Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu Seminar with Col. Roy J. Hobbs, Hanshi & Menyko Kaiden, in CT

Roy Hobbs, Kancho, Founder of the Sekai Dentokan Bugei Renmei and Menkyo Kaiden in the Hakko-ryu/Kokodo Jujutsu lineage of Jujutsu, will be returning to Shindokan Dojo for a weekend course in Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu, a Japan-recognized branch of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu. Descended from Daitoryu Aikijujutsu, Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu is a complete art of self protection and includes joint locks; immobilizations; chokes and strangulations; strikes; throws; and subtle physical manipulation and mental disruption. It is noted for very relaxed and “soft,” yet extremely effective execution of technique to neutralize an attack. The humanitarian approach to self-defense also makes Dentokan Aikijujutsu an excellent art for law enforcement and personal protection professionals. Hobbs Sensei, a very highly ranked and teacher of Aiki Jujutsu, Karate-do (Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu) and Kobudo, studied Hakko-ryu directly with the Founder, Ryuho Okuyama, Shodai Soke (receiving his Shihan license from him) as well as Yasuhiro Irie, Soke, from whom he received Menyo Kaiden (full transmission) in Kokodo Jujutsu, Irie Sensei’s branch of Hakko-ryu . Sensei, who holds the title of Hanshi in Okinawan Karate-do, will also be teaching a special session in the kata & bunkai of Goju-ryu Karate-do. Hobbs Sensei is an exemplary instructor and gentleman with an engaging personality and a knack for story-telling! We are sure that you will enjoy your time with him!

JUNE 25-27, 201 0

ONE DAY: $80

For further information contact:
Erik Johnstone, Shihan
Cell: 401.474.2568

Monday, May 24, 2010

May Day Embu: Part 1

Shindokan Dojo/Black Bear Traditional Martial Arts Center conducted an embu (demonstration) on May 1st on the green by the Mystic River in beautiful, historic downtown Mystic, Connecticut.

The first portion of the embu was performed by youth who comprise the Black Bear Traditional Martial Arts Center Demonstration Team. The children, ranging in ages from 6 to 15, provided an excellent demonstration of traditional Shorin-ryu Reihokan Karate-do and Kobudo. This is especially significant, given our era of so-called “martial arts” studios” in which authentic, traditional martial arts for children are eschewed in favour of over-hyped, pretend martial arts (using the terms “martial” and “art” very loosely here) that are nothing more than flashy, glorified acrobatics and dance routines in silly looking, multi-coloured and multi-patterned circus outfits. These forms of “Rah-Rah-ryu” (not intended as an insult to cheerleading in any way, but martial arts should never be presented in a way that confuses the two!) amount to nothing more than mere toys, just like their glow-in-the-dark “staffs” masquerading as the bo of the dignified warrior of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

It is therefore very refreshing to see enthusiastic but disciplined youngsters, clad in the simple, dignified white do-gi of traditional Karate-do, correctly demonstrating the etiquette and skills of authentic budo with vigour and sincerity. It is also a testament to the heart and skill their teacher, who, along with his dedicated assistant instructors, transmits the art of Shorin-ryu Reihokan Karate-do and Kobudo just as he himself pursues his own studies; with an uncompromising commitment to the Way.

Seeing the youth of Shindokan Dojo/Black Bear Traditional Martial Arts Center demonstrate their arts with confidence and skill; seeing them show their budo, their hearts, to all in attendance, filled me with hope and joy. As one of my teachers recently said to me, “it is from small seeds that big trees grow”. And it is youngsters such as these, rigourously pursuing the true heart of Karate-do, which give the world much to be hopeful for.

Session Three of the Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu Instructor Development Series

The third installment of the ongoing Dentokan Aiki Jujutsu Instructor Development Workshop series was held at Shindokan Dojo on May 23. Participants included senior students from Shindokan Dojo as well as the New York City study group.

Having focused in previous sessions on Shodan-gi and Nidan-gi (as always coupled with a brief with a look at henka, variations, and oyo, creative and practical principle-based applications), the technical focus for this session was Sandan-gi.

As anyone who has studied any of the legitimate braches of Hakko-ryu for any significant length of time can attest to, Sandan-gi represents a whole different level of, shall we say, intensity! In fact, given its focus on principles and methods such as gakun and mochi maware, one could even consider Sandan-gi to be a “weeding-out” mechanism within the traditional Hakko-ryu curriculum! In fact, some Aikido practitioners, well used to the yonkyo found in that art, that have done some training with us, were startled, disrupted and “disturbed” by the intensity of gakun!

As is our usual practice, during the course of the session, we explored variations and applications that can be “mined” out of Sandan-gi, providing a brief glimpse the possibilities inherent in the art. Such a glimpse reveals that a seemingly brief and somewhat repetitious catalogue of waza can lead to innumerable expressions of applied goshinjutsu (self-protection), especially when combined with teachings contained in previous (and subsequent) waza as well as the universal principles of “natural law” that underlie classical and traditional budo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Schedule at Shindokan Dojo Beginning in June

Black Bear Traditional Martial Arts/Shindokan Dojo has expanded and now has a second training floor, enabling us to offer different class concurrently. As such, we will be going forward with a new training schedule beginning in June.

Our “samurai arts” classes, including Aiki Jujutsu, Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu, will now be offered Monday through Thursday at 6:00 pm. And on Saturday mornings beginning at 9:00 am. We will also be holding morning beach classes at least twice each week (weather permitting) from mid may through September (these classes are by invitation only).

Our Zen practice group will also resume meeting for zazen (Zen meditation) practice on Saturday mornings at 8:00 am beginning in June.

Please see for changes to the Shorin-ryu Reihokan Karate-do & Kobudo class schedule.