November news

T-shirts for summersobukan_yin_yang_performance_dry_tshirt

Summer is almost upon us! Feel free to wear Sobukan performance dry T-shirts or kids Sobukan yin yang t-shirts to training when it is too hot to wear a gi, or when we have beach or outdoor training sessions. When ordering, please keep in mind that they are quite big sizes, as a guide I wear a small size.




Dojo mats/carpets

The dojo owners will be doing some renovations over the next week, including new carpets and maintenance of the air conditioning. Therefore we only have half the mat space for the next week. Sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.


Thank you to everyone who participated in the AsiaFest demonstration on October 5. Information and pictures available at:        

Fight for Life

Jo Purvis and I participated in the Fight for Life event on October 12. A lot of fun was had, and $2500 was raised for cancer research. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos, as I was busy teaching and training, but it was a lot of fun and raised the awareness not only of cancer, but also of Kudo. There are a number of local judo, karate, kenpo and jujutsu clubs interested in competing.


Kudo delay

Unfortunately the head of Kudo Australia, Paul Cale, is contracted to shooting a TV show and will need to delay his visit to Adelaide for the Kudo seminar and grading, which was planned for November 29/30. I will continue to communicate with him to schedule new dates early in 2015. Watch this space…

Annual form reminder

Just a reminder to provide a new Goshin judo membership form when paying your annual membership. Thank you to all who have paid their annual fee, but the judo club requires the form, and I need it to identify what fees are payable to the judo club. I have attached the form just in case yours is outstanding.



Ju yoku go o seisu (Soft often beats hard)

This is immediately applicable to martial learning. Soft techniques (jujutsu) often beat hard (karate) ones. This is true, especially at the most advanced levels. However, I would contend that you are best learning the hard first. Too many people learn only the soft and this rarely prepares them for the realities of violence. You need to understand the hard to apply the soft.

Another possible loose translation is ‘honey catches more flies than vinegar’. A gentle approach is often far superior to an aggressive approach. There is more chance of you finding violence if you walk around flexing your muscles and scowling at everyone than if you appear friendly and confidently.

Last week we experienced a powerful thunderstorm. The next morning, there were large branches on the road that had fallen from strong trees. However, the roses in our garden had barely lost a petal. 柳に風yanagi ni kaze (wind in the willow) and 柳に雪折れ無しyanagi ni yuki orenashi (willow does not break in snow) are two other kotowaza that express the same concept.

As Bruce Lee would have said ‘Be water, my friend’!

Technical lesson – Kesa gatame escape

Kesa gatame (scarf hold) is just like a headlock on the ground, and can be a really tough position to escape from.

In addition to holding your neck or head, the opponent will usually try to control the arm on the close side. Ronda Rousey recently used this position to great effect in the UFC, inspiring more interest in learning how to use it.


There are three basic, yet great escapes from this position. The common points are to protect your close arm and to keep your opponent off-balance, throwing them in the direction in which their balance is broken.

  1. If the opponent is holding you down tight in a right-side kesa gatame, drop your right elbow into the ground close to your body. Brace your left hand against the back of their right shoulder, and bridge strongly into the opponent, pushing and rolling the opponent’s shoulder forward. Their right arm will often hit the ground to prevent the opponent falling face first towards the ground. This will create enough space to slip under their right arm and to take back control.
  2. If the opponent is sitting upright in a right-side kesa gatame, turn into their body and reach around their back with your left arm. Grab your own arm and squeeze hard into the opponent’s floating ribs. Shift your hips underneath your opponent and bridge hard to your left, throwing them over your shoulder. You can then transition to your own kesa gatame.
  3. If the opponent is leaning back while holding you in a right-side kesa gatame, hip escape to the left and turn into the opponent. Swing your left leg over the opponent’s head and close your fit around their neck. Swing your body legs down and sit up on top of the opponent.

Youtube sensei provides further instruction below, courtesy of Stephen Kesting:

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