Monday, November 23, 2015


 I am regularly tasked with explaining that Oyata's system has changed (over the past 20yrs) from what was taught during the 80's/early 90's. The Eastern manner of instruction, is one that presumes that the student will continue their training throughout their lifetime. The Western “model” is one of (only) a few years of study/practice to complete one's training in a methodology. Therefor students of/from other methodology's regularly assume that what is taught in that method, is the same as what was presented in the later years of Oyata's life (within "his" methodology).

  Patience, is a concept that Western students don't seem to subscribe to. They are easily distracted by those systems that provide supposedly “quick results” (often to unrealistic threats). Though numerous popular defenses can be easily and quickly learned, they are rarely pertinent to the situations that actually will occur. Likewise, the manner that those situations are resolved need to be both practical and Legal to utilize as well.

  Learning defenses against numerous manners of assault is a topic that needs to be included, but the average student should be focusing upon the most common of those assaults, not the extravagant (ie.”Flashy”) manners of assault that are often presented on “U-Tube” and the internet (in general).

  I regularly browse the Internet, and I see a plethora of these videos. My personal preference is to view the most “basic” of those offerings. One can tell a lot about the system being presented through those examples. “How” an instructor is having their (beginning) students perform the initial motions of the system can display a great deal about how that system is being taught, and where it is (eventually) going to evolve to.

  The information “I” provide on this blog, is (very) “basic” (in regards to our instructed material). The majority of it is material that is mentioned during “classes” (and often promptly forgotten/ignored). From the mail I receive, I know that many would like me to elaborate on (“details”) the differences in how we utilize those motions. The “problem” that I have with doing so, is that the probability of miss understanding is too great (to make it worth my time in doing so). We are more than happy to do so “in person” (and have done so numerous times), as much of that information is intermingled with additionally taught concepts and motions.

  Person's seeking the “Quick-Fix” answers (commonly to their present systems problems) are often disappointed. Those “fixes” are usually linked to additionally existing problems (that defy their systems tenet's in application).

  Many only seek to utilize “pieces” of what we teach into those systems (ie. “Tuite”, “Kyusho”, etc.). I liken it to taking parts from a “Ford” truck, and trying to make it work on a “Toyota” coupe. The parts look similar, but they just don't fit!. It would require an extensive modification of the existing vehicle (system) for those parts to function. It might be able to be done, but (why?) it's doubtful that it will function as intended. If that “part” is really desired, why not change vehicles? If your wanting that part to function (as designed), change vehicles (systems).

  The majority of people realize this, and when many of those (minor) “details” are shown, they immediately write them off as “not important”,or trivial and/or not relevant to what “they” do.  We've encountered very few individual's who (actually) research their presently practiced/instructed applications. It is far more common, that individual's will teach those methods/techniques exactly as (they were) taught. Very few (and that's being kind), are able to define/explain “all” of the pertinent motions involved with those instructed motions. We tend to blame this on the (popular) “2-3 year Black Belt” manor of instruction. It has (in our opinion) greatly lowered the (general) level of knowledge available in present Yudansha.

  We understand that the vast majority of students, attend a “for profit” school. There's nothing wrong in doing so, but (the majority of) those establishments are in “business” to make a profit (whether to “pay-bill's”, or make a living through). The average “time of study/class attendance” is between 6 months and 3 years (despite what many claim). If/when a student can't achieve their “goal” (ie. A “Black-Belt”) during that time, they “quit” and (commonly) move on (whether to cease their study completely, or to begin with another system). Those are the same people that (obsess?) are so concerned with getting a “Black Belt” (and after having done so, will then quit).

  When person has come to us to “compare” their applications (to what we teach), it amounts to them demonstrating a motion, and wanting to see how “we” teach it to be done (or what we utilize in comparison to that motion). This isn't (really) an accurate comparison. There are numerous factors that determine whether an (even a “simple”) application is utilized. We can compare “details” of that application, but the differences are usually (more) in regards to the entire defensive action (as opposed to the individual “piece” of the action).

  Those pieces should also include Stances and Body Motion (without even getting into the responses of the Uke). Undue focus is commonly placed upon the motion(s) of the Tori “hand's” (only). Though those motions are important, they are not the only necessary motions (to make the application function correctly).

  During the latter years of his instruction, Oyata spent a great deal of time upon those “details” (of motion) during the application of the instructed technique's. Many were in regard to what we now refer to as “Force Efficiency”. A large number were (simply?) methods of achieving motion deception. These were designed to mask the tori's intended motion. They also dealt with hiding one's ability to even perform those actions .

  When one studies these methods, it examples those displayed traits/motions if/when performed by an opponent. They become instilled defensive actions (to be observed in an opponents actions). This is what I see when watching the various “live” examples presented “on-line”. I see opportunities that are commonly ignored/dismissed (within those “example” videos).

  For those that follow the “sport sparring” ideal (of confrontation practice), those methods that I am referring to, are (easily?) commonly dismissed as “unimportant”. If/when one has allowed a confrontation to dissolve into that manor of conflict (ie."sparring"), they have (already) missed/ignored bringing the conflict to a quick resolve.

  Though sounding counter-productive, body/stance “change”, is (often) taught/learned prior to hand motion. Though commonly taught as being done in conjunction (with one another), there is a “lag” between the two. Oyata usually taught “Hands before Feet” (in application/use). Though commonly the situation, these could be “swapped” (depending upon the pending circumstance). It was with the premise that the range of practice should (initially) be done at “arm's length” (between the tori and uke) during practice of the instructed technique's. It quickly becomes obvious, that there is rarely a “simultaneous” use of both. The (additional) use of “hip-rotation” (what we refer to as “hip-shimmy”) was discouraged as well. It is considered (and shown) to be counter-productive to technique efficiency. The majority of these items are rarely taught (or even covered) in many systems, often as a result of the practice of applications being done under (what we would consider to be) “unrealistic” conditions, and with equally “unrealistic” expectations. 

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