Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Take It And Like It!

Will your head roll thanks to ukemi?

Ukemi: to receive. It does not mean to flip around like a fish or roll around like your trying to win the gold metal at the special Ninja Olympics in gymnastics. Ukemi is the first and most important thing one should learn when starting a martial art. If your opponent cant permanently hurt you then you have already won! For training purposes there is uke and tori but in reality there is no uke and tori they are one in the same. In our minds we can not have such dangerous concepts as uke and tori. We can not go into "I’m going to take Ukemi" mode. This will result in injury or death when confronted with a real situation. In order to save your arm from breaking you can then take Ukemi prevent the limb from breaking, if that’s the situation your in. Now if you are in that situation it means you lost a lot of battles along the way. You lost the distance, verbal, emotional, mental, and physical battles. If Ukemi and Taijutsu is good you would not be in the situation to be in an arm bar or some other technique that shouldn’t ever work anyway.

Ukemi is not just physical. You have to have mental and emotional Ukemi. You have to receive a mental or emotional attack the same way you do a physical one. Verbal attacks are usually the spark to the flame of a physical attack.
Now because uke and tori are one in the same, the uke needs to be at zero. We must try to achieve this just as we do as the tori. This is just like the godan test. If you are not at zero you get a headache for your trouble. When you are zero as an uke during the godan test there is no trying to dodge it. You move when it’s the time to move. Your action becomes you thought and thought the action. In the instant you are 1, but you only truly pass when you remove yourself thus 1-1 = zero.

Yes I am implying that people have been awarded godan without in my opinion truly passing. Just because you dodge the sword does not mean you "received" the godan. But that’s not my concern, that’s something you have to live with on your conscious. I sleep just fine. I am just pointing it out for the sake of the discussion.

Back to Ukemi mode. In 1998 Soke talked about not taking Ukemi. This didn’t mean to be a resistant uke but rather to not mentally defeat yourself by taking Ukemi or going into Ukemi mode. Again you should be at zero. So how do you become zero as an uke? Well the same way you do when you’re a tori. You take distance, read the kukan and understand juppo sessho and you respond correctly in the space. You may roll, or you may punch them in their face. If somebody grabs your limb and tries to torque it in some direction. Stop them from doing it. Keeping ourselves safe is the point of what we do. Rolling is a part of that but its not the only way. By regaining your structure you may not have to do your back flip out of that oni kudaki. Or whatever. The flips and rolls that you do are by necessity. If your arm will break if you do not utilize your Ukemi (roll, flip, jump,) then you have to choose one of those options, but if you do not go into Ukemi mode then there might be a way of changing your structure and regaining your kamae to not have to tumble and you can stay in the fight. The whole idea behind not taking Ukemi is to stay in the situation long enough to see what the opportunity the Kukan might offer you, but if you take your self out of the situation by "taking" Ukemi then you have helped your opponent defeat you.

Again Ukemi is not just physical. Most fights could be avoided if persons mental or emotional Ukemi is good. Ukemi is to receive, so you must be able to receive insults and such and not be controlled or bated by them.


Before you take that roll, or square up with someone just because somebody made a your momma joke, remember it is our job and role as warriors to "receive" what the world has to throw at us, but if you have good ukemi you wont have to take it in the end. ;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Seminar in San Diego!

Kukan No Kyojutsu

Join Shihan Dan Ordoins and I at the La Jolla Shores in beautiful San Diego,CA on Auguest 22nd and 23rd.

Dan and I will be covering the movement and feeling of Kyojutsu, Kukan and Chuto Hampa.

Dan and I have taken several trip to Japan this year and are now teaming up to share the feeling and movment of Soke Hatsumi.

Dont miss this exciting, fun and informative event!

bring Katana, rope, hanbo and knifes.

No sharp or live weapons!

The event will be held at:
On Saturday:
Kellogg park
8200 Camino Del Oro , La Jolla Shores , San Diego

On Sunday:
kyokushin Karate
5505 clairmontmesa blvd

Registration: 9:30
training: 10:00am - 4:00pm or possiably later.