後ろ両肘取り 合気横投げ | Ushiro ryohiji dori aiki yoko nage

Rear double elbow grab aiki horizontal throw | 
Ushiro ryohiji dori aiki yoko nage

 


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Daitoryu Aiki-jujutsu Tora Dojo located at 5 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ
For more info please email us @ info@daitoryu.org

 

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無常 | Impermanence

Mujo | Impermanence


3559191954_BigTake heart, nothing is meant to last!
When training in classical Japanese arts, we will set aside the debate whether Daitoryu is koryu or gendai budo, one wants to preserve and preform the waza (techniques) as they were done for centuries. The truth is that like a lighthouse the adherence to tradition helps guide your training but times change and if you intend your martial arts to remain useful, then a certain amount of change must happen in order to keep it relevant.

I don’t mean to change every aspect of the art until there is nothing left of the original but rather be open-minded enough to explore the waza and it’s application after learning the original technique’s intention and application. In this way you grow in your understanding of the waza, the art and yourself.


Impermanence, signature: Heisei 18 nen fuzuki Nihon ni oite Gido, 2006, calligraphy, ink on paper


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猿も木から落ちる | Even monkeys fall from trees

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Saru mo ki kara ochiru | Even monkeys fall from trees

Sometimes it takes a monkey to remind us we are human.

Every so often I make a mistake in the dojo, whether it’s mis-remembering a sequence in a kata or something else and I remember this proverb before getting too hard on myself. Sometimes the notion that sensei are always to be correct even rests with the sensei, not from an arrogant place but rather feeling responsible for the instruction and guidance of those that come to the dojo.

I take the leadership and instruction of the dojo very seriously so the image of the monkey falling out of the tree makes me smile and reminds me to then laugh at myself and not take myself so damn serious. I am, after all, in the dojo for the love of budo (martial arts) and therefore in my happy place of sorts.


 

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Daitoryu Aiki-jujutsu Tora Dojo located at 5 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ
For more info please email us @ info@daitoryu.org

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七転び八起き | Fall down 7 times get up 8

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Nanakorobi yaoki | Fall down 7 times get up 8


Fall down 7 times get up 8, what? Fall down 7 times, stand up 7 times…right? So is someone bad at math or is there more here?

To my mind, inherit in that phrase is that there will be another fall, expect the 8th fall even though it hasn’t come, you already have committed to accepting it and moving past it. That’s how determined you should be, failure is nothing more than proof you are trying.


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Daitoryu Aiki-jujutsu Tora Dojo located at 5 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ
For more info please email us @ info@daitoryu.org

 

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One of my favorite sayings…

“When your bow is broken and your last arrow spent, then shoot, shoot with your whole heart.” —Roger Zelazny


To me this is about courage, not the absence of fear but rather the strength to move forward in the presence of fear as it surrounds you.

I believe it’s also a comment on being a martial artist at your core, not because you put on fancy pajamas and swing a weapon around in some prearranged pattern but that you’ve internalized your martial art so completely that you’ve blurred the line between where you end and the martial artist begins.


kyudo

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Daitoryu Aiki-jujutsu Tora Dojo located at 5 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ
For more info please email us @ info@daitoryu.org

 

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だるま押 | Daruma-osae

10562606_746875032039390_8517846430611661774_oThis pin is called Daruma-osae


I often remind my students that in separating Japanese culture from Japanese martial arts something gets lost, I understand it’s difficult to grasp some of the references but it’s up to us to research, question and understand in order to gain a better understanding. 

One case I use is daruma-osae, the name of the waza informs more than its shape but also its functionality. Daruma are made of papier-mâché, are round in shape, are hollow with a weighted bottom so that they return to an upright position when tilted over, this gives us a picture of the end result of this pin. Not only does the opponent not have use of his arms because they are pinned, one under him the other tucked behind his back but he’s positioned into a round shape like the daruma doll. The opponent’s weight is forced down and under him making the pin effective, much like the weight at the bottom of the daruma which helps it stand upright after being tipped over.

Of course, the waza can be taught without the reference but the reference serves as an illustration of the desired result and some of the mechanics of the pin. This helps drive home the waza via a very common reference point for a Japanese student but for a non-Japanese student it becomes both a martial and a cultural lesson.

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For more on the Daruma doll, look here.

 

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Daitoryu Aiki-jujutsu Tora Dojo located at 5 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ
For more info please email us @ info@daitoryu.org

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