Wednesday, June 17, 2015


 At the recent seminar that we were invited to teach at, we provided a (very) brief synopsis of our 6 Principles of Tuite. The attendee's were comprised of practitioner's from several different groups and had members from Ryu Te® as well as several other Okinawan practitioner groups. 
 I assisted in the presentation for our 1hr. "block". My associate provided the (far too brief) lecture in addition to the general instruction of practice that we had the attendees perform. Following the lecture, he and I (in addition to another of our Ryu Te®  Yudansha , aka "Lisa") circulated among the attending participants providing individual instruction and explanation for what had been shown. 
 We didn't have (nearly) sufficient time to provide that guidance to every attendee, but I believe most everyone who approached us directly received satisfactory answers to their questions. 
 Not every participant had read our book prior to attending this seminar, but we did sell a number of copies that we had brought with us immediately following our instructional "block".
 A number of the Ryu Te® members were particularly interested in more detailed instruction on (what has been "named") the bunny-hop motion. It was this motion that the majority of attendees were unaware of how to implement (and were therefore misapplying it). 
 Once this was demonstrated to (and upon them) they were able to quickly apply it to their own performance of the motion. 
  If the situation had allowed for more time, I believe we could have detailed each of the 6 Principles more clearly. As it was, I believe the attendees received a decent "run through" of the Principles. 
 The majority of the other presentations were in regards to "weapons". Having little personal interest in those subjects, I didn't participate in those sessions. Therefore I believe it would be unfair for me to provide any opinion in their regard. I did participate in a couple of the sessions that addressed different "unarmed" applications, but I believe other's could provide better accounts of them. 
 In this blog, I tend to focus on (Oyata's method of) Tuite. It's not intended to be an intentional snub of what else was presented, only that those subjects just don't directly relate to my own interests. 
 Over all, the event was interesting and informative. I spoke with a number of the participants afterword, and all (that I spoke to) were very pleased with what was presented (in each of the provided subjects). The Ormaza Dojo presents several of these types of seminars throughout the year, and I would suggest that they are worth attending (at the very least, to meet/converse with the attendees from other groups that regularly participate in them). 
 Oyata's Association (if not it's members) have acquired a (IMO, undeserved) reputation for being stand-off "ish". This is despite the fact that numerous Ryu Te® members (regularly) attend the seminars of other organizations, and allow the attendance of persons from "other" organizations at seminars that our members provide and instruct at. 
 Unfortunately, persons who have had only little (if any) connection to Oyata, have been claiming to be teaching his methodology for Tuite techniques (at their seminars). What those individuals are teaching is not what Oyata taught to us as being "Tuite". In their eyes, I'm sure that their techniques do exactly what they are expecting them to do, that doesn't mean that those techniques equate to what/how Oyata taught his manner of Tuite to be performed. 
 Our goal is to clarify that distinction (between technique/execution styles). We are additionally hoping to provide our own (Tuite specific) seminar here (Kansas City, Mo.) this summer/fall. When plans are finalized, I will provide information in regards to that event here (and I'm sure on "Facebook" as well, LOL). 


Thursday, June 11, 2015


 Seeing that we are about to leave town to conduct another tuite seminar (teaching our 6 Principles of Tuite), I decided to see what has been recently promoted among similarly provided seminars over the past few months (if not years). I usually do so just to prepare myself for the most commonly asked (types of) questions and comments that we are likely to receive (in comparison/regards to those alternate methods).
 Aside from the commonly (and mistakenly) made correlation to “Kyusho”, the only other methodology currently being offered is the manner being promoted by the DKS/ Ryukyu Kenpo school(s).
IMO, what they are presenting is their own version of “ToriTe”, and not Oyata's Tuite. They (regularly) imply that it is derived from Oyata's methodology (via GD), but it is implemented very differently. This is evidenced through their (subsequent) instructional seminars, and the publicly provided information in regards to that implementation.
 I am curious to see if anyone is "still" using the (incorrect) "anomaly" excuse for when their technique's fail (that's always good for a laugh). 
 Understanding Oyata's method of application for his form of Tuite, requires more than attendance at a weekend/day/”?”-hour seminar. Unfortunately, the seminar that we will be teaching at this weekend, is itself limited in the time being allowed for us to teach.
 Our own (minimum) allotted time is (usually) 4 hours (for instruction of the 6 Principles of Tuite). This allows us to teach/explain each of those 6 (basic) Principles fully, and can provide sufficient time for the students to apply those principles in the application of individual techniques (and the allows the time necessary to provide individual instruction/correction of the principles within those applications). Each of the 6 Principles contain elements that can facilitate a techniques application (when done correctly) or can/will prevent it's occurrence when done incorrectly.
 What is commonly being taught (by others) are seemingly vague suggestions, that don't provide students with solid “Right/Wrong” guidelines to refer to while practicing a techniques application (or providing guidelines in how they should correct their application of them). The 6 Basic Tuite Principles were designed to provide those guidelines for students to refer to while learning/refining their own application of an instructed technique.
 Oyata emphasized that Tuite (techniques) are not dependent upon the size or strength of (either) the student (tori) nor their opponent (uke). Many of the commonly taught methods emphasize the use of speed for (their) techniques to even work. Oyata's (Tuite) techniques had no such “requirement”. ALL of Oyata's Tuite techniques can be performed slowly (and be easily controlled) when done correctly. Though speed would be a consideration if/when using those techniques in an actual defensive situation, it is far from necessary in a training (I.E. learning) situation (and could be considered detrimental in many cases).
 I am regularly confronted with (supposed) students from the years following Oyata's initial arrival (mid-late “70's”/early 80's”, and yes, I was there as well). Their arguments against this (slow-speed) manner of practice is based upon (their own) misunderstanding of Oyata's instructional methods. Oyata (at seminars) would commonly demonstrate a technique (doing so commonly at ½ to ¾ speed), and he would then have everyone (attempt to) reproduce what he had just demonstrated. He would also state that students should practice slowly, until they understood what was involved with making the technique work (correctly). "That" portion of his instruction was (usually) disregarded by those attendee's.
 Because most would fail at their own implementation of the technique (when doing so slowly), they would be inclined to speed up their attempts (to achieve some sort of result). That increase of speed would additionally include a (generous) use of muscular strength (if not physical weight) as well. The vast majority of Oyata's form of Tuite techniques can be performed (incredibly) sloppily, and still achieve a “reaction” (by the uke). That reaction is rarely the optimal/preferred reaction, but any reaction is often sufficient (I.E. “good-enough”) for those who don't really understand what “optimal” amounts to.
 Oyata's methodology was so (radically) different from what most of these early (often Yudansha) attendee's were accustom to, that their (own) “corrections” (although wrong) were accepted as being a correct application of the instructed techniques (at least by them). At those “seminars”, Oyata would rarely (if ever) “correct” those attendee's (as they were content with their accomplishments, and Oyata just presumed that they would continue their study with him, and they could/would be corrected later,...little did he realize, LOL).

 The 6 Principles of Tuite, are a modest portion of the (numerous) principles and application guidelines that Oyata had provided to us over the past 30+ years. We've taken a (directly) relevant portion of those guidelines, and are demonstrating their use/application in a defined portion of Oyata's Life Protection methodology (“Tuite Jutsu”). There are additional principles that are utilized as well, but for introductory purposes, these 6 Principles will provide (more than enough) direct application use, to keep the average student in research/practice/application for some time. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Silence is Golden

  I was recently reading a blog describing that persons manner of using  “Kiai” (“spirit yell”), as well as it's “use” in defensive applications. It was well written, but lacked in any actual application (information). It mainly focused upon the commonly held (and IMO, superficial) beliefs regarding it's use (while equally ignoring the weaknesses associated with it's use). The individual's stated reasons for it's use, consisted of the following:

When you wanting to channel/direct your energy.
 Hmmm, well this “breathing” thing is an internally controlled physical action. “Energy” (momentum??) is not controlled by breathing (except to a very minor extent). The implication (via this statement) is, that it is something else (I.E. “Chi”/”Ki”). Physical motion is how the directing of that momentum is accomplished, not through breathing. 

When you need to kickstart your fighting spirit (?).
Spirit” is something one has, or doesn't, a breathing method will not change that. The implication is being made that one will “suddenly” become a better or more effective combatant via the act of “yelling”.

When you’re attacking or countering an opponent.
I agree with this statement, just not with the vocalized aspect of it (as explained later).

When you do a kata.
Again, I agree with the action, just not how it's commonly being done (vocalized).

When you want to demonstrate your power (?).
This one completely baffles me, why would I need to “demonstrate” power ?

When you need to breathe.
Vocalizing your breathing, is only informing your opponent “how/when” you will be breathing (an obvious weakness in one's defense). Ask any person who has done some (any) manor of “aerobic” exercises, the only thing that a student needs to learn, is to exhale (they will inhale, and do so without thought). It is very common for a person to “hold their breath” when beginning a confrontation. If they train to exhale with any/all motions that they perform, they will naturally inhale (thereby avoiding their own hyperventilation).

When you want to startle your opponent.
Though possibly providing some level of effect/response upon a completely clueless individual, an effectively applied technique is far more productive.

 These are all commonly believed and taught concepts. I just happen to not agree with how they are usually being taught.
Oyata taught us to utilize kiai, but he interpreted it more akin to how one should be breathing. As a combative component, it is more in accord with body motion/use (than as some extra/supplemental component).
 The body has natural reactions to certain actions when they occur, breathing is one of those actions. When the body inhales, internal organs (and body muscles) will relax. As the body exhales, those components will be inclined to tense (flex).
 This is clearly illustrated when numerous actions are being performed. (for example) When practicing the art of Shodo, the writer is taught to exhale in a smooth controlled breath. After initially inhaling, the body has relaxed (allowing the user to motion) and by then when exhaling in a smooth controlled breath, the user is able to (more effectively) control the actions of their brush. The same is true with the motions used in the performance of Te.
 In martial arts study, Students are taught to exhale during the performance of every performed physical action. This allows the user to maintain a level of control over when and how the utilized muscles are tensing while performing motions and remain relaxed when they aren't being used.
 Oyata emphasized the use of Silent (non-vocalized) Kiai. He didn't want students (vocally) “Kiai”-ing during the performance of kata, or at any other time for that matter. He viewed this as telegraphing one's breathing to your opponent. This would (in turn) inform them when it was most effective to deliver strikes upon you.

 I've recently (in the past 10 years or so) encountered students who are using a “hissing” instead of using (proper) Kiai breathing. Aside from sounding ridiculous, it is also incorrect (breathing). This “hissing” is only using air being exhaled from the (upper) lungs. A proper exhalation for Kiai, should come from the abdomen. This manner of hissing accomplishes nothing (productive). It additionally restricts the speed of exhalation (an important element of effective Kiai use).
 The (exaggerated) use of vocalized Kiai, is the equivalency to proclaiming to an opponent, when that opponent should strike the person (as well as informing them when their strikes are being delivered). 
 It could be argued that a vocalized Kiai could be considered the equivalent to calling out for help (though I doubt the effectiveness of that ploy). IMO it's more likely to alert an aggressors compatriots than to elicit any assistance from strangers.
 I've also heard it stated that there is an "intimidation" factor that presented with the use of a (loudly) vocalized Kiai. Personally, I find this to be one of the most ludicrous of the stated reasons. It reminds me of the "intimidation" argument presented by Police departments for their implementation of the PR-24 (side-handle baton). If someone isn't (already) "intimidated" by the firearm at your side, why would they be intimidated by a stick with a handle on it's side?
 The same is true with the use of Kiai, yelling loudly while attempting to hit someone else does nothing to intimidate the perpetrator of a crime (the aggressor). They expect someone to yell (to some extent). Yelling loudly (yourself) could be considered motivation for them, to shut you up (?). 
 Kiai can provide a conferrable advantage/improvement to one's technique application, as well as their defensive capabilities. The only (major) argument I would put forward (in regards to it's use), is that of providing excessive information to an opponent.  Therefore,  I am an advocate for Silent Kiai. I choose to avoid providing any more information to an aggressor than I have (no other choice) to.