Merry Christmas! Can you believe another year has flown passed? Please be careful over the festive period, and certainly do not drink and drive. The roads are the single greatest threat to your welfare, and it is too easy to become complacent. I wish everyone a healthy, happy, safe holiday.
Are you ready for the grading next Monday, 2nd December? Please see details below. I have made a small amendment to the grading criteria. The syllabus remains the same comprehensive foundation of strikes, throws and grappling, and you will still learn the entire Judo syllabus and the entire KU Karate syllabus up to black belt and beyond, plus the Hakkoryu Jujutsu syllabus up to 4th dan black belt as well as a number of other drills and techniques designed to develop your defensive skills against all manner of opponents, both armed and unarmed. However, I will be applying a little more flexibility to the grading tests. Namely, instead of senior students needing to demonstrate all eight judo throws for each belt level, they may choose four that suit their physicality and fighting style. This will help you tailor your learning towards your needs. The pass-mark is still 80%. That is, you must meet 100% of my expectations for 80% of the techniques and drills, or demonstrate all of the techniques to at least 80% of my expectations for that level.
Thank you to all who attended Hanshi Patrick McCarthy’s seminar this month. As usual Hanshi shared plenty of amusing stories and anecdotes and taught drills derived from two kata that appear in our syllabus – naifanshi shodan and bassai dai. While it wasn’t obvious, these drills compose part of the standing portion of kakie damashi, the great ground drill we practice with all the leg locks. Many came out to Ginza for dinner on the Saturday night and were surprised to see our resident Samurai Umehara san playing flute there! While on the topic, Umehara san just celebrated his 73rd birthday, and two full years of training at Sobukan. Congratulations Umehara san! I hope you all enjoyed the weekend.
Movie tickets – 47 Ronin 映画券
I have some tickets to give away to see 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves at Hoyts Cinemas Norwood on Monday 13th January – meaning that the recipients will unfortunately need to skip Sobukan on that night! Anyone who introduces a friend or family member who joins before the movie night is eligible to receive two tickets – until they run out!
Christmas break and party. 忘年会
Our last training session of the year will be on Monday December 23. Our first session back in the new year is Monday January 6. Please enjoy the festive season and recharge your batteries for another full year of fun, safe and effective martial arts. Let’s meet at Glenelg jetty at 10am Sunday December 22 for some gentle beach training, swimming, fun and icecream.
Grading 2 December 昇級試験
We held the end of year grading, and results will be released soon.
This literally means ‘3 years even on a stone’, and means that even if you sit on a cold stone for three years, it will become warm. This may seem a little esoteric. What it alludes to is the value of persistence. It is very rare indeed that someone is great at something right from their first try. Only after years of hard training will important lessons come to fruition. So… don’t be so hard on yourself – it will come with time and effort!
Technical lesson 技の紹介
As with most techniques, there are a number of variations of the hook punch, but the end point is with the two fore-knuckles striking the jaw line, or less commonly the temple or floating ribs. The hook punch commonly is used in combination with cross punches and uppercuts or to set up right leg mawashi geri.
When setting up to hook punch, ensure that the toes of the front (left) leg are pointed slightly inward. Outward toes will add pressure to the front knee and detract from the explosiveness of the punch. Turn your hips to the left, drop your weight onto your front toes in a spring-loading action, and keep your right hand high. Keep your left hand up and elbow in tight – don’t swing the arm. Explode off the front toes, turning your entire body – except your head – 90o to the right. Don’t lose eye contact with the opponent, but move your head in the same direction as the trajectory of the punch. Raise your left elbow to perpendicular to the fist with the elbow bent slightly less than 90o. For a close target, keep your palm facing inward. For a longer range hook punch, you have the option of extending your arm with the palm facing down, but this variation
jeopardises your small finger knuckle, so be careful! Immediately after the punch, drop the left elbow down and consider following up with another attack, or quickly weave out of range. Do not remain in close distance directly in front of your attacker without continuing to attack.