Saturday, December 5, 2009

Japan November 2009

This years trip to Yokohama was a memorable one. 
We visited Sojiji and toured the temple grounds which included a short session of Zen meditation led by one of the temple monks.
Twice a day, 365 days of the year, the temples halls are wiped clean.  Now wax is used on these floors, just common rags, but when you touch it, it has the smoothest surface.
An example of how this cleaning is done is shown below.
(Photos courtesy of Ted Petit)

Sato Seiji Sensei performing Shihobarai at the opening of the 
Nakamura Ryu Batto-Do Taikai.

The day before the Taikai, we held a special Hono Embu (special demonstration) at Nakamura Taizaburo's grave site.

At the banquet, guests were entertained with a variety of performances including Kenbu, which is a traditional sword dance.

Friday, December 4, 2009

1st Annual Kern River Budosai

Bakersfield Budo held it's first Annual Budosai (or Martial Arts Festival) this last October.
This year's event focused primarily on Japanese Sword Arts and included seminars taught by the leading instructors from all over the country.

Dave Neely and Bill Henderson demosntrate Koryu at the demonstration.

Drawdy Sensei put on a great seminar focusing on Nakamura Ryu Kumitachi.

At the competition, our dojo did quite well, and we enjoyed the pressure of putting ourselves out there alongside some really great budo practitioners.

KoKoDo Seminar September 2009

The Shindenkan Dojo was pleased to host Soke Irie Yasuhiro
for a seminar on KoKoDo Jujutsu at the beautiful & spacious Bakersfield Budo Dojo.

We had a great turnout with old friends and students
of Irie Sensei from all over
traveling great distances to attend.

Irie Sensei is famous for leaving a great impression and a great deal of pain
to remember him by.

We're looking forward to having him come again next year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Natsu Matsuri (Summer festival in Japan)

Posing with Irie Sensei after hauling the heaviest mikoshi in Omiya.

Xander hanging in there despite being taller and bearing more weight on his poor shoulders.

Morris Sensei messed up his knee doing this over the space of two days, but luckily Irie Sensei fixed him up at the clinic later that day.

Xander getting promoted to shodan at the KoKoDo Hombu.

Phil was there to see his son get promoted on his way from Afghanistan to India.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Art of Taking It

Rolls and break falls are just as important in Jujutsu as locks and throws.
Ukemi waza, or the art of taking it, is our way of adapting our bodies to the opponents technique.

Here are three tips to improving your ukemi.

Don't anticipate, but rather go with the flow.

Relax your body as you tense it.
This is a paradox, but the real secret is to stay relaxed to mold your body, while tensing key areas
to protect your body. 

Minimize impact by projecting your energy outward staying tight like a ball and easing into it as much as possible.

And just like everything else, keep at it till you get it right.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kokodo Shiatsu

The Shindenkan Dojo is now offering shiatsu on Monday's at 5pm. 
Sign up for your free session!

 Along with proper rest and a healthy diet, shiatsu will promote energy renewal and aid to maintain your health.

Sue was feeling extra spunky after her shiatsu session
which turned out to be bad news for Morgan Sensei.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Japanese Immersion Week

An entire week of nothing but Japanese!
We're talking language and culture.
We began this week by taking a trip to Little Tokyo in Downtown L.A.

We did our grocery shopping for the week and ate our first Japanese meal:
Katsu Kare (Curry).
It was a hit.

The kids also got to pick up some souvenirs from the various shops that make up Little Tokyo.

Each day we had a theme.
Monday: Shopping
Tuesday: Around the house
Wednesday: School
Thursday: Games
Friday: Review

The Dragoo home was the perfect location as it offered plenty of room for our many adventures.
Indoor and out.

Keiko bottom left

Each day included making a new Japanese dish for lunch, and a craft which the students got to take home.
Keiko did a great job preparing the food, especially with the chahan and gyoza!

For anyone interested this is definitely something we will repeat in the future!

Tanren Camp

The Tanren Camp was a week long program focused on introducing the students to a variety of traditional Japanese Arts like: 

Kobudo (traditional weapons)



and even Shodo (calligraphy).

At the end of the week, we had a competition where the kids squared off and had fun competing in the various arts we introduced them to.

The week was such a blast we can't wait till next summer.

Belgium 2009

Belgium is centrally located in Europe which made it the perfect meeting ground for 150 Jujutsu practitioners from 15 different countries to get together and learn from one of the greatest Jujutsu masters on the planet; Soke Irie Yasuhiro.

Morris Sensei had the interesting opportunity to translate for Soke Irie even though the audience were all non native english speakers.

Belgium was a great experience and we look forward to hosting Soke Irie Yasuhiro in September where the Shindenkan students will get the rare opportunity to learn from a legend.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Japan November 2008

Last November Morris Sensei, Marty, Heather, Tim and Xander attended the 11th Annual Batto Taikai (Sword Event) in Yokohama, Japan.

The receptionist at the hotel was a bit old fashioned, but the accommodations were great.

Here is a shot of Morris Sensei in front of the Kokodo Honbu Dojo in Omiya just before meeting Irie Soke for the first time face to face.
Fortunately, the meeting went well and Irie Sensei accepted Tim and Xander as pupils during their stay which lasted six months.

Their room while staying in Japan wasn't so "roomy" after all.
Here you see them touching wall to wall in their six by ten room.

Satoh Seiji Sensei teaching kumitachi Marty and Morris Sensei.

Morris Sensei with Nakamura Kenzo, the leader of our sword style and nephew of the great Nakamura Taizaburo.

Here's a picture at the Taikai with all the gaijin (foreigners) and Satoh Seiji Sensei who dedicated three entire days to train us before the event.

After the Taikai we loaded onto a bus and traveled a few hours north to Aizu Wakamatsu where we stayed in a traditional hotel and onsen.

Nomura Sensei posing with us in front of a castle we visited in Aizu.