Yoshio's Training Diary

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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

Again just a short note! I'm back!  ;D
Thank You Loremaster, I did come back safely yesterday.
As time will be a bit busy for me till mid of June - my brother is getting married on the 11th of June - I will try to get a kind of photo book added on my WordPress blog. When done, I will post here a link to it.

Now I'm looking forward to "start" with the work on the summer classes!  8)

Qui-Gon Jinn: "We cannot control our emotions, but we can decide how we go along with them."
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

Welcome back Yoshio! :-)
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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

Thanks Master Jax! It is good to be back, although I'm a bit busy as I'm looking forward to go to Budapest this Friday to celebrate there the stag night of my brother.  8)

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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

2011-05-26
The last two weeks I had been on holiday during which I walked the West Highland Way. This far distance hiking path starts in Milngavie and runs all the way up to Fort William. So it follows more or less the West cost of Scotland. It was my first far distance hiking tour and because of that a completely new experience. Although, to be honest, it is not completely true as I had done the first half already three years ago. At that time I did it on my own and finally stopped it as the weather was too bad. But this time I did it together with a friend. Therefore the weather played not an as big role as it did the last time. We walked all the way up and did the 95 miles in 8 days, which is, as I think, not to bad. Anyway, we didn't do it for proofing our self and our fitness but more for to enjoy the way. This is one thing we really did! The weather wasn't too good but good enough for hiking, especially as we had good water proofed gear. What I found very interesting for myself was the point that already on the first day I was able to completely "switch off" and leaf behind me everything what seemed to be important to me in my everyday life. When we were walking for a couple of hours per day simpler things became much more important to me as all the seemingly important stuff when I'm at work. Everyday we enjoyed our breaks during the walk and the simple "meals" we had which consisted mostly of sandwiches and some chocolate bars. To the end of the daily walks we where only hoping of getting a hot shower, a comfortable bed and a nice dinner and maybe a couple of drinks. ;-) Also we did enjoy the breakfast much intense as I would normally do. As I said, the more basic and simple things gained on importance and all the cultivated high standard things lost completely of importance to me like what day of the week is it or having to check my e-mails or my cell phone or how I would spend my spare time and so on.

Back from holiday I had been to Kieser-Training the first time on Tuesday (2011-05-24) again. When I looked at my exercise sheet I noticed that already one month was gone since I had been to the training the last time. Because of that I was a bit curious how the training would be like. But in the end I did quite well and was able to do all the exercises with the last weights for at least 90 sec. or nine repetitions. So I'm quite happy with that!

On Wednesday (2011-05-25) I went to my martial art class. In the first part of the training we did some Kata training of the Kukishinden Ryu. But we went very quickly into a freer form of applying the Kata to a more realistic situation. The end of the first block was then a kind of battlefield training in which everyone was "fighting" against everyone and later the group was divided into two groups and does two groups where fighting against each other. These make it necessary to adept yourself very quickly to the given situation and keep an eye on the things which are going on around you. This is a very interesting way of to train.
The second part of the training was dedicated to the sword again. But this time we worked at the end a bit with the Tachi, the predecessor of the Katana.
Last but not least we had this Wednesday, at least for me, the first time, after a long period, again our fight club. This is a very intense way of to train! This training takes us away from the Kata training into a more realistic and situation based application of the principles we learn during the Kata or regular training. We did some slow fighting in which you try to see the openings on your partner and use them for to punch him. That exercise was limited to only hand techniques and first with a dedicated attacker and defender and later on with both acting as the see their chances. Beside that we did some pre-setup techniques as a kind of combo and some punching exercises. After the training I felt physically completely done but in a way fine.

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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

It sounds like a great trip and I am very envious.  I hope you took some pictures of the beautiful landscapes.  I just have one question about your report and it has to do only with clarifying your English.

Also we did enjoy the breakfast much intense as I would normally do.


Do you mean that your breakfasts were MORE intense THAN you would normally do?  Are you saying you ate more than normal at breakfast?  That seems likely based on the walking tours I have done in the past.

The second part of the training was dedicated to the sword again. But this time we worked at the end a bit with the Tachi, the predecessor of the Katana.


That sounds very interesting.  I'm curious how you distinguish the tachi from the katana in class.  I'm a collector, so I know the difference, but what makes the difference when practicing the techniques in class?  Do you use steel swords in class or do you use bokuto?  Whichever you use, do you actually use a different version for tachi vs. katana or is it just that you distinguish that the techniques were originally for one over the other?

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

To answer Your questions, Zen-Ryo Senshi, first of all sorry for my unclear English. What I meant by it was, that I eat my breakfast much more consciously as I do it normally. In general, I try to do everything as consciously as possible but with routine things it happens very easily to "just do them".  So the feeling of eating my breakfast was more intense or deeper, to put it this way. I hope, I was able to clarify it a bit better!?
But You are also right with the amount of what we ate. Normally I would eat a sandwich during the week for breakfast. But during the hiking trip we always eat a full Scottish breakfast, some toast and cereals.

About the differences between practicing techniques with Katana and/or Tachi are based on the "function" which the different swords had.
As You will know, the Tachi was basically/mainly used single handed and the Katana double handed. This was due to the use of the Tachi from the horseback or even on battle field where it was most likely that you had to use your other hand for something different than to hold a sword. Additionally the curvature of the Tachi is great/bigger/more than the one of the Katana which gave you the option to use it like a Calvary sabre. But this curvature makes it also necessary to adopt the techniques to this kind of blade. For our training purpose we do use wooden swords (Bokuto) and have two different kinds of them. The Katana type is the one you would normally buy as Bokken from the martial arts shops. The Tachi is a specially for us produced "replica" of a Tachi in the "style" of a Bokken. This means it has more curvature on the blade and a shorter handle/hilt.

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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

Thank you for the clarifications.  It is very interesting to hear about your tachi practice.  I had never considered, before, that the tachi would generally be used one-handed, but of course, it makes sense.  I've also never seen a boku-tachi (not sure if it should be bokudachi or bottachi) - that's cool that you guys have them made for you to practice.

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

This is will be a long post as I had been away, more or less unexpected, for quite some time. First of all there was the wedding of my brother, then there had been some changes at our company which made it impossible to use internet during lunchbreak and last but not least I was very busy the last days. A bit more in detail you find out from my writing about my training!

2011-06-06
I was a bit lazy last week and haven't been to the Dojo the whole week. I always find perfect excuses for not to go to. But I know that it had been excuses and so there is no one to blame. But, because I haven't been to the Dojo during the week and because I missed the Bujinkan training, I did some "privet" training on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday (2011-06-04) I was working for myself on Kamae and the San Shin no Kata. In this training I tried to focus on all the things we were working on lately at the Dojo. I noticed some minor mistakes I do still make and tried to focus off getting rid of them.

On Sunday (2011-06-05) I did more or less the same except by working on the Kihon Happo or better said on the Torite Kihon Goho no Kata. This needed a bit more of focus as I always had to imagine how Uke (the attacker) would attack me and take holds at my Gi. Also in this exercises I worked with the input I got lately from the Kihon training at the Dojo. And, how should it be any different to the San Shin no Kata, I noticed also some points which needed more focus to get rid of the mistakes.
All in all the training was quit good and gave me a push forward to attended classes this week at the Dojo again! Additionally it showed me, that I really could work on some points on my own to make myself clear about them and through that getting a better and deeper understanding for them.
So I can say that there really are times were it is beneficial to work with a partner and other times were it is good to train just on your own.


2011-06-07
On Monday (2011-06-06) I had been to the Dojo again. The first part of the training was dedicated to Koshinage (hip throw). As I'm quite tall, all throwing techniques are for me difficult to perform as the main point for making a throw working is, that you get your own centre of gravity under the one of your attacker. This makes it for me nearly impossible to throw someone whom is much smaller than me. But on the other hand, as we dealing lately quite a lot with throwing techniques, I feel that I make some progress in performing throwing techniques without using much force.
The training was not held by our teacher, as he had to go home unexpectedly, but done by one of our seniors. He has a good background in Judo and so he was the perfect guy for explaining the important points for becoming able to throw someone. He pointed out that, in the case of Koshinage, all your actions and movements should take your opponent to a point at which he literally perform the throw by his own actions. To explain this a bit on the technique of Koshinage, first you push the opponent a bit back to get him out of balance. This action causes him the need to regain his balance and most likely he will do this in coming forward. When you feel this intention, you turn yourself into him, so that your back is towards him, lower your body and using his intention of coming forward for to "pull" him on your back. If you get the intention of the opponent and the timing right, he then literally lies himself on your back and not much force on your side is needed. When you have managed to load him on your back it is quite easy to throw him by just rotating your hip forward and pulling with your arms in a diagonal downward direction.
The second part of the training was then given by our teacher and we went on with the next Kata of the Shinden Fudo Ryu. The main point of this Kata was a kind of Ganseki Nage. But in this Kata it was performed in the Style of Dakentaijutsu. The difference between Jutaijutsu or the Kihon way of doing Ganseki Nage is that in the Kihon form you perform the throw by using mainly our body movements and "pushing" your opponent into the throw. Dakentaijutsu instead uses the principle of doing a punch. This changes some points in the technique but the main principle, obviously, is the same. But doing Ganseki Nage in the Dakentaijutsu way makes it even more dangerous, because, if it is done correctly, it is very easy to cause major damage to the joints of the opponents arm.
In the beginning this approach was a bit confusing but at the end it makes some points as well as from this Kata as from the Kihon version a bit clearer for me. Now I have the feeling of having understood another piece of the technique.

On point I want to note down, as I'm pretty sure it might be of help for others as well, is something my Japanese language teacher explained to us on Sunday (2011-06-05). He is training Karate, but more the traditional, combat orientated form. He was talking about the effect of shouting at someone to make him literally immovable or take his balance. He said that the natural reaction of people is, when you shout at them, that they get frightened and forget to breathe out. Because of that their whole body is tensed and they are hardly able to perform any action or movement. Further more he said that it is of immense importance to stay calm and relaxed and don't forget about your natural way of breathing.
The same principle is used when using Kiai!
So, if you are in such a situation "force" yourself to breathe out and relax. This will give you your ability of acting back.


2011-06-09
The training on Wednesday (2011-06-08) dealt with using different lever techniques from one and the same starting technique. It was very interesting to see how you can and have to walk to get a different result or better said to perform the shown lever technique. In between the practice of a one specific lever, or teacher "forced" us to use all the lever techniques we already had done before the one actually shown. This had the effect that as longer the training was lasting as more techniques we had to "remember" and to use. With that, he wanted to cause a kind of "buffer overrun" so that we actually not really think about a specific lever technique but more likely just use the one which "felt" best fitted to the given situation.
The sword training in the second part of the training was dedicated to some "simple" Kata. The first Kata was covering a counterattack to a vertical cut. The second one with blocking the vertical cut and perform a cut ourselves afterwards.
To the whole training he gave two important statements which I want to quote here, as they might be of benefit for you as well.
"Performing a cut/punch is like going into Kamae (stance) with conviction." – this is actually a quote of teacher we had the honour to see at our last seminar in our Dojo.
"When working with the sword – in my opinion you can put for "sword" every technique or Kata – it is of immense importance to focus on your own performance, your own actions/movements. It is of no help, neither for you nor for your partner, when you try to explain everything to your partner."
After the regular training we do have now again our "Fight Club" in which we work more on a base of practical usage of the techniques of the Bujinkan System. For me this training is very beneficial as it shows me all the openings in my Kamae and teaches me a lot of how I'm and how I behave and act. With that I want to give another quote of my teacher: "When we train 'slow fight' it will show you how you act. Are you more passive and acting out of your defence or are you more active and trying to attack all the time? Change it; try work on the opposite off how you normally would do. Further more have a look at how you react when you have to take a punch or even punches. Are you becoming insecure and making yourself small and week or are you getting aggressive and try to punch back? It doesn't matter how you act and how you react, the target has to be to keep Mushin and be balanced in every meaning of the word. Only through that you can achieve to have all options on your side! It's like in the saying 'Banpen fugyo – 10.000 changes, no surprise.' As only with keeping Mushin you are able to adopt yourself to every given situation."


2011-06-14
This Monday we had a public holiday here. Because of that our teacher asked in beforehand if someone of us black belts could guide the training. So I sent him a note that it would be possible for me to do so. The same was asked for the upcoming Wednesday. The thing then was, that we all – we were three whom said that it would be possible for us to guide the training – only received an e-mail which more or less said "thanks for letting me know that you have time". I thought by myself that my teacher might send an e-mail with what we should do during the training later on. But that wasn't the case. Because of that I called him short before the training and asked him if I should guide the training on this evening. He said that obviously I should and that he would have sent already a detailed instruction. So I told him that this wasn't the case. Anyway, I went to the Dojo, thinking about what I could show the people in the training-session I would guide only to find out that my comrade also haven't received the correct e-mail and because of that was late for training. He should have done the first part and myself the second.
Out of this fact I had to adapt to the situation and had to start the training. I started with a quite simple technique which deals with setting out of the direction of the attack and "slide" along the attacking arm. From this start/entrance I added some bits and peaces of what we did the last week at the training. I think, all in all, I did a not to bad job.
Now I'm looking forward to guide the sword training on Wednesday. But for this I do have now some points on which I should work with the guys in the Dojo.


2011-06-16
My teacher had asked me to guide the training on Wednesday as well. But fortunately he could make it to the training and so I could relax and just do the training for myself as a part of the group.
I mean, it is a good experience to "teach" and for me a thing I like to do! But on the other hand you take over the responsibility for the things you do, show and teach. This includes, at least for me that you have to be prepared well in the things you want to show/teach. As I should have guided the sword class, this is for me personally a bit tricky, as I don't feel myself yet in the position or at the level where I could do a qualified "teaching".
As for the training itself, the first part a comrade of mine did the training. He worked with some basic principle from the Taijutsu. First we did some punching exercises against punching gloves out of a sitting/kneeling position/Kamae. A very good idea as we don't do such things often in the training at the Dojo. Those things normally more up to your personal training. So it was fine to do it with the group in the Dojo. After that we did Oni Kudaki in its basic form. Also a good thing as I got the chance to again really focus on the angle which I have to step/walk to perform the lock accurate and with the most effectiveness. But, as my teacher pointed out, not only the footwork is important, also the correct use and position of the arms is necessary to get the lock working.

2011-06-21
At our Dojo we do have a class on Friday, specially dedicated to the beginners. As a lot of my comrades attended a seminar starting on Thursday (2011-06-166) and lasting for four days, there was no trainer/teacher for the class on Friday. Because of that the guy whom does normally guide the training asked me if I could help him out by guiding the training. So it was my pleasure to "teach" on Friday (2011-06-17). As the training was dedicated to the beginners, I was practicing with them the Ukemi Waza. We did some forwards and backwards roles and a couple of combinations of those twos. After the Ukemi, I showed them the usage of Kamae for stepping out of the way of an attack. This I combined then with the principle of the Chi no Kata. At the end I was working with them through the technique of Ganseki Nage, as this was a special wish of one of the attendees.
All the three techniques/principles fitted together to what I wanted to show them. In all three, usage of Kamae for "defending", Chi no Kata and Ganseki Nage, have the same principle and usage of Ichimonji no Kamae. In this way, I think, it was a good example to show them that it is not so important what actual technique you do with your hands, but that Kamae is the key to everything.

On Saturday (2011-06-18) a comrade and I attended a seminar with a well known but sometimes controversially discussed teacher. The seminars topic was Shinden Fudo Ryu Shoden Waza and Kukishinden Ryu Bojutsu. Although the seminar lasted for the whole weekend, we decided to attend only one day. This fitted my personal plan quite well, as I was looking forward to help a friend of mine on Sunday to build his sales booth for a summer festival which will start on Wednesday (2011-06-22).
But back to the seminar! Right at the beginning the teacher showed us a Makimono of the Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu. He asked us to not take any picture of it as it is already an honour to see it and only with our eyes and our heart we should and would be able to accept this honour, so he said. For me it was the first time that a saw a Makimono from that close. It was very fascinating to see something that old right in front of my hands, literally spoken.
After we had seen and spoken a bit about the scroll we started with the first Kata of the Shinden Fudo Ryu. This Kata as well as the up coming ones started for Tori in Fudoza. Fudoza is a kind of Seiza or kneeling sitting position in which you put one leg crossed in front of the other so that it sole of foot touches the calf of the other one. To act from this Kamae it needs a lot of flexibility and body control. In those cases I do find it always fascinating how easy things can look when a teacher is showing them to us and how hard it is to do them yourself!
Later on we did some techniques with sword against long stick. Does techniques should have been very basic and simple but already showed, at least me, how easy it is to make mistakes and so generate openings for the attacker.
All in all it was a very good seminar at which the teacher showed us his deep and competent knowledge of what he is doing and teaching. He showed us a lot of connections between the basic forms and their similarities in the weapon forms. Further more he pointed out that it has to be that way, that one thing is building up onto another as it would be otherwise much to much for one lifetime to learn everything from the beginning.
For me it was very interesting as I had seen or better said got shown some points on which I have to work on from a different perspective or point of view and understanding.

As I already wrote, on Sunday (2011-06-19) then I helped a friend of mine to build up his sales booth. That was for me a fun activity, as I haven't done craftsman work for quite a while. First of all we had to fix the roof covering as it got blown away during a storm just short before we arrived at the side. Then we did some work on the sales counter (covering it with some nicely printed plastic flower tablecloth) and finished it by inlay a floor in the area were they will serve the food. All in all the whole sales counter, the whole board looks now quite nice. The last building work we did was to mount some washable boards around the sink.
Beside that work, I helped him to move some bits and peaces from his new restaurant to the sales booth.
For me, this was a very enjoyable Sunday and it was a good feeling to see at the end of the day what you have achieved/done.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "We cannot control our emotions, but we can decide how we go along with them."
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

Welcome back :-) You have definitely been busy! What was controversial about the teacher?
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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: Re: Yoshio's Training Diary

Hmm, that is a bit difficult to answer as it has to do with "Dojo" politics and Japanese manners. But as far as I can say it, it had to do with, that he himself didn't wanted to take the Sakki before he "knows everything". But this is literally impossible. So, I think, the placed him, do you say so!?, an ultimatum that he has to decide to leaf the Bujinkan or stay in the Bujinkan but have to take the Sakki-Test (Go-Dan).
So, for some time there had been a lot of rumor if he now still is in the Bujinkan or not. The best thing I had heard about him at that time was "he is not anylonger part of the Bujinkan, but he is not out of Bujinkan".
Anyway, now he had taken his Sakki-Test and everything is fine, at least for me!  ;)

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