Shisei Ryu Aikibudo
THE METHOD OF ONE'S TRUE HEART
(6th DAN/Founder - Shisei Ryu Aikibudo) - Authored in 1994
In each persons life there comes a time when growth dictates the need for a change, or a new direction. My life is at a stage where I must follow my true heart in an expression of self. Let me caution all who read this - I do not proclaim to have invented something new and different, or to be a new martial arts messiah hoping to change the course of future events. I only seek to express myself, share knowledge and the life experiences acquired in my life to this date, in the dojos of my Sensei' and in aerial combat over the battlefields of Southwestern Asia during DESERT STORM.
Nothing shapes a person's being like the personal experience of combat, and facing your own mortality in a real way, each day. Its much like a clash of swords in mortal combat in times of old, but for me it was diving in from 20,000 feet or lower and giving all you have for the moment, fully focused with the outcome, with the success or failure based on your ability, timing, concentration and even management of what some call "fear". Training in budo is no different, in fact flying fighters is budo, instead of a sword, or hands and fists, or body movement, you put yourself and machine where it needs to be in a place and space in time, to execute the attack.
Every life experience contributes to the overall picture especially where life and death are involved. Embracing one's own mortality, finding direction in life and learning to resolve conflict with a "win-win" result for both people are essential to anyone desiring true growth. Budo teaches this, a real warrior martial art teaches this, in each movement we face a sort of "death" and a sort of rebirth".
After some twenty two years of martial arts practice and involvement, it occurred to me to do what I have always wanted to do; be myself. This book is an expression of self and it is the basis for a style of martial art named Shisei Ryu - (method of one's true heart). It is my sincerest hope that those who read this will come to understand what Shisei Ryu means and why it is important to seek out self expression by following "one's true heart."
I also hope by reading this, other martial artists will somehow achieve a better understanding of their own martial arts training and perhaps, where it will lead them. Following your true heart is the only way to find who you are as a person, and with the help of Sensei, fellow students and time, we can all forge ourselves into a "sword for justice" as well as becoming what we should "be".
The thoughts in this book are largely my own and the ideas will be those I hold as true. Some of the concepts discussed have their origins in my training some are just universal truth with a different label.
This book will discuss many facets of a method that I call Shisei Ryu Aikibudo.
Please look at it with an open mind and enjoy the experience. You will probably find we think a lot alike. If you do not agree with my ideas, that is fine too. Thank you for the privilege of sharing my own thoughts and feelings with you. I sincerely hope you are able to find your own "True Heart".
There are many paths to the mountain top, this is mine, join me if you like ...
Copyright - 1994 by G Ducote.
[All rights reserved. No part of this book, any of its pages, the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo logo, the name Shisei Ryu Aikibudo may be used, or reproduced in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the expressed permission in writing from G Ducote.]
2010 Comment added - this document shows the heart of the system and its primary theories at that time (1993). That was over 17 years ago.
There will be a fairly major republishing of this document while retaining the original for historical purposes.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE CONCEPTS AND THEORIES
PRINCIPLES OF Shisei Ryu Aikibudo
SYMBOL (LOGO) EXPLANATION
RANK REQUIREMENTS (SETEI GATA)
KARATE DO DEFENSIVE TECHNIQUES
SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUES
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RECOMMENDED READING LIST
The purpose of this book is to document the theories behind the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo method, outline its structure and content, briefly explain important psychological principles and learning theories, formalize rank requirements, explain goals for students and Sensei, provide a foundation and methodology for practice, and explain to those wishing to practice and/or teach the method just what makes the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo method unique.
Shisei Ryu literally means: The "One's True Heart Method, or School".
It means exactly what it says. It is no coincidence that it took over two years just to select a name for the method. The name for the method had to describe exactly what the method was all about. I knew what I wanted to teach as well as what God and nature was telling me to do, but formalizing it...well that is another story. Finally, I followed my heart and at last I am on the path to a unique method of teaching martial arts techniques I have acquired.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo has its roots grounded predominately in two martial art methods: ORTHODOX KEICHU RYU and TOMIKI RYU AIKIDO.It is interesting to note the founders of these very unique martial art systems (Keichu Ryu - Karl W. Marx Sr. Shihan, Tomiki Aikido - Kenji Tomiki Sensei and Chuck Clark Shihan, Jiyushin Kai Aikibudo) were all in my opinion, martial arts mavericks who expressed themselves through a new method. I don't begin to profess a kinship to these founders of legitimate arts but only wish to inform you of the nature of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo's origins. An individual who has had a profound effect on my budo experiences is Shihan Chuck Clark - originator of the Jiyushin Kai Aikibudo system. The Jiyushin Kai Aikibudo system is without a doubt the finest budo system I have ever come in contact with in over twenty years of training. Shihan Karl W. Marx was my first martial arts Sensei - the art of KEICHU RYU; his influences permeate a great deal of my own martial art. Soke Karl W. Marx is credited with the concepts of "martial arts therapy" and "mental self-defense". Soke Marx, in my personal opinion is the first American martial artist to create a truly unique American self defense method.
I owe much of what I am today to these two men. Through their teachings and examples, I have learned what mastery of martial arts is all about.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo - THE CONCEPT
By reading this manual you will gain a greater insight into Shisei Ryu Aikibudo concepts. The Shisei Ryu Aikibudo method was created to bridge the gap between the softer approach of Aikido and the harder approach of Karate, while not diluting either. The techniques speak for themselves.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo makes use of a three-pronged personal developmental concept whereby the student may focus efforts on the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of one's self. You can not effect the world around you without first changing yourself. The ultimate goal of the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo practitioner is to perfect and develop the three aspects of one's self (which compose the individual, his personality, his character and spirit).
The method is not meant to be a means to an end, but instead a set of tools or parameters with which one can operate and facilitate positive change. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is designed to offer a set of tools and a tool box for a healthy life.
One aspect of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is that of martial arts therapy, but more importantly, Shisei Ryu Aikibudo goes beyond that by using behavior modification principles and successive approximations to reach its goal. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo, also, is recreational, rehabilitative and therapeutic in nature. These qualities allow Shisei Ryu Aikibudo to be more than a martial art. It is also a method to obtain and ensure good mental health.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is not designed to be a conglomeration of self defense techniques or just another martial arts training method. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is designed to be a life-long process; a process of constant refinement, using the tools its provides to give one a happy, more fulfilled life. This lifelong process is designed to be a continual one, much like the process of creating a work of art with a whole, happy, self-actualized person as the end product. Learning healthy conflict resolution techniques, continual introspection, behavior modification and ego self-effacement is central to the process.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is behavior modification in a very refined state of development.
In Shisei Ryu Aikibudo, there is much concentration on the self. This is for a reason. When we become a well adjusted and healthy individual we then have a human medium for helping others to develop themselves also. The goal of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is much more than the development of the self. It is to assist in the development of all people desiring to live their lives to the fullest. Once a person has reached a high level of development then he or she can help others to achieve the goal of developing one's self to the fullest by being a Shisei Ryu Aikibudo Sensei, or guide (literally, one who has gone before in life) for others seeking the path.
However, Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is not a religion. It is not designed to take the place of religion. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo does attempt to put one more in tune with the role of God in one's life. But, this is a private decision and between each person and their creator. The body is the temple and vessel for the soul of man. Through training in Shisei Ryu Aikibudo one can improve this vessel for the spirit and begin the journey towards realization of the plan of our creator.
The tools of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo are physical, mental and spiritual development. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo makes use of the physical techniques of Keichu Do, Kodokan Judo, Tomiki Aikido and Hoshin Jutsu Ryu in the development of the body, mind and spirit.
Through proven psychological techniques and the use of mental self-defense against mental attacks, we offer the person an option when faced with any emotional or mentally disturbing situation. By the recognition of God as a supreme guiding force behind man in his quest for perfection, we are able to begin to develop the spirit of man. The spirit of man is not simply his soul, but his character and personality. In Shisei Ryu Aikibudo we study the tenants of the Bushido Code (not to be confused with Buddhism) and the principles set forth by Jesus Christ. These two facets of thought and conduct (Bushido and Christianity) are the essence of the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo philosophy. Many people may think these two modes of conduct are not only outdated and incongruent but that perhaps they have no place in our modern society. I feel these modes of conduct are both timeless and immutable.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is a truly comprehensive and complex art of self defense. There are not only physical requirements in Judo, Karate and Aikido; there are mental and spiritual requirements as well. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo requires the student to gain control over his life and take responsibility for all actions with a focus and direction. Indeed, to know one's self is to know the universe.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo hopes to assist practitioners in gaining a true understanding of the true nature of man and his place in the world, the creator's plan, and ultimately achievement of self-realization and God-realization.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is not just a martial art. It is a journey in self discovery and perfection.
YIELDING TO NATURE'S WAY
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo offers a variety of responses to situations. The method's focus is not only on the "right time" (when) to do a specific action, but instead on a wide range of actions that take place in a natural and intuitive manner. These actions are also not restricted by a "the legs should stay on the ground" approach. All types of techniques have merit. Intuitive use is the key. Not, on the spot analysis, processing, and then a prearranged combination. Intuitive action is the key.
Yielding to a natural way (or tendency) is rather easy to explain and is a central concept to the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo method. All people have a tendency to fall back on habit patterns and a small set of responses in critical situations. Not all styles of martial arts offer the right focus for all types of individuals. Aikido may be suited for some people but what about those that are not suited to it physically or psychologically? Is it bad form for someone to prefer hard technique as a way of handling a crisis. Should this person be forced to change to suit the art, or should the art adapt to the person. This is the point. All arts can not be all things to all people. Each art will attract a certain type of person, as will Shisei Ryu Aikibudo. As a practitioner of both hard and soft methods (Jiyushinkai Aikido and Keichu Karate Do), I have been on both sides of the fence.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo does not want to sit on both sides of the fence attempting to be all things to all people. However, Shisei Ryu Aikibudo does offer an alternative. This alternative is found in the method of teaching the art (which makes it dynamic and real), and in the manner the techniques are arranged, taught and the method of pedagogy used.
I wish to emphasize that Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is not a conglomerate style attempting to water down the principles of other arts with the net result being a mutation of both.
Tokui waza is the foundation for intuitive technique. Tokui Waza as understood by the author is a concept that reinforces martial art purity. The Tokui Waza concept is based on the idea that a person who trains in a "pure" art (that is an art with a single focus of techniques) will have a natural tendency to use about three to five favorite techniques in a critical situation. So the idea; is some styles teach only a few techniques (30 - 40), with a wide variety of variations for Black Belt level so the person can acquire a great deal of proficiency in them, as opposed to the person practicing a conglomerate style who is a "master of none and a novice at many".
Tokui Waza works best if the technique base is such that it allows the person to fully exploit his capabilities in a self defense situation. In short, we train for reality, not demonstrations. You shouldn't train with techniques you will throw out in real situations. Training with such techniques is a waste of time and only serves the purpose of being "eyewash" for the spectator to attract new students through sensationalism. Techniques should have more than gymnastic, entertainment, or exercise value. The core techniques (SEITEI GATA) in a martial arts method should be able to be performed by all individuals at a proficient level, not just the naturally athletic. If a martial art method wastes valuable time teaching worthless techniques, the process is tantamount to a lie. What you need are real techniques that deal with practical situations. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo provides doorways to practical, intuitive techniques.
TECHNIQUE DOORWAYS AND DERIVATIVES
There are several points of departure in the discussion of how martial arts techniques are learned, spontaneously created and employed. Two central concepts for employment of techniques are unique to Shisei Ryu Aikibudo. These are the concepts of "technique doorways" and "technique derivatives". Both are foundations and paths for intuitive technique. In the illustration below you can see how technique is manifested. All formal requirements (SEITEI GATA) come from the style standardized requirements and form the foundation from which all learning and style principles are taught. The setei gata foundation is the first doorway to understanding and spontaneously creating martial arts techniques.
All techniques are performed in three distinct manners according to seitei gata formal requirements. Kata (seitei gata) provides only pure technique and attempts to eliminate many variables to technique performance such physical, mental, spiritual, environmental or even hereditary. This establishes standardized techniques and a baseline for the performance and evaluation process, as well as preserving the "fingerprint" of the style.
In general, all techniques are performed in a reactive (go-no-sen), concurrent (sen-no-sen), or pre-emptive (sen-sen-no-sen) manner. Techniques can occur after, at the same time, or before the attack is initiated, in fact even attacking the attacker's intent to do harm. Techniques are manifested as fire (karate), earth (judo) or water (aikido) in nature in the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo method. SEITEI GATA provides the first doorway to the various "sen" waza as depicted in the figure above. This is a primary reason for the importance of kata and the associated seitei gata.
During the randori process, the process of doorways branching into technique derivatives occurs. The randori process teaches intuitive level action and opens the doors to derivatives.
After the different sen waza are learned and perfected through kata, each sen waza is divided into its fire, earth and water derivatives. This process is endless with other doorways opened, each yielding their own "doorways" to branch techniques, ad infinitum....
The use of randori (kumite) is central to this developmental process.
MARTIAL ARTS PURITY
The goal of any martial art and its originator should always be to focus on martial arts purity. What I mean is; the founder of any method of martial arts should a focus on the underlying theories causing the method to be created in the first place. There is a school of thought that believes you can not mix techniques from one style or method with techniques of another, such as mixing Karate and Judo, or, Aikido and Karate. I would agree with the idea of different techniques not being "mixed", however, different techniques can be derived and delivered at each "doorway point" in the process in much the same way you can walk down a hallway and choose to go into one room or another. While it is true each of these arts may have a different purpose and method of instruction, it is not true to say one is more effective than the other all the time. A measure of effectiveness of any martial art can be whatever you want it to be. If you measure effectiveness in street self-defense applicability that is one measure, but if you measure effectiveness in terms of inner growth and nurturing of the spirit that is a related, but different matter all together. All real budo arts have one thing in common: a focus on a set of sound theories and demonstrated principles along with the goal of true inner development among its practitioners. I believe any martial art with a good foundation and real principles can be taught under a common methodology. The foundation and core principles are most important when it comes to a martial art. It is in my opinion, these demonstrated principles that determine whether a martial art method is viable or not.
As stated before, Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is designed to bridge the gap between Karate and Aikido methods. Shisei Ryu could be classified as an Aiki-Budo oriented martial art. The classification of the art is not important to me, but it may be to others. The method of teaching techniques, and the principles behind the learning process are important, however. The educational process drives the entire learning experience and thus the exchange of ideas from Sensei to student. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo focuses on this educational process, but it does not neglect whether the techniques will work or not. The Shisei Ryu Aikibudo method teaches no one way is best for all people in all situations, and all people do not lean towards the same type of responses to a given situation.
In reality - all people are not created equal. Humans have different talents, tendencies, backgrounds, education, life experiences, physical/mental/spiritual abilities as well as obstacles to learning and performing techniques. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is not a conglomerate style with a mix of unrelated techniques put in a specific order for rank purposes only.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is a concept with its origins in a natural and intuitive selection process. There is a tendency for a person to express themselves in a manner free and natural to themselves, independent of what a particular style may teach them. Many styles of martial arts that teach a restricted and prearranged manner to respond to situations ignore the reality that human beings and the environment they live in is dynamic and ever changing. Even modern Aikido's founder said that "90% of Aikido is atemi" (or striking techniques). This statement is in great contrast to the modern non-aggressive teaching of ki oriented Aikido Sensei in most dojo today.
In a real situation most Aikido practitioners may use a striking technique as a matter of instinct, or perhaps will wish they did. Not all physical confrontations are intended to end with universal harmony for all. Sometimes confrontation ends in violence with focused, linear techniques being delivered to survive.
Why not teach that element up front, in the beginning. One could not argue that no matter how a striking (atemi) technique is delivered, it will be linear and 100% focused when it meets its target (following the principle of kime, or focus). If we will have a high probability of using a particular type of technique in a real situation, then it should be taught. Why then do some styles of martial arts teach only one approach to real situations based on hard, soft, linear or circular. This rigid process may not allow all people to profit from training because it offers only a few types of techniques restricted to one theoretical approach. Our creator endowed us with four limbs and many ways to use them. Should we restrict our responses by simply having an the attitude "that technique won't work?" when what you really mean is "it doesn't work for me because I can't do it, have not been taught it, or choose not to do it."
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo offers a continuum of techniques. Regardless of what type of martial art is practiced, techniques can generally be classified as either "hard" or "soft". Because of this, we have to deal with two basic types of force (hard or soft).
TWO COMMON PRINCIPLES OF DEALING WITH FORCE
(A Generalized Discussion)
Most martial arts teach two fundamental principles of dealing with force. These methods are generally either head-on, or by redirection and harmonizing with that force. Both have merit -both are taught in Shisei Ryu Aikibudo. Hard techniques such as Karate (a generalization for purposes of discussion) deal with attacks with the idea of maximizing the force of a technique through Kime, or focusing power. Always striking the target with 100% of capable force to ensure the attack is negated and maximum damage is done to the attacker.
Soft techniques (those taught in Aikido and other circular oriented styles) generally use a method of merging with the attack, harmonizing with its energy pattern/direction, and then diffusing the attack through technique. With soft techniques the 100% energy rule applies, but the attacker gives a portion of that percentage by virtue of the energy expended in the attack.
While this may be a greatly simplified way of expressing the two principles of dealing with force, the idea remains the same. Force can be faced head-on, or diverted and vectored. Force can also be applied at 100% and perpendicular to the target, or it can be redirected, vectored and negated by off-balance coupled with an appropriate technique
Aiki (harmonizing with energy) techniques teach both approaches in dealing with force but it does not make use of all body tools. Karate techniques lean toward the linear/direct approach, and only at the higher levels does one begin to see karate turn to angular/vectoring techniques. Karate technique may not be the answer in cases where a significantly larger opponent is encountered, or if the person delivering the technique does not have the psyche for hard physical contact. Both martial arts seem to embrace both concepts of dealing with force, but not at all levels of instruction. Why wait? Students need to know, up-front, how to deal with energy whether it be physical, mental or spiritual in nature.
APPROACHES TO DEALING WITH FORCE
First, what are we dealing with? There are three types of attacks or forces; physical, mental and spiritual. These types of attacks (forces) manifest themselves in many ways.
We must know and understand them before they occur, and as they occur. Understanding the patterns of aggressive behavior is a science in itself and we can teach the essentials in the dojo (school).
Most martial arts do not even begin to address the psychological patterns of aggression; Shisei Ryu Aikibudo does. Essentially there are four ways to deal with any force directed at us; do nothing; face it head-on, evade it, or, redirect it. Methods of dealing with force can occur in this order, or each method can be used for a particular purpose. No action is a type of action in itself. More importantly, doing nothing may be the best course in most instances (if the force/energy is not physical).
Most of this book is dedicated to a physical method of self defense/development. However a large portion of training should deal with mental and spiritual "self defense". The Keichu Do system is one of the first martial arts methods to formulate and vocalize theories on mental self defense using modern psychological principles . I whole-heartedly agree with the ideas and concepts of Keichu Do in this area.
The Shisei Ryu Aikibudo method follows this thought and expands further on it. Provided for the purpose of providing a background on the original Keichu Do theories, is the following discussion on "Identifying Mental Problems in Prospective Students or Already Accepted Students" , by Karl W. Marl, Soke - Keichu Do. This discussion was written in the late 1970's and focuses on mental self defense, and helping students and sensei to recognize and deal with mental attacks.
(Portions of the discussion are edited for use in this manual).
Many instructors teach any and everyone without proper screening by interview, or investigation. This is an unhealthy habit that could cause grave repercussions later. While it may not seem feasible to run a police check on every student, nevertheless this is a good idea. Unfortunately, instructors are unable or unqualified to get a psychological survey of each student to ascertain their mental conditions. This is not to say instructors should not accept students with mental problems or police records - quite the contrary, these individuals may need you more than anyone else.
However, the instructor should be aware of the students' emotional as well as physical makeup. For example, a person with heart trouble should make the instructor aware of this condition so that a special program can be taught without causing the student to overstrain. So, too, with emotional problems, the instructor can be of special help as a counselor and base lectures according to the needs of the students. It is highly recommended that every Sensei earn a few college credits in Psychology, Sociology, Business Administration or Journalism. Courses in Therapeutic Recreation and Special Education are also advisable to help the Sensei be a better capable counselor in the area of mental self defense. The following descriptions will aid each instructor or student in awareness concerning mental attacks and their extreme results. You should be able to identify some of these symptoms. In most cases it is advisable to seek professional help for any student in need of such treatment. Do not try to be a doctor, if you recognize any of these symptoms seek advise before confronting the student.
RECOGNITION OF MENTAL ATTACKS
Mental attack: This statement may be new and heretofore unheard of by most people throughout the today's world. The terminology used here is unimportant, the meaning behind the statement is important. People should be aware of one of the most dangerous, devastating, and crippling forces in existence.
Many individuals should be familiar with the words MENTAL, which relates to the mind, and ATTACK, which is to use force against someone in order to harm. Now anyone with any reasonable amount of intelligence should be able to ascertain that if we use the two terms MENTAL ATTACK we mean an attack directed at the mind. Any attack against the body is considered a physical attack, and such an attack is usually easier to cure, assuming it's not fatal, The victim of a physical attack can usually see the attack and may go to his physician for treatment.
On the contrary, the victim of a mental attack is seldom aware that he is being attacked, and consequently does not seek medical attention. After several such encounters depending upon the severity of the attack, the unsuspecting victim may become chronically mentally ill, and need temporary or permanent institutionalization in a mental institution. On the other hand the victim may at worst only live a terribly unhappy life time, plagued with depression, stress, frustration and anxiety all results of unrecognized mental attacks.
Perhaps dear reader at this point, you are becoming aware of the necessity and importance of our writing this book. It is our intention to inform you, in a common down to earth language, that the everyday man, woman and child can also understand. the average and above average individuals will be able to read and learn about they may save themselves from a dreary and unpleasant lifestyle. This book will be free from too many long and difficult words and phrases used by many authors who are perhaps attempting to impress the reader with a great deal of technical jargon. We are just plain folks trying to help people like ourselves who may not otherwise have the education or money to obtain help otherwise. At the same time we hope that professional educators and intellectuals will not find our book dull, but instead informative, interesting and helpful.
CLASSIFYING TYPES OF MENTAL ATTACK
There are two major types of mental attacks, Suggested or Foreign which are situated outside one's own self and have to do with other people, and Domestic which are inside one's own self, they are assigned motives. When someone calls you a dirty name this is a Foreign mental attack, but if you think someone does not like you, this is a Domestic or self Assigned motive.
We believe there are five major mental attacks, or subgroups from the Foreign and Domestic types.
1-VERBAL - foreign assault, someone curses, scolds, or uses abusive language directed at you.
2-PHYSICAL - Usually a foreign type assault, someone may make an obscene gesture (flip you the bird), make a face or stick out their tongue in a derogatory manner. However, sometimes the result may become domestic, ulcer, etc.
3-VISUAL - This can be both foreign and domestic. You may actually see something that reminds you of a past experience, or unpleasant situation in the past, or sometimes you may think you saw something, but it was not really true. This is called imagined which brings us to the fourth type.
4-IMAGINED - Mostly domestic, a person decides that their father, mother, husband, wife, etc., doesn't love them. Whether it is true or not the emotion is real and hurts the same even if it is not true, this can be one of the most dangerous types of mental attacks.
5-ALL OR ANY COMBINATION OF THE ABOVE - a person could suffer from two, three, or all of the minor forms at the same time.
The brain according to Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, is composed of ten billion, billion working parts, (you might relate better to brain cells rather than parts), which has enough storage capacity to accept ten new facts every second. The human brain has been conservatively estimated to have the ability to store an amount of information equivalent to one hundred trillion words, and that all of us use but a tiny fraction of this storage space. It is a powerful instrument that you carry around with you wherever you go, and you might choose to put it to some fantastic uses which you have never dreamed of or even considered until now. It is said that you cannot have a feeling without first having experienced a thought. A feeling is a reaction in the physical realm, to a thought. If you become angry, cry, laugh, or increase your heartbeat, or any emotional reactions, you have first had a signal from your thinking center or brain. If your thinking center is damaged of short-circuited, from mental attacks your emotional experiences may not turn out to be favorable or pleasant. Every feeling that you have is preceded by a thought, remember thoughts, create attitudes which create personalities, which create action.
Anyone who thinks negatively about something because of a mental attack by someone is getting themselves up for bad times. A verbal mental attack is anything abusive in the form of sound or language. to further elaborate, let us discuss this in more detail. Suppose you hear a song on the radio, TV, tape deck, or record that reminds you of an old love, boyfriend, husband, etc., that you are no longer with. If you are divorced, broken off or a long distance from, you may be hurt by emotions long forgotten but now brought back to memory by a song. You've heard the expression, "that's our song", or, "turn that song off, it reminds me of something I want to forget." Another method of verbal mental attack can come be hearing an expression used by someone, that remind you of someone else. For example let's use "Hi Kitten", and your ex-husband or someone you loved use to call you that nickname or use that expression, if it hurt then it is a mental attack.
The more common types of mental attack come from anger, lack of consideration, lack of tact, and just plain old meanness. When a loved one becomes angry with another, they often say things because they are angry. Some will say that it is better to say something unkind than to strike a physical blow, but a physical attack is most often easier to heal than a mental blow that lingers on and on. The use of vulgar expressions and verbal abuse are the most common type of mental attack and we are sure that you have heard many of them, so we will not list them here. Remember that these attacks are only words and that you have to accept them, you have a choice, you can decide to make a positive or negative decision, the choice is yours and yours alone.
Elinore Roosevelt once said, "the only way someone can insult you is for you to accept the insult." If you get your feelings hurt from a verbal mental attack, the truth is that you have choose to be hurt. Feelings are not just emotions that happen out of thin air. Did you realize that you are in total control of your emotions? Well, you are, and you do not have to choose self defeating reactions. This is the right path to true personal freedom. The truth is that you have the power to think whatever you choose to allow into your head. If a thought common to you, you can choose to make it leave or leave it behind, You have control over your mental world. Now if you are capable of controlling your thoughts, and feelings come from thoughts, then you are capable of controlling your own feelings. and dear reader, you can control your feelings by working on thoughts that precede them.
Simply put, if anyone verbally mentally attacks you and you become unhappy, you have made yourself unhappy not the person who spoke unkindly. A physical mental attack may come in the form of a gesture or any obscene mannerism which if offensive or otherwise painful, distasteful, derogatory are abusive. Examples might be, you walk up to a few friends and they turn away and ignore you, as you walk away you notice that a few of them make a gesture towards you that you feel is not at all appropriate. You might walk into a room and those inside suddenly stop talking, or ignore you. Any form of disrespect from someone directed toward you is a mental attack. Physical mental attacks are often used as a tool for hurting someone, the cold shoulder, ignoring others, gestures, snide remarks, etc., are all ways to mentally attack others. More often than not, these type of attacks are common place in the home and often are the beginning to other handicaps to communication among loved ones.
Remember that it is the other person's problem when you receive a mental attack, not yours, that is, unless you let it become your problem also. If someone abuses you it is their loss not yours, your friendship is a valuable commodity, a gift to others. Friendship is a thing to be cherished not trampled. Also, you must be careful of your actions around others, you too can be the source of mental attacks for those with whom you associate in life. Sometimes a practical joke can become a mental attack, the person who is always slapping you on the back, the cup or glass that spills on you, the person who punches you on the shoulder can be a pain mentally and physically, bullies who push you around, duck you when you are swimming all are forms of mental attacks. These pranks are aggravating, but you don't have to get angry. It is all up to you.
Now you have some idea as to what a mental attack is and how to recognize one. The next time you are in a hurry to go somewhere and it appears that you are catching every red light in town, or someone is driving slowly in front of you, or a car cuts in front of you and almost runs you off of the road, or blows their horn at you to start from the red light that just turned green, remember, it's just another mental attack. Don't get excited and over heat your system.
Verbal attacks come in many forms. Transactional analysis teaches that of the three ego states each individual has such as the Parent, Adult, and Child which are not concepts like the
Superego, Ego, and Id. The Parent ego state is a huge collection of recordings in the brain of events in the past, involving real people, real times, places, decisions and feelings. These are external stimuli that are specific for every person, being the recording of that set of data received or experienced earlier by the individual. For example, if a child's parents were hostile and constantly fighting or arguing with each other, this scene was recorded in the child's Parent ego state with terror. In this state are recorded all the rules and laws that the child heard from his parents, relatives and anyone else he came into contact with. They range all the way from the earliest parental communications and all the rest throughout early childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. The significant point we are attempting to make is that whether these rules, laws or statements are good or bad, they are recorded as truth from the source of all security (after all Adults are always right, especially Mom or Dad). These past events may become permanent recordings a person cannot erase. It is available for replay throughout life.
This replay is a powerful influence throughout life. These examples of coercing, forcing or in case of verbal abuse such as names called by others like dumb butt or lazy bum, etc. are rigidly internalized as a voluminous set of data which could hurt the individual's self esteem and self confidence in later years, especially if the individual acts on this advice from the past. Can you imagine someone who was told by his or her parents that they were no good and would never amount to anything, and believing this they could never keep a job because of their being convinced that their parent were right. Your self esteem and emotional competency are very important to combat mental attacks. For the best performance you need the "I can" attitude rather than the "I can't" philosophy. Your self concept which means your opinion of yourself is your selector of experience.
If you believe that you can do only certain types of work or other things such as sports, society may take you at your own rating and evaluate you in the same way. Then if you realize this shortcoming society has elected you, on your own recognition you feel that since society has labeled you a misfit you now have reinforced information to confirm your thought about yourself.
In conclusion let us say in defense of parents that few mothers and fathers are authorities on child raising and child psychology. As parents we will map mistakes. It would be nice if every married couple would by law or choice be able to attend class concerning the proper way to raise children but even at that there are many factors to consider and no guarantees that they would become better parents. Indeed, child psychologists sometimes have children who are badly spoiled. Sometimes it is easy to tell someone else what to do, but hard to do it yourself.
Careless remarks made by parents to their children can at times be picked up by the subconscious and will become fixed ideas which later are carried out like post hypnotic suggestions. They are more likely to become fixed in the child's mind if the child is under an emotional setting, perhaps when being punished or yelled at. Telling a punished child, "you're a bad boy," may sound trivial. Heard again and again, year after year, he may accept the idea and compulsively be bad. The child while probably having been a naughty boy is nevertheless not a bad boy. Bad means evil. Many adults often use similar statements when scolding a child which may have been pounded into the youngster's subconscious; "You're worthless." "You'll never amount to anything." "You never do as you're told." "You little rebel, a troublemaker. "You're stupid." These things are common and the results are often hardships and unhappiness for the victim in adulthood.
So now you are aware of verbal mental attacks, what they are, where they come from, and a little about what to do concerning them. It is not our purpose to write a how to book or to advise self therapy. If after reading our book you feel you can handle your problem better, great! If not, we recommend seeing a professional. At least you may be able to better understand your problem and a professional may be in a better position to help you help yourself.
PHYSICAL MENTAL ATTACKS
The physical mental attack might be considered more dangerous to the physical body because the thought patterns create damage to the body. While the usual assaults may be common derogatory gestures such as someone flipping you the bird, making an ugly face or sticking their tongue out at you, these could be considered in another category such as in the visual area. To be more specific we shall investigate the more serious possibilities and consequences concerning what happens when the emotional system is attacked by destructive thoughts which create havoc with the physical body.
The body responds to emotional turbulence. Pent up emotions can upset digestion and throw so much acid into the intestine that ulcers form. For example if a person worries too much about his job or jealousy, that turns into anger or hostility this incubation may cause an ulcer. Constipation is another form or result of mental attack which may result in withholding the bowels. The action or lack of action causes a tightening of the rectal muscles and this can result in the formation of hemorrhoids. Tension over other emotional matters also is evident by tightening of the rectum. This condition often becomes aggravated following a period of great stress or emotional upset. Surgery may become necessary to overcome the problem or at least the symptom.
Our emotional troubles (results of mental attacks) are often reflected by disorders in the digestive tract, including peptic ulcers, nausea, diarrhea, colitis, gastritis, and even tooth decay. Improper thought processes such as worry, jealousy, guilt, lust and greed, may cause stress, anxiety and frustration which in turn may cause physical discomfort. Many skin conditions arise from emotional or psychological causes. Arthritis is another example, there seems to be something of a character pattern or in police lingo (modus operandi) M.0. with this disease. Like migraine victims, arthritics tend to be hostile and aggressive, but they bottle up these emotions. Their personality is often rigid and inflexible and perhaps this is psychologically reflected in the rigidity of the joints. There can be a fear that an uncontrolled temper may get them into trouble. Conflict develops over the desire to hit out at fate, or at particular individuals, a boss, your wife or husband, an in-law or authoritative figure, mixed with fear of the result of doing so.
This author believes that the cells of the human body, are atomic in structure, and that they must maintain a certain balance of molecular activity, as wall as adequate chemical elements (hormones) for the organism to be healthy. Furthermore, I agree with what many endocrinologists believe, and that is the endocrine gland system which is controlled by the mind or instinctive, emotional part of the human brain, regulates activity. We believe that if the mind accepts an idea, suggestion or statement ("you're no good") or you suspect someone of wrongdoing, you hate someone, any negative ideas, as true as it sets in action, through the electrical force generated by the stimulation of strong emotion, a chain of molecular activities that so alter the structure of bodily cells that conform to the idea, whether it is one of good or bad, sickness or health. So you see, if the emotions control the secretions, and the quality of the secretions determines the chemical changes which constitute all cellular growth. It is possible and logical that cheerful, happy emotions are like sunshine, they stand for health and harmony.
On the other side of the coin, fear, worry, hate and all the forms of unkind acts enable a toxin, which tends to clog circulation, disturb digestion, congest the secretions and stupefy the senses, and it tends to destroy life. We also believe that greed, fear and anger are the primary emotions that stem from the instinct of self preservation and that the many other destructive emotions, which tend to destroy peace of mind and ultimately health, are offshoots of these three primary emotions. Of these, fear is believed to be the most common and deadliest. If we didn't fear someone or something there would be little reason for worry or anxiety to disturb mental tranquility and disrupt harmonious functioning of bodily organs. We believe that mental attacks cause disharmony and that disharmony is a root of disease. Medical researchers have concentrated on the theory that diet is a prime factor in heart disease, the nation's number one killer. We agree in part, however mental stress brought on by mental attacks can be the origin of anxiety and other devastating degenerative diseases such as mentioned before, arthritis, diabetes and cancer.
Mental attacks like competition on the job 1ike a professional football for example. A certain player is getting older and a rookie player appears to be a threat for his job. This can cause anxiety or stress, the same for big business professionals especially at the executive levels. Stress causes the body's defense mechanism to trigger (start) what some psychiatrists call flight or fight reactions, which produce drastic changes in the autonomic function of the human organism. If one does not recognize mental attacks for what they are and continues to be in a negative emotional state stress will be present. When stress becomes chronic, the muscles of the arteries no longer relax after each successive flight or fight or anger reaction and permanent contraction results in hardening of the arteries, and as the digestive processes are then impaired, undigested food particles (especially fatty substances) are likely to adhere (stick) to the constricted walls of the arteries, sometimes causing clots.
When an individual becomes angry and stays angry for long periods of time, stress appears and this emotion causes a reaction. The results are adrenaline pours into the blood stream from the adrenal glands. This causes the smaller arteries to contract. The heart, in an effort to maintain full circulation in the face of this resistance, steps up the pulse rate and blood pressure. The damage usually begins long before a heart attack, in the narrowing of the arteries by the formation of fatty deposits in their linings. The process (arteriosclerosis) that thickens the inner arterial wall and blood clots form easier that way. It may be all right to become angry once in a while, but never stay angry more than twenty minutes at a time. Realize that you are experiencing a mental attack and that the results could be deadly or at least damaging to your well-being.
VISUAL MENTAL ATTACKS
Visual mental attacks are both foreign and domestic. The unusual thing about visual attacks is that they can start off as foreign, seeing someone you used to be married to and who you still love, and the domestic, as the hurt creates negative thought processes which in turn becomes internally painful. The more common visual assaults are as mentioned before, someone shooting you the bird, a facial expression, or being ignored, etc., etc. all of these can and do have the same results as the verbal and physical problems.
Some of the more drastic examples of visual mental attack are as follows: a father who is separated or divorced from his wife and who has not been able to see his children for a while. One day he sees another father playing with children that remind him of his own. The hurt and loneliness are devastating. Or while watching television he sees a child with his dad and this scene makes him long for his own child. Another example would be a new widow seeing a man that reminds her of her dear departed husband. A child whose dog was killed sees another dog that reminds him or her of their dog.
There are many examples of visual types of mental attacks. Our purpose is to make you aware, by pointing out some of them. A few of you will recognize right away others you may recognize later. While rummaging through old mementos you come across an old picture of a friend or loved one. This can bring an emotion of joy or pleasure, but at the same time it may cause lonely feelings, sadness or some other negative emotion. An old trophy, medal, or any object that has sentimental value can bring about memories of bad times, or good times long forgotten. It is the ability to control our emotions that is so important. When we have an experience that triggers our emotions we must be aware of the conditions. And if the emotion is negative we should be aware of it and start to control the thoughts that come from it. Because if the negative emotion is allowed to continue a physical response will ultimately cause some form of illness, most commonly a psychosomatic illness.
Stress and tension cause negative emotions and when we have a visual mental attack our condition, may cause lowered bodily resistance so that we become more susceptible to infectious diseases and in this sense it can be said that all illness many have an emotional background.
MENTAL SELF DEFENSE
by G. Ducote, Founder, Shisei Ryu Aikibudo
As a protégé' of Soke Marx during the early years of Keichu Do development, I fully agree with the ideas presented in the above discussion. The Shisei Ryu Aikibudo system embraces and teaches these concepts. It is very important that all Sensei be able to do much more than to just teach martial arts. I strongly encourage all Sensei to become very familiar with the science of psychology because understanding the inner workings of the human mind is to understand how information is processed. This will reap big dividends when you start to explore and understand the intuitive and intentional processes of the mind.
A great many budoka have no concept whatsoever, of mental self defense. A lack of understanding of the mental aspect of personal being is the greatest cause of unhappiness and interpersonal conflict in our modern society.
I am not saying that the Sensei should become a counselor unless professionally licensed, however, due to the intimacy of martial arts instruction and the closeness of the relationship between student and Sensei, it is only prudent that the Sensei become adept at helping students function better in body, mind and spirit. Identification of a potential problem is the key to getting anyone on the road to recovery and a normal, happy life. (Remember what the word "Sensei" means and you'll get the point).
It is readily apparent that each of these "situations" known as mental attacks are found in everyday life. Whether you recognize these attacks for what they are, or, simply ignore them is up to you. In either case you shall have to deal with these attacks and the feelings they will undoubtedly elicit in your mind. The person who realizes the significance of the concept of mental attacks has begun to realize just what Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is all about.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo is a all aspect art of physical and mental self defense and a way to keep the body and the mind in harmony with the true nature of the self. One can readily see that the healthy and happy mind and body is the beginning of a healthy and happy spirit.
The person must remember that he is his brothers keeper, and that each of us has control over their own emotional and mental self. The concept of total control over one's self and that you are ultimately responsible for your actions is central to the realization of truth.
In daily life the many mental attacks faced by the average person are enough to bring one to a state of utter confusion and helplessness, if not dealt with properly by the person. The person who can identify and deal with these mental attacks is far ahead of the rest in the quest for self fulfillment and one's own identity.
Each of us should learn to experience emotions for what they are, but not to be ruled and governed by these same emotions. Emotional management is a result of self control. To control the self, you must learn to ward off mental attacks and the devastation that can occur due to the prolonged lack of understanding of what is occurring in your mind. Each life experience can change us in a variety of ways, we stand at the cross roads of good and evil (proper and improper) action each moment of the day. We should strive to have control over our own emotions and the responses following them. But, we can go even further into this process, why not learn to change the situation so that the attack will not occur at all.
Mental Self Defense is a concept so simple, yet as complex as the thought process itself. Situational self defense is the key to avoiding many problems before they come to complete circle, that is, before they reach full momentum. The only thing that remains constant is change, this is a truth. In self defense situations, you have many opportunities to cause change and perhaps solve a problem or avoid having to use your newly acquired skills in physical management of others (administering your tokui waza). One example is to change the situation by leaving the area. While this may not be the macho thing to do, perhaps if you look around you may not really need to be where you are after all. When confronted with only a physical attack you have very few choices except for how much force to use and when to stop using force. Mental Self Defense requires a great deal of originality and creative thinking on the part of the "defender". Example: You walk into a place to get a bite to eat or perhaps a drink, and a person says, "Hey aren't you about ready to leave here?' You can respond with several comments and make a rough situation worse or you can use mental self defense by responding, 'Well, pretty soon I will be leaving here and I really have enjoyed my stay, what a nice place this is, the weather is fine and I simply love the town." (going on and on talking to change the subject from you to something a bit distracting). The idea here is to get the "attacker's" mind off of the situation and on to another idea, or perhaps to get a conversation started instead of a verbal abuse contest. There are endless possibilities for this technique in the real world even when not faced with a possible physical threat. This could be called the 'decoy technique' of mental self defense.
Perhaps all a person does to you is to attempt to use mental attacks on you such as the odd look, ignoring your presence, a snide remark, etc.; well, if this occurs you could return the action and only make a situation worse. Your other option is to kill with kindness or truthfulness; example: To greet the person and say hello to them, to change the subject from you to them, ask a question of them or make a statement that changes their mind and prevents further harsh words on their part. Now you should have the general idea, your time and your emotions are yours to experience; why let others dictate to you what is to be felt and when.
SELF-CONTROL is the key. In any self defense situation you must maintain this control (or seek harmony with) over the attacker or the situation itself. Many folks tend to become the manipulated mind in the hands of others who seek to only do harm. The recognition of mental attacks and the use of mental self defense tactics can allow one to escape many potentially harmful situations. Remember that you will be attacked mentally by the environment, social pressures, work, home life, love life, friends and enemies (just to name a few sources of potential attacks) each day. It is up to you to deal with these forces and remain healthy in mind and body, or, ignore these attacks and accumulate the effects over a large period of time. The results will be very different depending on what course of action you choose to take.
In being able to identify a mental attack before it occurs, or after it occurs is the main point of the mental self defense concept. If you find yourself experiencing emotions you do not enjoy, you should learn to deal with these emotions and realize the source for the emotion. Besides having a much better handle on your feelings, you will have a better feeling about your self and who you are. A great deal of thought and study must be given to this concept and what it has to offer you.
If your mind is healthy, your body will certainly be in better condition to respond to the many demands placed upon it by the world today. Remember, recognition is the key to defense.
You must be able to perceive the attack to be able to defend against its effects.
MARTIAL ARTS ALGEBRA
The Shisei Ryu Aikibudo concept of "martial arts algebra" is more than just a play on words.
It explains the process of encountering and negating offensive techniques as well as delivering counters to attacks. Before explaining what I mean by martial arts algebra, we need to remember that force is basically either direct (linear/hard), or it is indirect (angular or circular/soft). Regardless of how a technique is launched it must follow certain rules. All encounters are a function of Speed, Time, Distance and Power. Changing any one of these variables, changes the technique and how you should approach handling it. Lets look at an example to gain a better understanding.
s/t x d x p = 100 UNITS
SPEED/TIME x DISTANCE x POWER = 100 UNITS
In this example, a technique is illustrated in terms of its basic variables. Included for simplicity sake, are speed/time, distance and power. 100 units are required to accomplish a fully effective technique (again, in this discussion). As the defender against this attack we have the option of changing this equation by altering any one of its variables, or eliminating one of them through the use of appropriate "Sen" (or timing of our "reaction"). Now, this discussion would seem to make a martial artist into a computer, but the purpose of this discussion is to understand my theory, after that is accomplished, a baseline will exist from which all techniques can be evaluated. All techniques should be dissected in training, but applied intuitively through Riai or intuitive action. In this case we need to do more than just look at the watch and tell the time, we need to see how the watch works and be able to build one of our own. Essentially to know what makes it tick.
When we look at the variables it is possible to see how we can change the equation.
If a well executed technique requires all the variables add up to 100 units to reach maximum effectiveness, all we have to do is destroy or alter the individual elements within the equation.
We then will either defeat it totally, or we will alter it so much that it will be diffused and ineffective. A discussion of the individual elements is in order.
Speed and Time are somewhat coupled when it comes to the delivery of a technique.
All techniques must have a certain degree of speed to be effective and reach the intended target before being detected and negated. Linear techniques tend to require more speed for a given distance to be effective since their power and effectiveness is derived from Mass, multiplied by velocity (Acceleration), yielding a net Force through Kime, or focused technique. In real terms this relationship can be roughly expressed by M x A = F. When circular or angular force is encountered this relationship still exists, but it is perhaps not as important. Speed and timing are still essential elements in the technique, but they are not necessarily used to generate Kime. They can be used to achieve proper positioning to execute the technique. The same result is achieved, however. If this part of the equation is altered by the defender, then the attack can be broke down and rendered either less effective, or ineffective, then countered.
When looking at defensive techniques, this part of the equation is of equal importance.
In short, if you affect timing, you change the effectiveness of the attack.
Distance is very important in the delivery of a technique. Without the achievement of proper distancing, any attack can be avoided, negated or rendered ineffective. Emphasis on proper maintenance of Toi Maai (engagement distance) can not be understated since this is a very important part of the equation of attack and defense. Through the use of body movement, structural manipulation and kuzushi (off balance) we can increase, decrease, or disrupt both the relative speed/timing and the distance needed to deliver a technique. All real Budo will emphasize this factor in the teaching and employment of technique. Shisei Ryu Aikibudo places great emphasis on this point.
Power is the last part of the greatly simplified equation of attack and defense. All techniques require a certain degree of power to be effective. Regardless of their desired effects, both the attacker and defender will have to devote a certain level of energy to achieve the desired results. As stated before, power/technique can be manifested in either linear or angular/circular (hard or soft) terms. Linear techniques tend to be more dependent on focused power while angular/ circular techniques tend to be less dependent on attacker created power. When you encounter a linear technique, it will have more power initially with absolute maximum power being generated when Kime takes place at the desired impact point. As seen in the graph below, a linear technique reaches a very high energy level after initiation and peaks at 100 units at the kime point. The circular technique on the other hand, starts at the zero point, gathers its energy more gradually (during redirection and fitting) and achieves its peak at the kake, or execution phase. This is a very simplified explanation but the principles are very true.
PHASES OF TECHNIQUE DELIVERY
When we look at the phases of technique delivery graph below, illustrated are both a hard (linear) technique and a soft (circular or angular) technique. This graph is notional and is intended only to depict an idea and not to be taken literally. The hard technique starts out with zero units of force as does the soft technique. However, after a very short time period the hard technique reaches a very high level of energy and maintains that level until the last phase of the technique which is the kime or focus. Then the hard technique spikes its energy to give final impact and focus to achieve its maximum effectiveness at the .5 second time period in this example. On the other side, the soft technique starts out with a small degree of energy and slowly reaches its Kake, or point of maximum energy at the notional .5 second time.
0.5 SECOND TECHNIQUE DELIVERY (NOTIONAL NUMBERS)
In real terms, a hard (linear) technique is set up and then launched to its intended target while a soft (circular or angular) technique is set up, followed by a fitting period (tsukuri) then after the attackers equation has been disrupted, parts of it are used for enhancing the soft technique. The softer technique will then add to its own equation, energy units it has "gathered" to effectively execute its technique. These "gathered, or stolen" energy units of the new defensive equation could be from speed/timing, distance, power (by disrupting posture, vectoring force or other methods).
These examples can be seen in a comparison of the Karate lunge punch and a Jiyushin Ryu technique known as Aiki Nage. The lunge punch is delivered from a distance, timing and speed sensitive position. The lunge punch is "set up" then launched at a target. It is launched with maximum force and goes to its desired impact point with the absolute maximum energy taking place at the point normally referred to as Kime, or focus. On the other hand, we have the Aikido technique Aiki Nage.
Aiki Nage is a great example of how an attack equation (such as that given by a lunge punch) is disrupted, taken apart and its components used to fill requirements for the defensive equation. This is accomplished by vectoring the linear technique, breaking the attacker's posture and balance, turning in a circle further disrupting the attack (or the equation), then abruptly stopping the attackers circular movement with a partially extended arm.
This has the net effect of running the attacker into a fence post, or it can be done with less force and more off balance thus being less hard. It is all a question of what variables you emphasize in your own technique equation.
When you respond to an angular/circular technique the initial power encountered/detected could be less because with angular/circular techniques, maximum force may not be achieved until Kake (or the final phase of the technique). This is not to say that only linear (hard) techniques start out with a large force but to illustrate the point that softer techniques could be harder to detect because they do not typically use explosive force to be successful. Soft/circular techniques can derive their power by "stealing" energy from the attack as illustrated, or by redirection of the other persons force.
Looking back to the original equation we can begin to see how this works. 100 units of energy are required at kime/kake to achieve a successful technique regardless of its nature.
st x d x p = 100 UNITS
SPEED/TIME x DISTANCE x POWER = 100 UNITS
As a defender we need to target specific parts of this equation to deny the attacker full use of speed/time, distance and power. One of our central themes should be understanding this equation and applying it to our training and analysis of martial technique. On the converse, we must apply this equation as a benchmark for evaluating our own techniques. Regardless of what we think, 100 units are required for a fully focused and effective technique. Less than 100 units will create a poorly executed, ineffective and possibly diffused technique.
In Shisei Ryu Aikibudo one goal is to understand this equation and how it relates to the educational process. How we understand and analyze techniques is just as important as how we perform the techniques on others. By breaking down a given technique into is components; speed/time, distance required and power required, we arrive at the result - execution. Some waza (techniques) require more speed, others are very sensitive to certain distances, while others may require more or less power. Each and every waza has its own characteristics, the Budoka must learn how to exploit both the strengths and weaknesses of techniques.
Hopefully this discussion has given another perspective on technique.
TRAINING THE MIND AND SPIRIT
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo, like other budo arts, seeks to develop the "whole person". Shisei Ryu Aikibudo does this through the use of kata (prearranged techniques) and randori/kumite (free practice). In this discussion, the term randori will be used when discussing both kumite and randori since in the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo system they are viewed as one in the same. However there is a fundamental difference in how Shisei Ryu Aikibudo views randori/kumite. The main difference is the non-competitive dojo environmental focus in our use of kumite. Both kata and randori are forms of mental training, the physical aspects are obvious and therefore will not be addressed on this discussion. We must all enter through form (kata) and exit from form. Kata is a repository of a styles techniques and is in effect its identity and its "fingerprint". But, of the two methods of training, after the basics are mastered, the value of randori training far outweighs that of kata, at least in the opinion of the author. This difference (between kata and randori) is because kata is prearranged and predictable while randori is not.
It is the unpredictability of randori that teaches us about living real life and gives us the ability to resolve conflicts with a win-win resolution instead of the much sought after win-lose outcome based on the notion of competition. In short, kata teaches us about life, while randori is life. Kata is very much like a stuffed tiger, we can learn a great deal about "tigerness" from it, but we cannot learn about tigers themselves from a stuffed animal. Kata is perhaps, the stuffed animal, and randori is the closest we can get to the real thing without the danger. Randori reflects life because it is not predicable while it occurs but only after an action occurs. Randori teaches us what to do as life occurs - living in the present, not the past or future. The end result is a lesson about right action yielding always the right result regardless of whether the result is viewed as a "success or failure".
Randori is the chief learning and developmental tool of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo. Besides teaching conflict resolution, it also teaches decisiveness, alertness, imagination, creativeness, reasoning, judgment, perseverance, ethics and discipline. Randori should be shared in a spirit of cooperation without any spirit of contention between partners. The two main facets of randori are common to Judo and Aikido, they are the principles of mutual welfare and benefit, and, maximum efficiency-minimum effort. Here are some of the benefits and goals for those participating in the practice of randori.
1. Gaining of poise and confidence by being alert and on guard to your partner's movements and not using force to gain the advantage. Especially when working with a less experienced, or a weaker partner; this is when you should practice finesse and proper technique to overcome the attack.
2. Exploration of the complex mental-physical relationships between you and your partner. There are thousands of lessons to be derived from this process. This process helps practitioners learn that persuasion and right action are more effective than brute force and coercion to accomplish an objective.
3. Management of energy is one of the main goals in randori. This teaches practitioners to apply the right amount of force to achieve an objective, not too much, not too little. It is the difference between falling short of the mark and not knowing when to stop. This lesson has great importance in the real world.
4. Conflict resolution. We have all been exposed to persons who are willing to do anything to "win", or perhaps a person who has no control over themselves. We learn not to resist directly, but to simply redirect energy and wait for them either to exhaust themselves or calm down. Then we can help them learn the principle of mutual welfare and benefit.
5. Ethics and conformity is taught in randori. This teaches people to control themselves and to act within a set of "rules" or expectations (perhaps even societal norms and social morays). The randori process allows participants to search for and find the best course of action while not worrying about the outcome of the action. This instills confidence in action.
6. Randori teaches responsibility for actions and a forward-looking mental perspective. When we look at randori at the moment someone receives a well executed technique from their partner, we see two individuals with the same departure point. Each must now decide what to do next, regardless of whether they were the one who performed the technique or not. Each person must step forward and find out what the next course of action will be. This teaches us to look toward the future and not to dwell on the past, but to use it for what it is - experience.
7. Pleasure is derived from the proper practice of randori. Nothing is as fun as receiving a well executed and timed technique regardless of its power and this can only be rivaled by the execution of a proper technique with maximum efficiency, mutual welfare and benefit all performed with intuitive action and RIAI (the harmonious blending of actions).
Randori can be many things to many people, just like life can have many revelations for many people. In short, randori is a learning tool about life. Let's learn about kata and its place in the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo system.
KATA-THE ALPHA and OMEGA
The literal translation of the word kata has many meanings, but the one that gives me the most feeling is "how one is to behave". Kata is both the beginning to progress and the point from which we exit to gain new knowledge about our style, its techniques and the practical reasons behind them. Kata also preserves a portion of our Setei Gata. In the discussion of any martial art there must first be a focus upon the main areas of concentration of that particular art that makes it different from any other. When talking to any martial artist about his or her art, you will find that many of them share many common beliefs and attitudes regardless of their style. Because many common techniques and theories are shared among almost all arts, I feel the primary differences in each art stem from several things; the first of these being the style kata.
A particular style has its own unique set of techniques and standardized manner in which they are to be performed. It was said by the founder of a way as unique as Aikido, that we must gain true knowledge through kata. "Enter by form, exit from form", this single statement was spoken by the founder of aikido many years ago, his name is Master Morihei Ueshiba. These words could not have rang any clearer from any bell of knowledge. In Shisei Ryu Aikibudo, we all enter by form; but how many of us know what it is to exit from form. I will attempt, through the meager medium of words, to bring the point home to you.
Kata is without doubt a self expression that can be understood once you have began to learn a kata, as well as after having perfected it through much sincere effort. Kata is a medium by which we do many things to our physical, mental, and spiritual selves. The kata strives to develop the body through its aerobic and anaerobic qualities. The kata provides the necessary medium whereby the body is conditioned through many repetitions to perform a specific task. The kata allows the karateka to use the form as a tool to gauge performance on a particular day and at the particular moment that the kata is performed. This is important to realize, because one's performance will most certainly change from day to day. An in depth discussion could be entered into, to talk of the many physical benefits of kata, but this alone would certainly not accomplish what 1 hope to achieve.
In Shisei Ryu Aikibudo, the kata are not only the required forms learned to test for rank or perform in competition, there are the self defense techniques that are required for rank. The Judo and Jujitsu techniques are considered a form of kata as well, when using this context. The purpose of practicing kata or these rudimentary skills is to provide a base for the formative growth of the martial artist. Without kata there would be only the techniques alone to be learned and mastered. One may ask at this point, What is the point? I am saying simply that kata is only the beginning of true knowledge. Mastery of kata is essential in any budo learning endeavor. The mastery of kata teaches the practitioner that patience (a lost art) and perseverance are necessary to achieve perfection in technique, as wall are in the spirit. Dance, gymnastics and skating all have form, patterns or kata and we would all agree that these are unique art forms.
A true student of Budo learns that of all gifts, patience is the most valuable many times, to those searching for truth. The truth that I speak of is not a physical or chemical law, but the truth of the spirit. This type of truth is wrought by true devotion and effort, not by the hurried workout of a novice seeking a quick thrill or another trophy. Kata provides this patience and true knowledge. Kata is a beginning...
The mental benefits of kata can be realized once the body has been honed to a fine edge by the endless repetition of the kata and the learning and imprinting of the way one is to behave. Repetition is the Key here. Any educator will agree that repetition is the best way to learn and efficiently perform any now motor skill. Only through the repetition of kata in physical and mental planes will the student learn what the real purpose is . . . this can be achieved through visualization exercises and meditation, but must be enhanced by the physical practice of the kata.
Again let me emphasize that kata is not just the punching and kicking of the karate forms, or the basic technique as learned for rank, but the inner mechanics of the technique (what makes the technique work). The true meaning of any one form or technique is hidden in the infinite combinations and variations associated with the original moment and practical reason for that movement. Each technique is taught in a manner easily understood and performed by the student. It is learned and becomes a part of that student's inner self. It is part of the student's mental plane, his psyche, his being if you wish to say. After much time and patience the student can learn that the true lesson of a specific technique or kata may not be the original perceived idea at all, it could be something not obvious to even the experienced, for this reason it is important to note that any student of the arts can come up with any number of possible ideas on any given topic. This is the reason why it is important for the Sensei to be always aware of the thoughts of the students, even if this means probing and asking questions or perhaps asking the student to demonstrate a form or technique.
The kata becomes a true self expression for very many martial artists because the truth is always revealed in the performance of perfect kata. No one can argue that we all express the self in a kata, but did we express the true self? Time and Knowledge can only tell this story.
The kata or technique once perfected to at least the basic level (up to Shodan) should be the result of much physical and psychological effort on the part of the student. The performance of any detailed motor skill is not easy. The inner workings of the techniques are much harder to measure and of course, to teach. When the student begins to reach beyond the simple form of techniques as taught in class for rank, he or she will note that the grade of the hill becomes increasingly steep, that is, it gets harder as you get higher up. The student of Budo must work harder to maintain the level that he or she is at, or settle to a lower more easily maintained level. One can reach the highest levels of true awareness and knowledge by "exiting from form". The student must exit from the rigid thought pattern and behaviors of the basic kata to more advanced ways of behavior and truth. This is accomplished by effacing the ego and facing the true self. The gathering of true knowledge is much like farming, you reap what you sow.
When one exits from form, a vast open plane will reveal itself to that student. This plane will reveal the endless, infinite ways that any one situation can be dealt with, or any techniques performed. When one exits from form, one leaves behind the rigidity of beginner ways and can respond in a fluid and true nature to all circumstances. THIS IS THE KEY. The elimination of rigidity is the beginning of truth. When one exits from form then their beginning of flexibility and knowledge begins.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo provides the student with the tools for entering by form and exiting from form, Shisei Ryu Aikibudo was created with this characteristic. The student must remember however, that the forms cannot be neglected and that one never totally separates from form, but only exits temporarily from it to seek and explore new territories where knowledge can be acquired and new forms created or variations realized.
Kata is not just a set of requirements that must be remembered to get rank, but it is a tool box and a vehicle by which each person may build the fortress of the body, mind, and spirit.
To exit form would mean to leave it forever, and this is not meant to be. Kata cannot be over emphasized for it is the very foundation and crux upon which the building rests and the spirit dwells. That spirit is the spirit of knowledge and the transition to universal truth and harmony. Only through the channeling of this truth can one begin to become the ultimate warrior in budo, or is anything else for that matter. Kata is the alpha and the. omega of any art, more especially the art of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo.
CREST OR KAMON
The Shisei Ryu Aikibudo symbol, logo, or Kamon, is below and represents the concepts and techniques taught in Shisei Ryu Aikibudo.
The Shisei Ryu Aikibudo symbol is composed of three divisions each separate, but yet blending into and influencing the other two. The symbol instills a feeling of balance and despite its orientation, it is the same. No one part of the symbol dominates the other, or, is separate from the other totally. As with human beings there should be balance, this symbol demonstrates this balance.
The three divisions in the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo symbol are colored green at the bottom (black here), red on the left (gray here) and blue on the right (white here). The colors green, red and blue represent Earth techniques (Judo), Fire techniques (Karate) and Water techniques (Aikido). The three divisions also represent the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the art. These three divisions are surrounded by a circle which symbolizes Air techniques (Tai Sabaki and Kuzushi), and the total development of the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo practitioner, the influence of a divine being, society and the world in our lives.
Three is a number of completeness, it represents the divine nature of God. When totally developed, the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo practitioner is not bound by the confines of technique and its divisions; then, self-expression can be natural and intuitive. The circle represents the soul which is the embodiment of the three aspects of Shisei Ryu Aikibudo and the divine nature of God. The Shisei Ryu Aikibudo symbol is also representative of the recreational, rehabilitative and therapeutic aspects of the art. This symbol is truly representative of the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo system, its techniques, teachings and goals. It should be worn on the left side of the Gi (uniform) at the chest level.
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo RANK REQUIREMENTS
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo has a rank system consisting of 8 kyu (below black belt) grades and eight (8) dan (black belt grades). Currently 8th dan is the terminal grade in this Ryu.
The kyu grade cycle is approximately every 12 - 14 weeks with requirements taught and proficiency graded on this cycle. There is an sixteen week cycle between ikyu brown (1st kyu) and Shodan (1st degree black).
The 12 -14 week testing cycle is based on two, two-hour class sessions per week. Times for promotion/proficiency testing can be longer or shorter depending on specific dojo situations an instructor judgment.
|Below Black Belt GRADES||KYU 級||Color||Total Time|
Generally used for children's classes
|7th Kyu||Yellow||12 -14 wks|
Generally used for children's classes
|6th Kyu||Green||3-6 months|
Generally used for children's classes
|3rd Kyu "Sempai"||Brown||12-14 months|
|2nd Kyu "Sempai"||Brown||14-16 months|
|1st Kyu "Sempai"||Brown||16-18 months|
|(Black Belt) GRADES
Minimum age 16 years of age
|16 yrs of age||1st Dan "Sensei"||Black||20-24 months|
|17 yrs of age||2nd Dan "Sensei"||Black||3-4 years|
|20 yrs of age||3rd Dan "Sensei"||Black||5-6 years|
|24 yrs of age||4th Dan "Renshi"||Black w/Red Stripe||8-10 years|
|28 yrs of age||5th Dan "Renshi"||Black/Red belt||12-16 years|
|36 yrs of age||6th Dan "Shihan"||Red/White belt||20-22 years|
|42 yrs of age||7th Dan "Shihan"||Red/White belt||25 + years|
|50 yrs of age||8th Dan "Shihan"||Red/White belt||30+ years|
|8th Dan is Terminal Grade|
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo - FORMAL RANK REQUIREMENTS
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo requirements are designed to reinforce Shisei Ryu Aikibudo concepts and proper emphasis on Tokui Waza (discussed earlier), due to this, the system is designed to have ninety-nine (99) core techniques for Shodan (1st Degree black level) along with required kata. Some kata from Keichu Do and Tomiki Aikido have been preserved intact to ensure the proper emphasis is maintained and principles are taught properly. The Ninety-Nine (99) core techniques are listed below.
FIRE - KEICHU KARATE DO
Oi-Zuki - Lunge Punch
Gyaku Zuki - Reverse Punch
Spear Hand - Nukite
Palm Heel - Teisho
Vertical Punch - Tate Zuki
Roundhouse Punch - Mawashi Zuki
Backfist - Riken Uchi
Hammerfist - Tettsui Uchi
Knifehand - Shuto Strike
Ridgehand - Haito Uchi
One Knuckle Strike - Ippon Ken Zuki
One Finger Spearhand - Ippon Nukite Uchi
Elbow - Empi
Elbow Block - Hiji Uke
Downward Block - Gedan Barai
Forearm Block - Ude Uki
Rising Block - Age Uki
Knifehand Block - Shuto Uke
X Block - Juji Uke
Wedge Block - Kakiwake Uke
Chicken Head Block/Strike - Keito Uke/Uchi
Front Kick - Mae Geri
Side Kick - Yoko Geri
Roundhouse Kick - Mawashi Geri
Back Kick - Ushiro Geri
Crescent Kick - Mikazuki Geri
Stamping Kick - Fumikomi
Knee Wheel Kick - Hizi Guruma Geri
Spinning Back Kick - Mawashi Ushiro Geri
Spinning Heel Kick - Mawashi Kakato Geri
Spinning Crescent Kick - Mawashi Mikazuki Geri
Flying Front Kick - Mae Tobi Geri
Flying Side Kick - Yoko Tobi Geri
EARTH - JUDO
Scarf Lock Hold - Kesa Gatame
Shoulder Lock Hold - Kata Gatame
Upper Locking Four Corner - Kami Shiho Gatame
Side Locking Four Corner - Yoko Shiho Gatame
Tate Shiho Gatame - Longtitudinal Locking Four Corner
Naked Strangle - Hadaka Jime
Normal Cross Choke - Nami Juji Jime
Reverse Cross Choke - Gyaku Juji Jime
Half Cross Choke - Kata Juji Jime
Sliding Lapel Choke - Okuri Eri Jime
Single Wing Lock - Kata Hajime
Arm Crush - Ude Gatame
Cross Armlock - Juji Gatame
Entangled or Figure "4" Arm Lock - Ude Garami
Major Outer Reap - O Soto Gari
Minor Outer Reap - Ko Soto Gari
Major Inner Reap - O Uchi Gari
Minor Inner Reap - Ko Uchi Gari
One Arm Shoulder Throw - Ippon Seoinage
Body Drop Throw - Tai O Toshi
Floating Hip Throw - Uki Goshi
Valley Drop Throw - Tani O Toshi
Propping Drawing Ankle - Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi
Major Hip Throw - O Goshi
Shoulder Wheel - Kata Guruma
Loin Wheel - Koshi Guruma
Advancing Foot Sweep - De Ashi Harai
Inner Thigh - Uchi Mata
Flour Sack Throw - Ura Nage
Floating Throw - Uki Waza
Circle/Stomach Throw - Toemoenage
Corner Throw - Sumi Gaeshi
Sweeping Loin - Harai Goshi
WATER - AIKIDO
Front Strike - Shomen Ate
Regular Facing Attack - Aigame Ate
Reverse Strike - Gyaku Gamae Ate
Low Attack - Gedan Ate
Rear Attack - Ushiro Ate
Throw Down - Oshi Taoshi
Arm Turn Over - Ude Gaeshi
Pull Down - Hiki Taoshi
Arm Twist - Ude Hineri
Sideways Hold - Waki Gatame
Kote Hineri - Forearm Twist
Forearm Turn Over - Kote Gaeshi
Turning Forearm Twist - Tenkai Kote Hineri
Four Quarter Throw - Shiho Nage
Front Drop - Mae Otoshi
Corner Drop - Sumi Otoshi
Pulling Drop - Hiki Otoshi
Neck Wheel - Kubi Guruma
Kata Otoshi - One Shoulder Drop
Arm Wheel - Ude Guruma
Elbow Wheel - Hiji Guruma
Harmony Throw - Aiki Nage
Four Quarter Throw 2 - Shiho Nage and Projection
Rear Throw 2 - Ushiro Ate and Projection
Kote Gaeshi 2 - Forearm Turn Over with Release
Behind Neck Hold - Ushiro Kubi Gatame
Body Sinking Drop - Shizume Otoshi
Sideways Hold to Forearm Turn Over - Waki Gatame/Kote Gaeshi
Turning Forearm Twist to Low Attack - Tenkai Kote Hineri/Gedan Ate
Four Corner Throw to Reverse Facing Attack - Shiho Nage/Gyaku Gamae Ate
Throw Down to Turning Elbow Pull Down - Oshi Taoshi/Tenkai Hiki Taoshi
Front Harmony Strike - Shomen Ai Uchi
Reverse Harmony Strike - Gyaku Ai Uchi
SELF DEFENSE - GOSHIN WAZA KATA
Shisei Ryu Aikibudo self defense techniques are taken from the Keichu Do martial arts system to provide a basis for study of defenses against attacks not normally encountered in most martial arts systems. It is interesting to note that the Keichu Do system was founded on a set of twenty-five defensive techniques commonly encountered in street situations in the United States. This origin for some of the defensive techniques used in the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo system allows us to maintain some common ground with the Keichu Do system as well as providing a point of departure for developing intuitive responses to street oriented attacks. Self defense techniques used in the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo system have very strong resemblance to the original Keichu Do techniques created in the early 1960's. Due to my own personal preferences and the desire to follow theories and principles used in the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo system, some of the techniques are modified to (in my opinion) increase their effectiveness making them more "generic" for all people to accomplish by not relying on speed, power or surprise exclusively to achieve effectiveness. This kata has components of all three aspects of the Shisei Ryu Aikibudo method; earth, fire and water.
This kata is composed of defense against the following techniques:
Punches and Kicks
Chokes and Holds
All Shisei Ryu Aikibudo two person kata should be performed with both partners stepping onto the mat from opposite ends. Rendering a bow to the Shomen and Joseki, then turning and bowing to each other. The uke and tori will then step towards each other to within Toi ma-ai (two arms distance). The uke will then move towards the tori and execute the appropriate attack.
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