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Showing posts from October, 2018

The Importance of Quality Attacks

In Jujutsu, how do you gauge the 'level' of any action?  What makes a technique that of a 7th Dan rather than a 7th Kyu?  Embedded in the kata of Jukendo (of which I know next to nothing) is an important component of the answer - that the skill with which you are operating is in many ways a function of the quality of your opponent's actions. In the details of the Jukendo kata, we see the following: In the first kata, an opening appears and you skewer your opponent.  Ideally, of course, timing, distance, footwork, technique, targetting, posture etc are all entirely correct.  This is the pattern of the first four kata. In the fifth kata, the opponent essentially performs the same action as the demonstrator in the first kata, in the same manner,  that is to say, timing, distance, footwork, technique, targetting, posture etc is all entirely correct.  The demonstrator then defends the original technique.  The opponent does not over-commit, does not do something the demonstrator

The Files of William Donovan, Head of the OSS

On September 20, 1945, President Truman issued an executive order terminating the OSS, effective 1 October.    In the few days remaining to the agency, General Donovan ordered Lt. Edwin J. Putzell to assist him in microfilming select documents from Donovan's safe files for his own action and personal use. Donovan and Putzell worked, under pressure of time, with a Kodak Recordak Camera to produce 131 rolls of 35mm microfilm from the records of the Donovan files. You can find the summary of the contents of those microfilms here - not only is it a good place to look for other reference material, the summary itself makes for fascinating reading and shows just how many pies the OSS was trying to stick its fingers in by 1945.

Doomsday Preppers, Jujutsu & Why the Worst Case Scenario is Easy

I recently picked up a book by Mark Hatmaker at a second-hand book sale - No Second Chance - A Reality-Based Guide to Self Defense .   You may be familiar with the author from his No Holds Barred series.  Whenever I come across work like this I am immediately reminded of the television series Doomsday Preppers. I think we can draw some parallels between martial arts and survivalism that may be beneficial to people in either camp.  Indeed many people I know, with a few exceptions, started training martial arts with a view to 'self-defence'.  This in itself could be likened to a form of prepping, and I'm sure a lot of survivalists love to pull on the cargo pants and knee the hell out of the odd striking shield. In No Second Chance, the author focuses on the worst case scenario - you are accosted by someone who is pure evil and are in the fight for your life.  Every other scenario is considered a folly, not 'real' enough.  Many true examples of the grotesque things pe