October news – 3rd anniversary

A massive THANK YOU so much to everyone who has supported Sobukan over the past 3 years, especially to our present, past (and future) members and their families! Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate our 3rd year anniversary, despite the AFL inconsiderately arranging to have their grand final on the day of our anniversary celebration.



DSC_0602It was perfect picnic weather at Himeji Gardens yesterday, and three weddings and a family of ducklings only enhanced the atmosphere. We ate, drank and smashed a huge watermelon with a wooden sword. Later a group of us went to Sakura Teppanyaki for the delicious food and entertainment of watching our friends drop eggs and pancakes on the floor. After dropping a raw egg and not catching some cooked egg in my mouth, I almost redeemed myself by catching two – and very nearly three pancakes!

This anniversary has encouraged me to revisit my motivations for establishing this dojo. The seed was planted in 1992, while I was preparing for my black belt in Shito-ryu karate. After dedicating 7 years of my life to my original martial art, became aware of its limitations. I began wanting more and started searching for a new dojo. I visited and trained with many people in a very broad range of martial arts. I sought a dojo that was safe and friendly, taught brutally effective and comprehensive martial skills, and was headed by a sensei that inspired me. I had a soft spot for Japan, so if the dojo taught Japanese martial arts, I would have considered that to be a bonus.

A brief training trip to Japan in 1993 and a violent encounter in Australia fuelled my desire to find the most effective training available. I desperately searched for a traditional yet progressive dojo that taught realistic self-defensive techniques and tactics, physical conditioning and pushed me to my limits. The dojo had to teach functional striking and grappling, and tactics against weapons and multiple attackers. I found several dojo that fulfilled many of the criteria, but none that fulfilled all of them. I decided that if I couldn’t find the ‘perfect’ dojo, then I should build one. I then dedicated the next two decades to researching the best martial arts on the planet and establishing the kind of dojo I yearned for.

I trained extensively in many martial arts in Australia, Thailand and of course spent 6 years, plus many short trips training in Japan. I have studied several styles of karate and jujutsu, judo, wrestling, escrima, pangamot, boxing, kickboxing, muay Thai, shooto, BJJ, MMA, krav maga, Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu and of course Kudo. I also attended seminars and trained with friends in other systems.

IMG_5279The result is Sobukan Martial Arts. Our training combines the physical conditioning and solo combat effectiveness of Kudo with the kata of Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo Jutsu, the sophisticated and traditional arresting techniques of Hakkoryu Jutsu, the submissions of BJJ and self-defence tactics from Krav Maga. Our motto is healthier, happier safer. Our mission is to produce quality martial artists with broad-based skills to enable them to protect themselves and their families in a wide range of situations. We try to contribute to the development of young people by providing a vehicle to build confidence, concentration and discipline, and to teach them how to set and achieve goals. I am very proud of our traditional yet progressive little dojo and I am very pleased that it has attracted so many like-minded individuals. Our black belts will be skilful in all fighting ranges, and good community members. I hope that in 20 years from now, Sobukan will have contributed positively to many lives, and that many of our current members continue to be a part of our dojo.

Grading resultsIMG_5530
Well done to everyone who tested for a new grade on Wednesday 24th or Saturday 27th. Sobukan now has a new range of coloured belts, including Sobukan’s first ever blue belt, awarded to Steven (Pacey) Pace on Saturday! I was very proud of the effort that our members had put into their preparation. It was very clear who had spent hours at home reviewing and practicing their grading criteria. Some have already received their new belts and certificates (these are new!), and other results will be announced at lessons over the near future. Congratulations to those who have passed outright, and good luck to those who need to finish their gradings at a later date.

Important dates
Sunday October 5            AsiaFest demo
Sunday October 13          Fight for Life training day
Saturday November 29   Kudo seminar
Sunday November 30     Kudo grading


A brand new 3-day Asian festival hits Adelaide in this year, and it is complete with Sumo wrestlers and all! Thank you to everyone who has advised of their availability.
Where:                   AsiaFest – Rymill Park Adelaide
When:   Sunday 5th October at 2pm (meet at 1:30pm)
Who:      All available Sobukan and karate-bu students

AsiaFest Demonstration schedule

Time What Who
1:30 Meet and warm up All
2:00 Introduction Chris
2:05 Kihon waza with KIAI! All
2:10 Tegumi (cross, hook, uppercut, hammerfist, backfist) All
2:15 Kata – Heian shodan Sei, Max, Jayrell, Dylan, Tyzak, Jyah, Joel
2:18 Quadrant drill (#1) Jo and Gandalf, Pacey and Raghu
2:20 Hakkoryu Jujutsu (tekagami, konohagaeshi, hongyaku, nihonage) Umehara san and I, Jo and Gandalf, Pacey and Raghu
2:28 Comedic action skit Pacey, Raghu and I


Fight for LifeFight-For-Life-SA-2014-flyer-709x1024
Come and train with SA’s elite instructors and raise money for cancer research – sounds like a win-win to me! Last year was a lot of fun and for a very good cause. My own father is battling cancer, so this has special significance to me. Your support will be highly appreciated. I will be teaching Kudo on the day.
Where:                   LeFevre Community Stadium, Port Adelaide, South Australia 5014
When:   Sunday 12th October 9:30am – 3:30pm
Who:      All available Sobukan and karate-bu students over the age of 12
What:    Train with 10 different instructors in different martial arts for cancer research
Cost:      $50

虎穴に入らずんば虎児を得ずKoketsu ni irazunba koji o ezuimages-5

Literally ‘You don’t catch a tiger cub without entering the tiger’s cave’. In English we might say ‘without risk there is no reward’. This is handy advise to those who may be reluctant to pursue a goal for fear of failure, whether it be a career, starting a new business, quitting a job, getting married, entering a competition or trying a grading test. It is better to challenge yourself and fail than to regret not even trying when it is too late.

Technical lesson – escaping from mount using the broken table principle
Although not limited to the mount position, the broken table principle is one of the most important lessons for escaping from the mounted position. Think of a table with four legs. It is stable all round. Even if you nudge it, it should remain standing.

What happens when you remove one leg?

Well, it may remain standing, but it is no longer stable and placing weight on the table, or pressure from the side may cause the table to topple over. So, what happens when you remove two legs on the same side? That piece of furniture is no longer functional. The weight of the table alone is sufficient to upside it.

OK, but what can Ikea teach me about martial arts? Well, imagine that an opponent mounted on top of you is a table. Trap an arm and leg on the same side of the body. Give the slightest of nudges, or better yet, bridge and roll in the direction of the trapped arm. Now you understand one of the two most important principles for escaping when trapped underneath an opponent.

Mount position

Mount position

When trapped in the mount position:

  1. Keep your elbows and feet close to your body, with your hands in front of your neck and face.
  2. Buck your hips up to off-balance your opponent. If their weight is high, bump them with your knee.
  3. Trap one arm against your chest using two hands. Hook the foot on the same side with your anke.
  4. Buck and roll over your shoulder on the side of the trapped arm. That’s it – you’re out!

For detailed instruction, please see the following instructional clip on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPzMbTEHwZE

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