PURPOSE OF JUJITSU
1: BUILD CONFIDENCE AND COORDINATION
2: DEVELOP INNER AND OUTER STRENGTH
3: BECOME AT PEACE WITH YOURSELF, THE WORLD AROUND YOU AND
4: SELF DEFENSE
1: JUJITSU IS FOR SELF DEFENSE ONLY
2: IF YOU HAVE A CHOICE, ALWAYS RUN FROM A FIGHT
3: IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CHOICE, DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO,
It is not my goal to have all of my students following the same philosophy about the martial arts and life, as I do. My personal philosophy has developed as a result of conversations with many individuals as well as reading the philosophy of other martial artists. Mostly I have been influenced by western Christianity and Eastern Zen. My own beliefs have grown and changed as time has passed. I feel that growth, in all things, can not occur without change. My goal is to help guide you into forming your own philosophy. By requiring certain books to be read while suggesting others, I hope to lead you along your own path.
The general philosophy of Kamekan Jujitsu is that of having an open mind. It is important to learn all that life can teach you and not to reject any idea until you have examined it. It is through peace and understanding that knowledge is attained, hate breeds ignorance.
Discussion on all aspects of the martial arts or life in general are encouraged as well as questions on techniques or teaching methods that you find confusing. I have learned as much about the techniques I teach from students questions as I have from the questions I asked when learning them. Please feel free to speak your mind, but also try to think through your question first to express your own theories as well.
Kamekan Jujitsu is a combination of several different styles of martial arts and continues to grow as new techniques are learned and added to the system. No technique, no matter from what style it originated, is rejected until it has been tried and tested for its effectiveness in relation to the other techniques in the system.
CONQUERING FEAR AND PAIN
THROUGH THE MARTIAL ARTS
By Dr Tom Corizzi
Though I am not a psychologist, I, like all of us, have faced fear and pain on many different levels. Having grown up smaller than most others my age, I was the target for bullies who feed on fear. Though I was strong for my size, I had been intimidated to the point of having very little confidence. This lack of confidence made it difficult for me to compete in team sports. Not being adept at team sports I turned my attention to individual activities. First, weight lifting. Being small for my age, I needed that extra size and strength that comes from weight training. It didn't take too long before I could lift more than most of the other boys my age. I also turned to long distance bicycling. It wasn't uncommon to cover 25 to 50 miles on a weekend afternoon. Once, when I was In the Boy scouts, several of us needed to swim one mile for our swimming merit badge. A few of the older boys tried to convince me I wasn't big enough and would never make it. I almost believed them and almost quit before I even started, but one of the counselors encouraged me to try. As it ended up, I was the first one finished.
Weight training and any marathon type activity deals with a certain amount of pain. You have to endure some pain in order to achieve a goal. Though weight lifting and bicycling do not necessarily deal with fear, as far as a confrontation is concerned, they do change your perception of pain and help in building self confidence. This brings me to the point of this article. Many physical activities deal with fear and many with pain, but few deal with fear, the fear of pain and pain, in the same way the martial arts does. By training in the martial arts, we face our fears on many levels. We endure pain to certain degrees and in the end, raise our level of confidence. Lets look at these three topics individually, see how they inter-relate and how they are affected by studying the martial arts.
Fear is the emotion which is dealt with most in studying the martial arts . Many people start training in the martial arts due to the fear of being attacked. Through studying the martial arts a person can overcome many of his/her fears. Everyone is afraid of something. Some fears can keep a person from functioning. This type of fear is called a phobia. A phobia is an exaggerated and persistent fear. Acrophobia, (the fear of heights), Hydrophobia, the fear of water. Odynophobia, the fear of pain and my favorite, pantophobia, the fear of everything. We grow up with fear. We are born with certain primordial fears to help us survive, such as the fear of fire, water, heights and other such fears. As children we are introduced to new fears. It is hard to tell which fears are innate and which are actually learned as we grow. I have three children, two of which seemed to be afraid of the water from the very beginning while my youngest son shows no fear of it at all. Therefore, to learn to swim my other two children had too overcome this fear of water. Children want to have friends and be liked which later develops into the fear of being unpopular, which can carry through young adulthood. The fear of "not being accepted", can cause people to act different than they would normally. If parents over push their children to get high grades, the fear of failure can occur. We all have fears, but each in varying degrees. Many of us are afraid of conflict, even in the form of an argument. If the individual involved is bigger than us we can become intimidated by this person and be convinced to do something that we might not want to do. This intimidation stems from the fear of any conflict turning into a physical confrontation.
Many children experience this from "Bullies" who may harass them with threats of violence if they don't do as they are told. Let's take for example the classic case of the bully who steals lunch money. First, he or they if they work in a gang, will threaten another child with physical punishment if they don't get the money. Then to protect themselves, they also threaten physical abuse if the victim report it to an adult. This children's tactic works in the adult world. Fear works in favor of muggers, rapists and other criminals. Non-criminal acts of intimidation work just as well at work and home. Child bullies sometimes grow up to be adult bullies and if you were intimidated as a child you could easily be intimidated as an adult. While learning the martial art techniques you start to lose the fear of physical confrontations. Your confidence begins to build, not only from the possibility of being attacked in the streets, but all situations. At work or at home, with family or a friend, you become more of your own person and you learn to say no to situations that you may have been intimidated into previously because you no longer have the fear of physical confrontation. Remember that this fear is usually sub conscious and is not inherent in all people, but think of past situations where you said yes to someone when you actually wanted to say no and you will know what I am referring to. You will find this fear reducing as your confidence builds.
The study of Budo (Martial way) or Bujutsu (Martial art) helps an individual overcome their fears. In Kamekan Jujitsu, as in other arts, we start with the fear of falling. By teaching a student to fall without being injured, they overcome the fear of falling. We progress by teaching students how to escape from different body grabs (being grabbed by the wrist, lapel, bear hugs, headlocks etc.) without struggling. A wrist or lapel grab is unthreatening. The student can practice technique with very little fear. We then move to defenses to strikes and kicks. For some students there may be an initial fear being hit or kicked, but if practiced at a safe pace, the student can practice comfortably, become proficient at the techniques and soon lose that fear. Eventually the club and knife are introduced. These are all practiced in pre-planned attacks. Again, to allow the student to feel comfortable with the techniques. Once a student feels confident that they can handle a pre-planned scenario they move to spontaneous attacks. Again, there may be some initial fear that washes away with exposure to the exercise. Then comes preplanned multiple attacks and finally spontaneous multiple attacks, first empty handed and then with weapons. Eventually the fear of physical confrontation is completely gone. Along the way the individual becomes more confident and less afraid. This becomes reflected in daily life. Conflicts that arise become resolved easier. The student or individual is less afraid to stand up for themselves. As a student learns to defend himself they are less afraid. They don't have to get angry, they have no reason to hate. They learn to avoid conflict rather than fight and only to fight when they have to, whether it is a physical fight or verbal confrontation.
FEAR OF PAIN
Everyone is afraid of getting hurt. Whether its a fear of insects because you are afraid of getting stung or bit, fear of going to the doctor for a shot, the dentist because of the drill, and, of course, the fear of fighting. Overcoming the fear of pain occurs in the martial arts. Through acceptance and the change in your perception of pain you learn that pain is just another feeling. Its important to pay attention to pain if it is due to an injury, but it can be ignored when needed. As you learn more about pain and how much pain you can tolerate your fear of pain and the fear of attempting things that may cause pain will diminish. Fear of pain is just one of the many things we may fear. One of the reasons we may be afraid to stand up for ourselves and fight for something or defend ourselves is due to this fear of being hurt by that individual who threatens us. Through training in the martial arts we become less afraid of someone being able to hurt us as well as learning to tolerate pain and injuries we become better able to stand up for ourselves and are not so afraid of being hurt.
What is pain. Technically pain is the transmission of impulses along nerves. The brain translates these impulses as pain. It is the body's way of letting us know that there is a problem or injury. Pain impulses can be created without causing actual damage. In the application of pressure points or joint locking techniques we apply pain without injury. Pain impulses are no different from one person to another. It is how we perceive these impulses and our own individual threshold for pain that is different. Pain can be ignored. You can also learn how to accept pain, differentiate between real pain from a problem or injury and pain that is applied without injury, reacting in a proper way to prevent injury. Your tolerance for pain can be increased. Many professional Sports people have been known to ignore minor injuries in order to continue competing. Through your martial arts training you too can learn the difference between real pain and warning pain. Think about the type of pain you might be exposed to during your martial arts class. If you study a style such as Jujitsu you may have to take falls that in the beginning may hurt until you learn to fall properly. You may also have to practice joint locking, pressure points and chokes. Techniques that, though they will not be applied to the point of injury will be applied to the point of pain. But when applied properly in class the technique is only applied to the point before injury. Some people find this type of punishment too much for them and quit the martial arts or look for an arts that is not as painful or is painful in other ways. Striking styles such as Karate and Taekwondo experience pain in different ways. Beginning training may involve learning stances that are painful because the muscles in the legs are not used to that motion. Getting punched and kicked even through a protective pad will still cause pain but again without the injury that would be caused if the pad were not there. Its training such as this that better prepares the body for pain and allows us to tolerate it better.
Through training in the martial arts, you will overcome fear, and the fear of pain, develop more self confidence and have a more secure life.
CLASSICAL JUJITSU AND ITS MODERN FORMS
Jujitsu is the empty handed fighting style which developed in Japan during the 13 th century. It can be translated as Ju - meaning gentle and Jitsu meaning art. It is also known as the "art of suppleness." There is no one individual style of Jujitsu. Similar to the many styles of Kung Fu, there are many styles of Jujitsu. Classical styles of Jujitsu included Daito Ryu, Kito Ryu and Tenshin Ryu and many more. Forms of AikiJitsu and Aiki Jujutsu are all systems of Jujitsu. Through years some of these systems have coalesced. Techniques from one style were added to an other to make it a better fighting system. Jujitsu techniques include methods of striking, kicking, throwing, choking and most particular, joint locking. Students who train, learn to move from one technique to another depending on the resistance and movement of the opponent.
Besides classical styles, many new systems have arisen. Due to practicality or philosophy, some styles such as Judo and Aikido have become "DO" or "The Way." Though , not necessarily Jujutsu systems, these styles still utilize modified Jujitsu techniques.
Though it would be almost impossible to list all of the classical styles of Jujitsu or the newer systems that have arisen from them, I will list the ones that are most significant.
Though the empty handed techniques of Jujitsu are what is mostly associated with this style of martial art, there are other aspects that were taught to the Samurai, depending on their rank and status. Aspects such as strategy, history, first aid, medicine, and, of course, weapons. Weapons training would include sword, spear and knife, but could also include the yawara sticks, throwing weapons such as shurikans and spikes and archery. What was taught to the Samurai depended on his fighting abilities and his Ajob@ on the battlefield.
Remember that Jujitsu training was battlefield training. The styles of classical Jujitsu still being taught today exist for one of two reasons. They were either strong enough to survive the battlefield and centuries of feudal war fare or were kept alive because they were popular amongst the officials of the Japanese courts.
DAITO RYU AIKIJUJUTSU
Daito-Ryu is one of the strongest and best known of the classical forms. It was founded by Minamoto no Shinra Saburo Yoshimitsu (1045-1127), the last grandson of emperor Seiwa. Yoshimitsu was a teacher of So-Jutsu (spear), To-Ho (sword methods), and Tai-Jutsu (body arts). He was noted for having dissected the cadavers of executed criminals and slain enemy soldiers. Through this study of the human body he mastered Gyakute and Ichigeki Hissatsu (techniques of killing with one blow). Yoshimitsu is considered to be the one who originally developed the techniques of Daito-Ryu by adding to the previous secret techniques of the Minamoto clan. Modern systems that have developed from Daito are Aikido, Hakkoryu and Hapkido.
Probably the best known practitioner of Daito Ryu is Sokaku Takeda (1858-1942) He was instructor to Morehei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido and Ryuho Okuyama, founder of Hakkoryu Jujutsu. He was also the instructor of Horikawa Kodo (1894-1980) who receive amongst other titles, the AOrder of Eternal Mastership@, the highest title in Budo society.
Though there are Daito Ryu schools through out the world, very few teach or even know much of the complete curriculum still kept alive by the Takeda family in Japan.
Judo, "The gentle way", was developed by Jigoro Kano in 1882. Judo is a form of self defense as well as a sport. Sensei Kano was a Jujitsu practitioner who=s training included classical styles of Kito Ryu and Tenshin Ryu Jujitsu. Kano developed Judo as a form of exercise to be used in the public schools of Japan. Jujitsu competitions often resulted in severe injuries as well as some deaths. To reduce injuries during competition, all strikes and the majority of joint locking techniques were removed. Kano advocated that Judo's purpose was not to win competitions, but to perfect one's mind and body for the mutual benefit and welfare of all mankind. It was first known as Kano Jujitsu and then Kano Judo. Eventually he adopted the name Kodokan after a famous Shinto Temple. The name Judo was not new. It was actually the name of a traditional style of Jujitsu that had been practiced for several hundred years. Kano may have felt that the name Judo, Athe Gentle Way @ best expressed his philosophy toward his art.
Techniques in Judo include Ukemi (falling techniques), Nagewaza (throwing techniques), Newaza (ground techniques) and Atemi waza (vital point techniques). The last incorporates striking techniques that are illegal in competition and taught only to advanced ranks. They were taught to Kano by Gichin Funakoshi, the father of Shotokan Karate.
Shiro Saigo (1863-1922) a member of the Daito clan, trained in Daito Ryu Aikijutsu and was recruited by Kano to join the Kodokan. His Judo skills combined with his previous Daito training, enabled him to win many contests held between the Kodokan and other Jujitsu schools. His prowess tremendously helped Judo=s attainment of notoriety.
Aikido means, "The way of harmony" or, "The way of spirit", it is an unarmed method of self defense founded in 1942.. Ueshiba was a religious man and combined his martial skill with his religious beliefs and Zen meditation. It is based on the principle of harmony and non-resistance to one's opponent. Aikido is essentially non-combative and noncompetitive. Its primary purpose is to develop a healthy mind and body together with a wholesome spirit.
As mentioned before, the founder of Aikido, Morehei Ueshiba, trained in Daito Ryu Jujitsu. He did not learn the entire curriculum , only the first 100 techniques. These techniques were combined with techniques from other schools to become Aikido.
There are many branches of Aikido. Aikido can be practiced softly for exercise, health or its religious aspects. It can also be taught as a hard style stressing the Aiki aspect of Daito (the striking and bone breaking techniques).
By the choice of Kano and Ueshiba, neither Judo nor Aikido contained all the elements of true Jujitsu. Both had chosen the techniques they wanted to teach according to the philosophies of their founders. In order to increase their abilities, many students cross trained between the Kodokan and the Hombu. Judo students would train in Aikido which emphasized momentum and Ki. Aikido students would train in Judo to strengthen their hip throws and Ukemi (falling techniques).
Some modern systems taught today are combinations of Judo and Aikido, looking to join the best elements of both styles. One such system is Myamaryu Combat Jujitsu, founded by Antonio Pereira. Pereira first learned a style of Jujitsu called Combato during World War II. In 1961, Pereira traveled to Japan to train. Training eight hours a day for 6 months, Pereira attained a Nidan in Judo and received a teaching certificate in Aikido signed by Kisshomo Ueshiba, the son of the founder. Myama Ryu combines the original techniques of Combato with Judo and Aikido.
The Chinese Characters for Danzan Ryu denote the Hawaiian Islands. The founder of Danzan Ryu was Seisho Okazaki, born 1890. Seisho and his family moved from Japan to Hawaii in 1906. In 1909 he was diagnosed to have "incurable Tuberculosis." In defiance of his condition, Okazaki started training in Jujitsu with Yoshimatsu Tanaka. Whether due to the power of martial arts training or a miracle, Okazaki's Tuberculosis healed. He decided to devote his life to teaching and promoting Jujitsu. His training included Yoshin-Ryu Iwaga Ryu and Kasagabe Ryu Jujutsu. combining these techniques with Karate strikes and kicks, knife techniques from the Philippines and the Hawaiian killing art of Lua, Okazaki developed Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. He also thought it important to teach restoration techniques from his studies of the Japanese arts Kappo and Seifuku Jutsu.
One of the best known students of Danzan Ryu was Professor Wally Jay.
A style of Jujitsu founded in 1941 by Ryuho Okuyama in Japan. Okuyama, having studied Daito Ryu Jujitsu and being a Shiatsu (a form of Japanese massage) Practitioner, put his medical and martial art knowledge together to form his system. Hakkuryu, "the school of the eighth light", is designed to handle attacks by applying pressure on the bodies meridians to cause intense, but non-damaging pain and reduce the attackers will to continue. The techniques employ minimal strength, yet generate maximum efficiency.
Founded by Yong Shul Choi who from 1919 to the beginning of World War 2, studied Daito Ryu AikiJitsu. Choi combined Jujitsu with Hwarando and Taekyn, Korean martial art forms. This combination became a strong defensive style against the Korean styles. Teachings include probably the most practical weapon for street defense, the cane.
A modern form of karate it was originally known as Kenpo Jujitsu. It was introduced in Hawaii by James Mitose in December of '41 at the beginning of World War 2. Emphasizing the attacking of vital points similar to Japanese Atemi Waza, I
it employs throws, lock and take down's. Kenpo was "Americanized" by a student of Mitose, William K.S. Chow. Ed Parker was a disciple of Chow and adopted the system to what he considered more modern combination. It is the changes in the system, that probably relate Kenpo becoming more of a karate style than its original Jujitsu counterpart.
Goshinjitsu means "The art of self defense". It is a form of Jujitsu developed by Tatsu Tanaka, who opened his Dojo in Tokyo in 1952. Finding classical Jujitsu unsuited for his tastes, he decided to eliminate injurious techniques. Kicking and striking techniques were removed and
emphasis placed on locking and throwing techniques. There are 21 techniques against a knife, stick, gun, grabs, strikes.
SMALL CIRCLE JUJITSU
Small Circle Jujitsu was founded by Professor Wally Jay, one of the best known Jujitsu practitioners of this country. Jay started his martial training at the age of 11 with boxing. At the age of 18 he started training in Jujitsu while continuing his boxing. Five years later, Jay started training in Danzan Ryu Jujitsu under Juan Gomez, a student of the founder, Seisho Okazaki.
The fundamental principle of small circle Jujitsu is "two way" wrist action. Jay credits Ken Kawachi, his Judo instructor, for teaching him this.
Besides coaching a championship Judo team, Wally Jay has also been the instructor to many well known martial artists, including a young Bruce Lee, who was looking to add grappling to his own martial arts style.
A popular style of Jujitsu due to its impressive ground fighting techniques that have been displayed in contests such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Gracie Jujitsu was founded by Carlos Gracie. Carlos trained as a teenager under the great Japanese Jujitsu champion, Mitsui Maedakama. Carlos was interested in street fighting. Combining his boxing experience with the classical Jujitsu and then modifying the combination into a style for the Brazilian streets. Carlos constantly worked to make it more effective. To do this he fought anyone who was willing regardless of size, weight or fighting style. The tradition of open challenge continues today. Events such as the "Ultimate Fighting Championship", has not only been profitable for the Gracie Family, but has shown the effectiveness of the Gracie Style in one on one competition.
The word Kamekan is Japanese for Turtle Hall. It is not the name of a new system of Jujitsu, rather it is the name I gave to the original Dojo where I teach. It is a combination of different styles which includes elements of classical and modern Jujitsu such as Goshinjitsu, Judo, Aikido and Hakkuryu Jujutsu. Most of these techniques were taught to me by Sensei Harry Glackin who studied several systems including Yoshitsune under Michael Depasquale Sr., Myama Ryu under Antonio Parerra and Hakkoryu under Azo Ninamiya, to put together his system which he called "Goshindo Martial Arts".
Besides Goshindo Martial Arts I have also studied White Dragon Kung fu, Aikido and Daito Ryu Jujutsu. My goal has always been to learn as much as I can and adapt the techniques I teach to work in combat situations.
There are many new styles of Jujitsu appearing today. Most are combination styles such as my Kamekan Jujitsu. These new styles are an attempt to regain all of the fighting elements of Jujitsu that have been discarded for one reason or another by the founders of the modern systems and return their styles to its original combat efficiency. In this way Jujitsu is completing the circle. Jujitsu started out as a combat fighting style. Individuals such as Kano, Ueshiba and Tanaka, changed the systems to make them safer to learn, but they gave up some of their street effectiveness. This return to complete fighting systems is a positive step. However, it should be realized by the founders of these new systems, that they are not creating anything new, but are simply returning to something very old.
Dojo means, "the place of the way". The way being any Japanese or Okinawa martial art (Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, etc.). The "place" is where you study the way. A Dojo can be anything from a building specifically designed to study a martial art to someones basement or garage. Many Dojo are made from store fronts. My first Jujitsu instructor used to train us in the back yard.
No matter what the place, because it is where you are learning it is important to show respect to the Dojo. Ideally, when you enter the Dojo, on your right should be the "Shimoza" or lower seat. This is where students below the rank of black belt will line up. To your left will be the "Joza", the upper seat where your instructor and other black belts will sit. There may be pictures, a flag, or something affiliated with the style of martial art, hanging on the wall. When you enter you should bow to the upper seat to show your respect. On first greeting your instructor and other black belts, you should also bow to them.
When the class first starts, students should be sitting, according to rank, facing the upper seat, black belts will be seated in the upper seat facing the students. This is the time the head instructor will then enter the Dojo and sit along with the other black belts. The instructors (black belts) will all turn to face the Joza and the whole class will bow toward the pictures, flag, or, to show respect. The instructors will then turn again to face the students. The highest ranked student will then say "Sensei Ne, Rei", which means, "bow to Sensei". Class has thus begun and will precede according to the particular style or instructor.
During the class it is important that you and your partner (Uki) bow to each other before you start to show respect for the pain and abuse you may inflict on each other. When practice is over you again bow to each other to thank each other for sharing the training time. During a class you may work with several different partners. The above mentioned ritual should occur for each partner you train with.
Occasionally, the instructor will stop the class to demonstrate a technique or to make certain comments to the whole class. During this time you should either sit with your hands on your knees or stand with your hands either behind your back or in front of you at the level of your belt. Though you may not mean it so, crossing your arms across your chest can be considered disrespectful in certain situations. As in all situations, holding private conversations while an instructor is talking is disrespectful.
When speaking to any black belt, whether with a question or comment, you should address them as "Sensei". Sensei means "teacher", amongst other things. It is disrespectful, while in the Dojo, to address the instructors by there first names.
When the class ends, students and instructors will line up as they did at the beginning of class. The high ranking student will again say, "Sensei Ne, Rei", and the black belts and students will bow to each other. The black belts will again turn to face the Joza and the entire class will bow. The black belts will again turn to face the class, the head instructor will thank the class for attending and the class will thank him/her for his instruction. The head instructor is the first to stand. Only after he/she has bowed off the mat does the rest of the class rise and bow off.
Any further matters concerning etiquette will be discussed as they arise.
MUDANSHA - Align in order of seniority from most senior (Shomen side) to least senior student (to the left).
YUDANSHA - Align from most senior to least senior from left to right. The least senior to left and most senior to right.
The class Sensei and his guest instructor, if any, sit at the head of the class.
The Head Instructor, his Uchideshi and any other guests are in their area.
Class Aligned as specified.
Head Master and Uchideshi enter the class and kneel
On entry, Senior Student announces attention (Kyotske)
Class control now in Sensei hold.
SHOMEN HONOR (SHOMEN NETASHTE REI)
SENSEI HONOR (SENSEI NETASHTE REI)
CLEAR THE MIND (MAKSO)
MATTE - STOP, everybody stops
Sensei class vigorously AMATTE@
(Matte - Stop, means everybody stops
After Matte is called, everyone lines up in their specific spot.
CLASS DISMISSED (In order of seniority)
SKIPPING EXERCISE/JUMPING JACKS
UKEMI: BACK FALLS
Each student comes in with expectations of what they want to learn or what they feel the martial arts is about. These expectations usually are not met. When the style of martial art does not live up to the students ideals one of two things can happen. One, the student leaves in search of another art or two, the students adjusts his original expectations, empties his/her cup and takes what the instructor can give.
What is expected of the student is only what they can give. As in all things the more you give, the more you receive, so the more time and effort you put into your training the more you will get out of it and the faster you will progress. Of course there are many things that can influence an individuals progress. Their present state of physical fitness is one. An individual who is in great shape is already one step ahead of someone who is not. Your occupation and/or family life can also influence your studies. The point is this, we are not all equal in time, condition or ability but in the martial arts each person progresses at their own rate. There is no pressure to do those things that are currently beyond your abilities. You will each progress and learn at your own rate
Ukemi is the art of falling or more importantly break falling. Ukemi waza or falling practice, is obviously very important to the practice of Jujutsu. It allows us to practice our techniques on each other while avoiding injury. Ukemi practice includes our back and side falls, forward, back and side rolls, break falls, front falls and air rolls. To protect yourself, you not only need to know how to land properly when thrown, but how to control your own fall and sometimes, how to throw yourself. Besides our throwing techniques, we also have joint locking techniques. Ukemi also involves learning to go with a joint technique to avoid injury. Learning how to fall and throw yourself properly enables you to have a technique applied without being injured. Along with learning how to fall and throw yourself, you will also learn how to be an Uke, an art all its own. An Uke is a receiver, the person who a technique is executed. But to be a good Uke you must be willing to give of yourself. In learning the lower level techniques an Uke must allow the technique to be applied without resistance in order for the students to learn the technique. It is also important that beginning students not resist a throw or a joint technique. Resisting the technique can lead to injury, not only to yourself, but to your partner who is concerned with protecting his Uke. Higher level students may remember how hard it was to learn the basic techniques and how helpful it was when their partner flowed with the technique as opposed to those times when the Uke was more resistant making it harder to practice.
At the intermediate levels of practice an Uke must be able to attack hard but react appropriately to faked or light atemi as if they had been struck for real. This also allows us to practice techniques without injury. Imagine what practice would be like if we had to kick or strike each other with full force.
Advanced ukemi practice involves learning to keep a technique alive. Forcing the student to change tactics or techniques if their opening application fails. In this a good Uke will resist a faulty applied technique, but go with a properly applied technique to avoid injury.
Higher level students are required to know the difference for ukemi for beginning students, intermediate students, and those at their own level. To continually counter techniques applied by lower or intermediate level students, just because you can is inappropriate when teaching. The proper resistance for the corresponding level and no more is required.
Here is the proper ukemi per rank
Beginning students should never resist a technique no matter what rank they are working with. Beginner should concentrate on falling techniques and avoiding injury
1: White to Orange
No resistance should be given. Students are learning basic body movements and beginning ukemi. Good ukemi means sometimes moving your own body into the desired position for teaching purposes.
2: Orange to Blue
Slight resistance on yellow and orange techniques to strengthen proper application. No resistance on new techniques so they can be learned.
3: Blue to 3rd Brown
No resistance on new techniques. This includes the pre-planned multiple attacks.
Attacks become stronger with more resistance practicing beginning techniques. Uke should not just give up, but if a proper atemi is used, proper reaction is required. Countering properly applied techniques is inappropriate. Leniency in multiple situations.
4: Sankyu to Ikkyu
Multiple situations become more spontaneous as opposed to pre-planned. Uke should beware of their own protection and not resist a properly applied technique. Mis applied techniques are countered to keep technique alive. Maintain proper reaction to atemi.
In multiple situations, the Uke=s must worry about avoiding injury from the techniques being applied, but also from running into or falling on the other Uke=s.
During a test is when an Uke=s ability shines. A bad Uke can destroy the morale of the testing student and make a student who is performing correctly look bad. This is especially important in spontaneous testing when a higher level student ignores the atemi or counters every attempt the testing student makes whether applied properly or not. Ukemi must definitely reflect the level of the testing student. Also, for your own protection, never anticipate a technique. Wait to feel what technique is being applied and then react accordingly.
The key is to put yourself in the position of the person learning the technique and remember what you required when in that position.
Aikido: The way of harmony with energy
Atemi: body strikes
Atemi-waza: body striking techniques
Bokken: wooden sword
Budo: military way
Bushido: the way of the warrior
Bujutsu: military art
Dan: rank or degree
Shodan - 1st degree black belt
Do: way or path
Dojo: place of the way
Gi: (keiogi), uniform
Hei Ho: Strategy
Irimi: Angular entry
Judo: gentle way
Jujitsu: gentle art
Kamekan: Turtle Hall
Karate: empty hand
Kata: formal exercise
Kiai: spirit meeting. A loud shout
Kung fu: Human effort
Kyu: ranks under black belt
Ikyu - first rank under shodan (1st brown)
Kyotske - Attention
Menkio Kyden - Founder Family Eldest Son
Mitsu: Water Entry
Netashte - We honor
O Sensei - Head Master
Omote: Straight entry
Randori: free exercise
Rei: command to bow
Ryu: school (refers to style of martial art)
Samurai: warrior or "one who serves"
Seiza: correct sitting, full kneel position used when bowing in.
Sensei: teacher or instructor
Shihan: Doctor, master teacher
Tae Kwon Do: The way of the fist and foot
Tori: taker. The individual preforming the technique
Uke: receiver. The individual whom the technique is executed
Uke-waza: falling practice