Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Bat Dojo in Kanji...yes for reals! In English: Komori Dojo.

Dojo translates very roughly to "way and place" Referring to the place one is currently parking their derriere is where they may explore the way. What is the way? Anything one endeavors. Martial arts, weaving Indian rugs, or excavating magic nose goblins.

In America, dojo is almost exclusively used to identify a place as a martial arts school. The Japanese language, typical of it's vagueness and non-confrontational grammer does not directly identify martial schools linguistically. The most common wordings for any type of training area are dojo, kan and ryu. The dojo, referring to a place which helps you along your "way". Kan, referring to hall or sometimes a house(Uses: Shotokan, Budokan). The incredibly vague "Ryu" describes a flow. A form of ideology rather than a physical location(Uses: Goju-Ryu, Shito-ryu).

WTF? What about jiu jitsu? Jitsu, another astonishingly vague precept is defined(barely) as "art" or technique. Jitsu can be applied all over the place. For example I've trained in bo-jutsu(6 ft staff) , ken-jutsu(sword fighting), tanto-jutsu(knife fighting), iai-jutsu(sword draw), aiki-jujutsu, and hojo-jutsu(combative rope fighting!). The "jutsu" spelling was very common before the BJJ rage. 

Interestingly, there used to be and probably still is a major split between the "jutsu" and "do" crowds. Kendo, aikido, judo, iaido at one time were considered sports, games, non-combative exercises...useless for combat. Whereas, the prideful ken-jutsu, ju/jiu-jutsu/jitsu, iai-jutsu guys differentiated themselves by their practical combative nature. Probably some small measure of truth. My ken-jutsu training was pretty wild, with ruthless bladed attacks. Punches to the face were actually considered fair game! Read Miyamoto Musashi's "Book of the Five Rings" and he babbles all about busting some guy in the eye socket during a sword fight! Ballsy, but totally practical according to him. Look at the section entitled, "The Water Book". It states, "You must bear in mind that you can always clench your left hand and thrust at the enemy's face with your fist." Awesome! I think of this even when grappling. On occasion, I exercise this intent. :)

The iai-jutsu sword draw training I did, didn't look any different than typical iaido...Yet, the intent was different. Much different. Infact, the intent was to cleave clear through a dude, starting at his right floating rib and exit out his left jaw. Leaving two pieces of meat for the dogs. Anything lesser, was a waste of our time. Think of your intent.

So I leave you with this question posed by Anko Itosu in 1908:

You must decide if karate(or any martial art) is for your health or to aid your duty.

- Mark

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Success seems to be

...largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.  ~William Feather

I love that quote. Since 1 January, I've resolved to do 1+ burpee(squat thrust, pushup combo) per day..working up to a goal of 100. Today was day fifty in that venture! I'm still sweating from the fifty I just blasted out. I know people try who to make a beneficial change in their lives...but who really sticks to their resolutions? I would like to think I stick to my the end. Perhaps, I'm a unique case? I would rather think not, I'd rather believe everyone strives to complete a mission. 

As a little kid playing Space Invaders on my Atari, I would fire it up and start blasting away at the alien enemy. If I was killed, even though I had 2 more lives, it pissed me off! I would slam down the controller and hit reset, trying again with greater concentration. Perfection has been a long a goal of mine since my days of Space Invaders. A curse and a gift some say :)

Here's my heart rate chart. I had to slow down at 35 as you can see the dip in the chart. This is the Alien blasting me...unacceptable. Next time I'll not take a break.

-Work! Then play a lot!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The trouble with...

 always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind.  ~G.K. Chesterton

Sick as a dog, still doing my burpees though. I skipped yesterday's 39, and completed that set about an hour ago. After I compose this crap I'll pump out 40 more for today's set. I am feeling a bit better though.., I hope by Friday to be done with this Anthrax-ebola like crap I caught...

I was nice to Monday's class as I pre-pumped out 20 burpees, they only had to do 18. I'll be less nice as I approach 100 :)

This weekend is Marcelo Garcia! Going to train with him and get beat up nicely. Should be good. Even if we cover stuff I am already familiar with, he always provides improvement and detail I did not know.