Picture of Shihan

JULY 2001

Volume 3 Issue 7

This  Issue...

1.  Some things to ponder on   

2.  Precept

Without the "mentals" of the arts, interest dies!

Aibudo Kanji

Funakoshi's #19 Precept

"Do not forget to correctly learn the strengths and weaknesses of power, the stretching and contraction of the body and the slowness and speed of techniques".

          It is doubtful this precept will ever lose its impact.  The gentle-but-deadly skill of a kung fu master, the leverage of a jujitsu expert and the flawless timing of a taekwondo champion, illustrates how important these ingredients are for success.

          Excerpted from the article by Frank M. Kushner in

BlackBelt Magazine, dated December 1999

The "Seasonal" Martial Artist

     How many of you have heard of martial arts classes that "shut down", during certain summer or winter months?  What about the ones who shut down entirely for the weeks of Christmas through New Years?  There are certain holidays that naturally everyone stays home with their family and friends, but not for one or two weeks, let alone a month of two.  What does this ingrain into the minds of the practicing martial artist?  What ends up appearing to be more important.  The martial arts are a way of life and that way of life should not be sacrificed.  Now for the individuals who feel that grandmas birthday is more important than the arts, there are classes that cater to this practitioner, but with "martial arts classes", we as "students" must cater to the arts.

The "Mentals"

     What if, all you executed in class was kick this, kick that, hit this, hit that and go home?  All you heard while you were there was;  "Good kick", "Good hit", "Wow"!  How long do you think it would be before you discontinued the training.  For anyone who has only been in the arts for 6 months or less, that may be what they have been there for, but what about the practitioner who has been active for 3 years or more?  They look around and the "good hit, good kick" individuals are gone.  It is the "mentals" that keep individuals active and together.  There is a purpose developed that the physicals are unable to muster.  You need to know, why you are doing what you are doing, who did it before you did and why did they do it that way?  Without the "mentals", there is no development of perception.  Situational and attitudinal strategies never come about to reality.  Without the "mentals" the "Deny by accepting", "Lead by following" and "Become individualistic by imitating" are never heard of, let alone explained.  Without the explanations along with the situational and attitudinal "workings", the advancement that is mentally necessary in the arts never comes about!

December 2001, an important month for our system.

     This month we have three individuals hoping to advance, with few problems, to another Dan grade.  Sempai Jim Curtsinger to 2nd Dan (Instructor Grade), Sensei Chad Wissler to 3rd Dan and Master Steve Jordan to 6th Dan.  I'm sure that none of them years ago would have ever comprehended what is about to take place.  To many the black-belt is the ultimate goal, but to these individuals, it was only the true beginning.  Particularly to Master Jordan. His outwardly comments and appearance are demonstrating that this advancement within his martial arts life is the most difficult thing that he has ever done and eventually accomplished, but the result is priceless!

"Secret Techniques"

     What are truly, most of the "secret" moves or techniques?  They are the verbal explanations along with the physical demonstrations within the arts that make techniques or situations truly work.  Anyone who doubts that has never witnessed a "book" martial artist.  A book will never be able to witness an individuals faults and correct the finite problems within a movement or explain the mentalities that are going on within the movements.  Kata is a great example of "secret movements".  Within kata there are many things going on that only a martial arts instructor or advanced practitioner is able to explain well enough for the individual to become the kata.  Otherwise all we have is the kata becoming the individual and the true kata ceases to exist.  There are secrets within most arts but these are only physical techniques that hopefully are unique to them, all though with time, you will find that what you thought was your own, turns up in another system as a "secret to them".