5)

Following lunch on Saturday, Steve Fabian Sensei began teaching Hontai Yoshin Ryu jujutsu. This dynamic martial art also includes training with the six-foot staff, three-foot stick, and sword. It dates back 19 generations, in an unbroken lineage. Fabian Sensei is part of this line, having studied in Japan with the 18th and 19th generation leaders of Hontai Yoshin Ryu.

He began with warm-up exercises, and then progressed to ukemi falling drills. Next up were Hontai Yoshin Ryu wrist grab releases, building on what H. E. Davey taught earlier that day. From these releases, Fabian Sensei transitioned into various joint locks in response to a wrist grab. He emphasized that a successful technique in Hontai Yoshin Ryu requires ki (“life energy”), chikara (“strength”), and waza (“technique”).

2008 SMAA Seminar (4)

H. E. Davey's Japanese yoga and mind-body unification class was followed by training in Saigo Ryu jujutsu. Mr. Davey concentrated on how mind and body coordination principles could be applied to the martial arts to realize better balance, stability, power, and coordination. In addition, he worked on not clashing with an opponent’s possibly greater strength. By avoiding such clashes, students were better able to escape from various attacks, and they practiced escaping from wrist grabs.
The images above show Mr. Davey and students practicing Katate Tori Ridatsu Waza and Ryote Tori Ridatsu Waza, methods for releasing single and double wrist grabs.