Monday, November 26, 2012


  The name of our Dojo/School was originally Kenshukai (Study,Training Place), Taika (later) named it RyuShinKan (Hall of the Heart/Soul of Ryukyu). We simply combined the two, to be RyuShinKan Kenshukai. Our original intent (with even having a Dojo), was to have somewhere to work out/study with other Yudansha. Kyu-ranked students were not our (original) concern. That of course changed over time (with people approaching us to instruct them).   

 Though desiring to train with (mainly) other Yudansha level student's (such as ourselves), we've found that the majority of "Dan-level" students, aren't interested in (at least mutual) study.
 We've maintained an open invitation to our fellow martial artists to mutually share, study and expand our own knowledge and abilities within the art of RyuTe®.
  The most common question asked of us (regarding our classes), is what do we teach to our students? and What do our classes consist of ? Though seeming to be a rather ignorant sounding question, to someone who isn't familiar with what is taught in a (or any) martial arts class, it is a valid one.
  Our primary student instruction, is for training that student in methods of self-protection from various manners of aggression. The majority of those aggression's will be from person's known to the individual/student (this can be confirmed through the government statistic's of assaults/altercations). Because of that fact, our initially instructed techniques will not (necessarily) be fatal (in their intent).
  Though “Life” protection is our main emphasis, the more realistic occurrence (that a student will likely experience) will be a physical altercation between themselves and a known aggressor (for a multitude of possible reasons).
  Only on rare occasion will those situations mandate the necessity of having to more seriously respond to an aggressor. More often, a situation will require that the defender (student) will only need to protect themselves (as well as possibly restrain the aggressor) from any immediate injury.
  To that end, we train our student's to (primarily) protect themselves from injury (from any attempted aggression), then (if necessary) neutralized, and even restrain their aggressor until help can be attained and/or (again) if necessary, to immobilize that aggressor sufficiently to allow the student to escape the situation.
  A high percentage of those defensive situations won't begin with an actual strike. They will often begin with a grab, or a push (in an attempt at moving and/or intimidating the student). In response to these (types of) occurrences, we train our students in Tuite techniques. These are the techniques that were developed by our instructor (Taika Seiyu Oyata) for these types of aggression.
  In addition to the instruction of Tuite techniques, we teach students defensive responses to attempted impact assaults. Unlike many taught systems, the majority of RyuTe® defenses are designed to be ambidextrous in their manner of execution, meaning, regardless of the aggression manor used (ie. Right or Left), the defender will use the same defensive motion to defend against it.
  While learning these defensive responses, student's are also instructed in the traditional forms (Kata). These allow the student to (both) practice the shown techniques (when a training partner isn't available), and to allow the student to continue their own study when not in a class.
  Student's are also instructed in the performance and application through kata for traditional Okinawan weapons. Though offering no (directly) usable application (as having those weapons on one's person would be illegal in most locals), their practice can be correlated to the performance of the taught open-hand techniques.
  Unlike many schools (including other RyuTe® Dojo/Schools), We don't emphasize the practice of “sparring” (at least in the manor commonly understood to be practiced by most schools). Our methods of practice are more akin to the 2 or 3-step methods of technique practice. In our methodology, we only have 1 of the participating student's (commonly) utilize the protective gear (at a time). The particular defense being practiced at the time will determine who (tori or uke) will don the protective equipment.
  This practice is conducted at full speed/power. The initial defensive strikes being practiced (at full speed/power) are commonly being performed upon the uke's arms (and/or those areas that will be covered by protective padding worn by the uke). This will of course vary, as a student's practice needs and requirements change (hopefully improving, LOL). 
  At the mid/higher kyu-ranks, our student's are exposed to basic anatomical knowledge (skeletal, muscular, neural, kinesiological/ROM and Internal Organ familiarity). Our intent is not to create EMT's out of our students (LOL), but to confirm a student's general familiarity with the human anatomy. That knowledge will assist with the students abilities to most effectively apply the various taught techniques. 
  We believe that learning to protect one's self is an admirable pursuit (on it's own), We also feel that a familiarity with the cultural aspects of the art's place of origin is something that should be encouraged (as well as offered, if/when a student expresses an interest).
  While the majority of our student's instruction is centered upon the physical aspects of Life-Protection, at a student's higher levels of instruction (3rd-1st kyu) we include the option of instruction in Oriental Brush Calligraphy (“Shuji/Shodo”). Though (primarily) done for the cultural aspect, a basic knowledge of commonly utilized kanji can prove quite beneficial to a student's advanced study.
  Although not utilizing spoken Japanese (except in very limited amounts) during our classes, we will use some of those terms that are commonly encountered in other people's classes (for the purpose of our student's familiarity with them). Those terms are usually for stances, kata and a few technique names as well as some common (Okinawan/Japanese) terms and sayings.
  The common (total) period of instruction is (approx.) 4-5 years (from new "inexperienced" student, to "Shodan" Yudansha). That time period could of course vary, depending upon an individual student's desire to practice (and/or any previous experience). Our individual classes, are commonly around 2 hrs. in length (how anyone can accomplish anything, in any shorter of a time period is beyond our understanding, LOL).
  We've had some complete their study sooner than the listed 4-5 yrs., and some even having taken longer to complete their training (to the level of Shodan). There is no way to (really) know how long it will take an individual to complete their study (to the level that they consider to be "complete"). I've been studying for 30+ years, and I'm still attempting to increase my own level of understanding, LOL. 
 There are numerous other details that are learned and practiced by our students as well. These include the Atemi and Kyusho aspects of study.  It's these two branches of the striking/manipulation arts of Okinawa that are the RyuTe® claim to fame (being developed by Taika himself).  Though not our main focus of study, they do seem to be the subject of greatest interest (by prospective students). 
 Our instruction of students is based upon the individual's interest. Anything beyond learning the basics of protecting one's self is considered to be "optional" instruction (non-mandatory). Our student's are encouraged to expand their study beyond the basics of self-defense.To qualify as being an "art" form, a practice must consist of more than simplistic motions used to accomplish a task. There has to be a task specific sequence of objectives, that are followed to accomplish that objective (and in a manor that is considered to be acceptable/correct). Our instruction of students (in RyuTe®), is designed to do just that.

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