Wednesday 20 October 2010

Kata, Hyung tonifies the body

I was asked to do Pyung Ahn Oh Dan yesterday. In fact, I offered as it's a hyung I need to practice, so I executed it three times: once to the count, twice without a count and boy did I know about it! I'd forgotten how many different stance changes there were, and of course...the jump.

In any case, I felt like I'd had a real workout by the end of it! A martial arts lesson for us all I think: kata or hyung can really tone up our bodies if practised assiduously.

As I searched for Pyung Ahn Oh Dan I came across the shotokan equivalent (or vice versa you may argue!) pinan godan and found it interesting to juxtapose the videos of the forms.

The first one is classical Tang Soo Do hyung. The second one seems almost shotokan in its delivery but still intended as Tang Soo Do. And the third one is definitely karate Japanese (Okinawan) style kata. But all in all, similarities run through them all I find.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Sumo wrestling in Mongolia

Interesting article on the BBC website about sumo in Mongolia and the training that these women undergo for their martial art.

"Sumo wrestling has taken Mongolia by storm. Its male wrestlers have reached the peak of the sport in Japan, from where it originates, and in recent years, more and more women have been entering the ring."

Friday 15 October 2010


Good sparring session last night so I came away tired and feeling good, having dispensed of some energy and learnt a lot. As we don't use sparring gloves my knuckles came away a bit red and sore but this, at least meant I scored a few hits and blocked what otherwise would have knocked seven shades of stuff out of me.

The sparring session was built up well by sensei TO and we investigated some key points of distance and timing and assessing how your sparring partner reacts to your movement. In addition I was prompted by MH to relax more (easy for him to say: he's bigger, stronger and more experienced!), but I don't think he meant for me to stop being more jittery. I took from this remark that in order to move in sparring with speed and deliver meaningful and strong attacks, this has to be done from a fluid and relaxed state (with obvious power at the end of the technique).

Point duly noted.

I wish we had worn sparring gloves though...ouch!

Thursday 14 October 2010


Here is a video of a student and his BJJ teacher 'sparring'. What's interesting in this video is the cool way in which the teacher and student work through ideas and attempt different locks, all seemingly calm and aware of what's happening. See if you can work out which is the BJJ teacher!

BJJ is fairly popular these days due to its integration in mixed martial arts training.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Jake Adelstein exposes the world of the Yakuza

Jake Adelstein is flogging his book, albeit five years after his research. But there seems to be good reason to do so. His initial research into the Yakuza in Japan lead to him offering dubious sex acts in return for information and ultimately a death threat. this was enough to convince him to pack up and leave the country. Maybe now, after some time, he feels more comfortable publishing his findings but with names and specifics missed out. Looks like an interesting read... (listen to the interview clip)

Full interview with Adelstein here: