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New Practical Jujitsu Page & Videos

 A new page has been added to the site: "Practical Jujitsu". To begin, a number of videos covering the basic parameters and principles of practical Jujitsu will be added, recorded live from the dojo whiteboard. Check it out here .
Recent posts

Basic Information for Self Defence & Martial Arts

 I've put together the attached presentation for people attending an introductory course for a few reasons: It's important information for self defence. It takes a long time to cover the information in class. It is easier to edit and be thorough and consistent when presenting the content. It frees up class time for more physical things. People can watch it at their leisure and re-watch if they want. Someone else can use it if they want. This is really the framework/context in which the fundamentals class runs. Link .

You're Always Teaching - Everything is Information

  Everything somebody does or says is information.  We sometimes note this in a self-defence context when we discuss such things as awareness or threat assessment - but how often do we apply this to the people who influence us and how often do we think about the information we ourselves are giving out in the context of instruction? I remember an instructor friend of mine attending a seminar, the sort where there is a round-robin of teaching.  One of the instructors was 'holding court', explaining to the kyu grades how he "was always sharpening his warrior's edge".  My friend asked if that was a euphemism (he didn't find it funny). Why do people say such things?  What response are they hoping for?  I don't know, however, it's good when they do because you know something important and relevant about them straight away. There are times when we are hyper-aware of these bits of information - in dealing with a prospective employer for instance - but too ofte

Self Defence Pyramid - Hierarchy of Factors Contributing to Outcomes in Violent Encounters

I was recently listening to an old episode of the 'Managing Violence Podcast' in which the presenter introduced his 'Violence Survival Pyramid'.  It inspired me to get my own one down on 'paper' so here it is.  The presenter noted that he had gone through several iterations of his own, and I must say like everything in Jujutsu it is subject to change.  The 'Managing Violence Podcast' is an excellent listen if you are interested in dealing with violence - check out the relevant episode here .

Australia’s Turning Point – Signals Intelligence leading to the Battle of the Coral Sea

Australian/American Signals cooperation was not only important in stopping the Japanese advance to Australian shores but marked the beginning of Australia embedding its forces with the United States rather than simply furnishing troops for the British.  Whilst the British, in my opinion , had a long history of using Commonwealth troops to either protect their colonial interests or to take on deployments with high expected rates of attrition, when Australia faced the real possibility of invasion with the vast majority of its troops and equipment deployed overseas, it was the Americans, whose interests in the Pacific aligned with our own, that were on hand to push the Japanese back from our shores. The Battle of the Coral Sea saw the beginnings of the deployment of Australian sea power under direct American command, a joint approach that would continue to the present time – it was, however, Signals Intelligence that led the way to the embedding of US/Australian forces and played a major

The Good Second Position - Choosing an Inferior First Position

In his oldest work (Shanghai Municipal Police - Manual of Self-Defense 1915), W.E. Fairbairn includes the following tidbit towards the end of the book in a section that matches situations and techniques (no picture or further description is in the manual): (2) Your opponent attempts:- (A) To strike you with his fist... (3) With baton, strike forearm a smart blow from below. Those of us who practice certain forms of Jujutsu probably understand a number of reasons why the baton may be down in such a position as to allow this strike - most obviously, it is not particularly civil for police to begin many interactions with weapons in offensive positions (the photo below is from the UN Police Manual 2015, showing the sort of position we are talking about). So one reason to have a less than ideal starting position may be context - especially when equipped with weapons one cannot simply get the weapon between themselves and a possible aggressor, let alone cocked into an aggressive position as

Musashi's Book of Five Rings - The Missing Training Methods

In the Water scroll, as Musashi’s advice becomes more specific, we must turn to an often-overlooked factor when considering his writings – his training methods.  He often finished a section by saying drill yourself thoroughly in these techniques, practice this cadence repeatedly, learn how to apply this method – but how exactly?  Consideration of training methods is one of the most overlooked pieces of research with regard to Musashi. When we consider that Musashi and his contemporaries were concerned with preparation for combat we can quickly come to the somewhat obvious conclusion that it is doubtful those methods used by current koryu practitioners were the only training methods used at the time.  In Jujutsu we are aware that many of the training methods used around the time of the Meiji restoration were not successfully transmitted into the Showa period. When considering a training program in any era, especially with regards to traditional martial arts, what is typical is to outli

D Day and Gendai Jujutsu - "Does this training produce useful results?"

The active struggle against barbarity and totalitarianism is not a quasi myth from the feudal period nor an abstract  koan  for contemplation - it is in our recent past and goes on in much of the world today.  We who live in societies so civilised that the carrying of weapons is not a regular habit of most of the population live in one of history's outliers.  One who practices a  gendai  school of Jujutsu should always keep the closeness of these struggles in mind. Each year, around this time, we are given cause to remember the Second World War.  My thoughts always turn to my teacher's teacher, whom I trained with only occasionally but whom many of my contemporaries knew quite well and trained with quite a bit.  This man, fresh in the memory of many people, had to use Jujutsu to survive in occupied Holland being part of the Dutch resistance. Rather than being somewhat ashamed that the majority of the Jujutsu schools I have practised were founded or changed after the restoration

Dealing with Nito Part 4 - What was Musashi Thinking?

Last month I looked at those koryu schools that have an 'anti-nito' component - I was able to only find three examples, two of which are related.  Of course, it is normally true that one should be getting something out of both sides of a kata, and I have not looked at the actions of the 'loser' in the many schools in which the 'winner' employs nito.  That is for another series.  We can, however, look for some common threads within the limited scope of the material covered (and if you have other credible koryu examples, let me know in the comments). From Kasumi Shinto Ryu we have: Attack the weak direction of the crossed block or guard through the centre. Take the centre once the guard opens and look for an opportunity to counter a single-handed blow with the long sword. From Shindo Muso Ryu using a longish weapon we have: Attacking the mid to high crossed guard (or arms) from below. Opening the crossed guard to take the centre. Countering single handed blows. At

Tozando 2019 Essay Contest Winner: Olympics & Budo - A Questionable Mix

I managed to win the Tozando 2019 Essay writing contest with my article Olympics & Budo - A Questionable Mix .  I believe I was lucky in selecting a good topic on which to write.  I do feel that I should have put a little more time into it given the wide audience it will reach, however, it is a reasonably good example of the sort of opinion piece one would find on this blog.