Ligo Dojo Blog — 25 August 2013


Lesson 3 Basic Tonfa Drills

This week marked the formation of the first technical committee team outside of my dojo in NC. Sensei Callahan in California is our second technical committee member and his students, listed  below, will be the members of his technical committee team. Because of a recommendation by Sensei Callahan, we decided to call the tech committee team leaders “committee members” and the students with them “tech committee TEAM members”. Therefore we’ll have a technical committee and each committee member will  be in charge of a local team. It’s basically the same, but Sensei Callahan wondered about my assessment that it would be fine for a white belt, for example, to participate (as long as he/she is a serious student), and he wondered because what sense does it make to put a white belt on a committee? So, a good suggestion! We’ll have a committee, and also committee “team” members.


I am anxious to add other members in other dojos  to this list. It’s important because it shows momentum behind an idea, and since we are so slow to change in the US, whether you think it is or not, this small little change of having 4 or 5 students working on common material branch-to-branch, is a fairly major change. Yes it’s just 2 hours per week, yes it’s just 4 or 5 students, but it’s an adjustment, and we (in the US) have a history of not making adjustments well. So, recommended “requirements” to be added to the chart above are 1. provide the names of your team members and committee member(s), and 2. set a weekly meeting time (or a least a preliminary one). Sensei Callahan has a time set for this week to work on Tech Committee content with his team members. So, it begins. The more of you who are interested that get on board, the easier it will be for all of us to work together.

Remember to contact me with questions/suggestions. If anything that we’re doing might be hard for you, talk to me and we can probably find a solution. For example, in Maine they were discussing having two teams, in Florida Sensei Omar was suggesting 2 one-hours sessions per week, and Sensei Callahan wants to have other students present for the trainings, but have the committee team members at the front of the group. All of this ought to work well. Remember to discuss. Ask! We can work it out. Osu!

Lesson 3 Kyokushin-Kan’s Weapons Training Philosophy Introduction

Please watch the following video.

Lesson 3 Basic Tonfa Drills

Like the 6 head-punch defense drills, I’ve provided here a set of very basic drills that will begin to accustom you and your students to use of the Tonfa. We have tonfa kata (on the video tapes) but it’s clear that when we attend seminars, those (in Japan) or are any good at the kata have also practiced kihon, iddo, kumite, etc. with the weapon in question, not just memorizing the kata from a video. Remember that after attending more than 20 Kyokushin-Kan seminars over 10 years, what I hope to introduce in through a technical committee in the US, is MORE than just the kata and basic bunkai that are introduced on the video tapes. Anyone can memorize those motions for their promotion tests. After attending 20 seminars, however, it becomes clear that there is a lot more to this training, than just memorization. The training in Japan has real depth and these exercises derived from “between the lines” of the kata shown on the video tapes has the potential to bring up America’s level closer to the Japanese one in a really substantive way.

A key point to keep in mind. “I” am learning many of these exercises along with my students. Meaning I see Okazaki Shihan and Ishimima Shihan practicing these things, or hear them discuss practicing these things, but, in some cases, have not practiced them much myself. It was the same with bo in the beginning. We’ve been teaching bo kata for 10 years now in North Carolina, but when we first started, I didn’t know one end from the other. The point is, that we have to start somewhere, and if you join here and therefore benefit from all that I’ve gleaned during 20 seminars, it is a very direct road to moving towards raising our standard. There is NO SHAME if you are an instructor, in figuring this stuff out WITH YOUR STUDENTS. I am. Of course I’m their sempai, and I bring 30 years experience to “learning something new” and my students recognize that, even in cases where some exercises are very new to me.

Having just watched the videos as uploaded myself for the very first time, I would make the following points: 1. I’m sorry the sound isn’t synchronized with the video . . . I’ll fix it by the next round. 2. The final of 5 drills is free kumite with tonfa, except that the partners trade single blows (one by one), and they only use the 3 attacks that are drilled in the prior four drills, and 3. (this is important!!) note the verbal correction I give the students about bowing in the 11th minutes of this tape. They are concentrating on the tonfa, and their bows are not correct. But, as in Kyokushin-Kan in Japan, the bowing is as important if not more important than the fighting, so in your tech committee trainings, be sure to hold to a very high standard doing things like bowing, rotating, answering with “osu”, etc.


Lesson 3 Other

I hope you will learn sanchin, naifanchin shodan, and oshiro no kon bo kumi (partner exercise). I will teach all of them, but if your members already know the basic sequences, it will be far easier to teach. If your group practices exercises from lesson 2 and now lesson 3, you will easily already have 1 hour to 90 minutes worth of exercises that will already correspond with exercises that I practiced, myself, this very morning in NC with my tech committee team. Remember it’s all optional, but this kind of working together in a limited fashion is long over due. Osu!

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