Are you in to the arts just to get your "feet wet", orů.

Patriotic Ribbon
Patriotic Ribbon

April 2002

Volume 4 Issue 4

Aibudo Kanji

If you have just gotten your "feet wet",

now what?

Repetition, repetition, down the floor!!!!

Here we go, again???

Another Aibudo dojo opening???

soon find that your "advancement" has declined or become "frozen".  Letting down your guard and becoming lazy, will in the end weaken your tools and self-expected results.

What about this or that!

     I remember back in the beginnings of my own personal training in the arts, that once in a while, I would have a question or concern about a certain situation, but wouldn't inquire about it, for fear of appearing "stupid" or stepping out of place.  If it is a true concern, then feel free to ask an instructor about it during a free or resting time during class.  More than likely, they will introduce the participants in general to the situation or concern and build a "class" around it.  If it is something that  isn't within the capabilities of the members present at the time, it will probably be introduced at a later date or demonstrated with the seniors present at the time.  Never-the-less, it doesn't hurt to ask about a true concern.

Foundation development through exaggerated postures.

     You have heard it said before;  "Widen your stance" or "Lower your posture".  Well it seems that you do it for the moment, but 5 minutes later, you're back at standing "tall" again.  The only way that you are going to speed up your posture and "earth" development is through "exaggerated postures".  If you are constantly "standing tall", it will probably be many month's or maybe even years, before you actually look and act like a true martial artist.  Without "earth" development, you will never have the ability to resist much more that a mediocre force.  You will always find yourself being "pushed around" and continually wondering what the problem is.  There is nothing more to be said!  Widen you stance and lower your posture.

Parallel and/or Perpendicular

     Another item that seems to come up regularly is body positioning, both of your opponent to you and you to your opponent.  The gist of it is, this.  In most cases, when facing your opponent maintain your shoulders and hips  parallel with them.  If your turn perpendicular with them and have little experience at it, you are going to lose that confrontation.  You will not have the proper mindset for coping with it.  If you are moving to the side or around your opponent, then force them to be perpendicular to you.  They will be following your movement and you will be leading theirs.  This is most definitely a winning situation.  The only thing the unskilled or possibly even the advanced are able to do at this point is spin with a hand or foot and you can be waiting on this to really upset their day.  The day of the "jumping up and down" and facing side to side is history.  That is only for some of the older, out of touch systems (dojo's) and is only for the dojo, not the real world.  Those postures are only good, against a skilled opponent, for possibly one movement, and after that is history.  Sometimes, they look flashy and TV like, but the street will put them down, in a heart beat.  Speed and "earth" will "kill" this "flashy" look!

Don't look at the weapon?

     You have witnessed now the result of looking at a weapon, that is coming your way.  If you look at it, it will "bite" you.  Your focus is too narrow and tunneled down.  By the time your mind says move, it's too late.  Instead, focus on the portion of the body that the appendage is tied to and you will have ample time to work with the threat (as some of you have by now probably found out).  With time, you be able to focus on nothing and out speed any thing coming your way.

A Historical Perspective (Part 1)

This is a bit of historical information concerning an individual who is believed to be "the original propagator of the martial arts concept", generically thought of today as Karate.  This is a bit of a misnomer, because Karate is a Japanese term and technically this individuals childhood and travels, encompassed India and China.  He was the founder of Zen Buddhism and as a result made him the 1st patriach of such.

This individuals name is Bodhidharma.  He was the third child of King Sugandha (Branman King) of Southern India and a member of the Kshatriya (a warrior caste).  The root of his training was Vajramushti.  He spent his childhood in Conjeeveram (also known as Kanchipuram and Kancheepuram), the small Buddhist province south of Madras.  He received his training in Buddhist meditation from his master, Prajnatara, who was responsible for changing his name from Bodhitara to Bodhidharma. He was an excellent student and wrestler.  By middle age he was considered a Buddhist master and an accomplished Kshatriya warrior.  At the death of Prajnatara, he set forth on the following journey.  This journey was the death bed wish of his master saddened by the decline of Buddhism outside of India proper.  About fourteen hundred years ago, Daruma (Bodhidharma in Sanskrit, Pu-Ti-Ta-Mo or Ta-mo in Chinese), the founder of Zen Buddhism, which is one branch of Buddhism in general, left western India, penetrating mountain ranges including the Himalayas, and crossing unbridged rivers through complete wilderness, to travel to China and present lectures on Buddhism.  Some historical notes have him arriving in Canton, China at apx. 470AD, leaving there and arriving next in Ching-Ling (which is now Nanking). Since even present roads between India and China would not be described as good, one can only imagine the greatness of Daruma's spirit and physical strength as he made this several thousand mile trip alone.  Some historical recollections have him being ordered away by Emperor WU of the Liang Dynasty.    This came about because of a meeting that Emperor Wu and Bodhidharma had.  Wu invited him to the palace and during the conversatiions stated to Bodhidharma that "I have built many temples and pagodas, and restored even more.  I have given much of the treasury to the Sangha (brotherhood of Buddhist monks) and made offerings in all the major temples of the land.  What merit have I gained by all my efforts?  Bodhidharma looked the emperor in the eye and answered, "Your majesty, through all your efforts, you have gained no merit at all".  Enraged, Wu had Bodhidharma banished.

It's in the works!

     The beginnings of another Aibudo dojo are in the works.  There is still a good bit to be checked on, confirmed and decided, but there is a descent chance on the opening of another satellite school.  The responsibilities are never ending with this type of endeavor, of which the "brakes" are not easily put on, once started.  This is much like a tree, that once planted and set for a few years, the roots have a resistance to being removed.  You will be kept informed as time goes by.

-- Contributing editors --

     The Hoodoo could use some personal reflections by participants within the system, from time to time.  Through conversation with Sensei Curtinger, it was noted that he has a personal observation and reflection that he would possibly be passing on soon.  It is by way of these personal thoughts, reflecting back up on the system, that "grade" us somewhat upon our teachings.  Sometimes a change in philosophy could be made after reflecting on these thoughts and sometimes the current philosophies are made even more solid.

The Water Element

     We have reviewed, expanded and demonstrated the water element quite a bit the past month and the quiz is just about to be put forth.  The problems with strategy is, that there are not any actual, written down techniques to go along with them, as they are personal to the individual.  The "tools" to accomplish them could be very different from individual to individual, but with the same desired result.  You are presented with some examples of what are how the strategies could be executed, but it is up to the individuals involved to make them work for them.  The instructors are not to enforce a specific set of circumstances to perform them.  They have to be performed comfortably with each and every individual.

Improving your "Undo" experience

     The physical development and conditioning portion of the arts can be a discouraging and humiliating experience.  Particularly, when others in the class seem to have very little problems at all, while you may be struggling.  Physical changes occur at different rates with different individuals at different times.  You are going to have "hills and valleys" within the undo experience, as long as you are in the arts.  Some things will come easy and others always seem to cause concern.  That's the problem with being human.  If you feel that you are stuck at a certain "level" with a certain entity, the only way to overcome it is to "force" another rep or two each time.  You will finally break through the resistance that has been holding you back and a dramatic advancement will eventually become noticeable.  Before long, you will be working right along others who at one time were very much in front.  The problem then becomes complacency.  If you begin to relax in your movements and not work at your peak, you will