A Samurais Power Is In His Little Finger, Not His Samurai Sword
In the 12th Century the Shogunate was formed. The head of this regime was the Shogun, the supreme ruler. Under him where his regional 'daimyo' or 'dukes'. Under each 'daimyo' served the Japanese samurai. When a samurai stepped out of line, became too unruly or displeased his 'daimyo', the samurai would often have to go through a procedure known as yubizume. This procedure is a very barbaric punishment in which the first joint of the little finger on the sword hand would be amputated.
Not only would this be a very painful punishment, but it served a much cleverer purpose. When holding a samurai sword the finger which has the strongest grip is the little finger. Each finger right up to the index has a weaker gripping strength. You can test this yourself. Make a tight fist with what would of been your sword hand, and take a slim object of equal circumference throughout such as a pencil or pen. Now, without causing you harm, take the non-sharp/drawing end and starting with the index finger end of the hand, while retaining a fist, slowly work the pencil/pen into the grip.
You will see the further into the grip the pencil goes, the more resistance there is. You now can see how important the little finger and ring finger would be for gripping samurai swords. To make matters worse, if the samurai further disgraced himself he would be required to take the next joint of his little finger off, and this could even extend onto the other fingers. But what was the use in handicapping the samurai in such a way? Well, not only did it serve as a constant and shameful reminder, but made the samurai more vulnerable than he had been before, therefore more reliant upon his immediate superior, his 'daimyo' for protection.
This brutal practice of yubizume is still used today by the Yakuza / Japanese organised crime families as a means of punishing their unruly members.
What To Expect When You Least Expect It
The time you will be attacked you will most likely be:
Grown Man Quits After 3 Mat Pulls!
A matt pull is the simple act of lying on flat on your stomach, reaching in front of you and pulling your self across the mat. This is one exercise that helps develop your muscles for grappling. We do these as a part of our warm up.
5 Steps to Choosing the Right Martial Art for You
One of the questions I get asked most frequently, in several different variations is about which martial art an individual should study. Generally which martial art, and more importantly which school to choose are fundamental decisions someone should make. My answer is usually something along the lines of, "choose the school and the system that you are going to stick with and stay with it for the rest of your life."
Nuts & Bolts of Self Defense
Fundamental "Nuts & Bolts" training for close combat should be directed at dealing with the extremes. That is a life and death struggle for survival, i.e. worst case scenario. Restraint, control, and use of force scenarios and methods are peripheral to this core training. In other words train to deal with these beliefs at the forefront: The enemy is quite willing and capable of killing you - there are multiple threats - they are armed - the assailant(s) are bigger, stronger, faster than you and they CAN FIGHT! Can it get any worse that that? Now add this to the mix: You are physically/mentally exhausted - ill or injured - caught by absolute surprise - may have to protect others as well - no viable avenue of E&E.
Why Every Cop Should Study Judo Part 1
Up until 30 years ago, JUDO was the martial art. Then with the introduction of the more mysterious martial arts with more of a "killing" edge to them this coupled with the focus of the USJF/USJI (the leading Judo organizations in the US and the world) focus on Olympic competition and the simple fact that training in judo is painful and to this day, very difficult to get a black belt rank in it, especially if you are in a competitive area. I could probably write another 5 pages on this, but I will stay on point.
Samurai Sword Facts
The first samurai swords we're actually straight bladed, single edged weapons imported from Korea and China known as chokuto, which were later replaced with the curved blade variety at the end of the 8th Century. The name of the curved blade swords which replaced them was Tachi. The reason for this transformation was samurai found that a curved sword could be drawn from the scabbard more swiftly and provided a far more effective cutting angle.
Fun Games for Children Training in Martial Arts
Keeping children interested in their Martial Arts training requires an element of fun and games. Traditionalists are usually only concerned with the discipline and structure of their training, but incorporating fun games involving proper techniques will add to the value of training and keep the kids interested.
COMBATIVES A Rose by Any Other Name?....Part 2
The advent of World War One (the war to END all wars) brought warfare into a new and foreboding era of man to man killing and slaughter. Air power, mechanized warfare, chemical warfare and the general widespread use of machine guns changed the face of battle almost completely. However the solitary fact remained that in the end it was STILL man against man in a desperate, brutal and deadly struggle for survival. The static and stagnant lines created by entrenched warfare demanded new and innovative tactics and strategies. Among these was the advent of "raiding" parties. Small groups of lightly armed men who ventured out into "no man's land" for the purpose of recon, probing, intelligence, prisoner grabs, and psychological "demoralization" missions. The nature of fighting under these conditions became popularized as "trench warfare". This was close-in knife to belly hand to hand combat. All manner of expedient, purpose designed and improvised close-combat weaponry was employed. While technological advances were being made in all other forms of warfare, this particularly nasty and vicious man to man fighting reverted to the most barbaric, primitive and bloody "methods" imaginable. Just as it has been since Cain slew Abel and how it WILL be until the last two humans clench fists or seize stones in raging anger during the final melee of the Apocalypse.
Women in the Martial Arts
1st Lady Assistant to Sensei Henry Ellis Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
Benefits of Martial Arts Training For Kids
Admit it. When the going gets tough at home, we've all plopped the kids in front of the television and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, we can get started on dinner, maybe check email or sort that massive pile of laundry.
Fight Simulator Theory for Reality Based Street Defense
This is such a powerful tool that it should leave no question unanswered for you and allow you to create an infinite number of techniques and drills. As this is a principle rather than a technique based system, here are the principles:
The Rebels Guide to Cultivating Vitality
Many Taoists recluses and Buddhists monks dwelled in mountains and forests to observe, listen, and meditate in order to gather deeper understanding and greater knowledge of nature than is possible when living in the milieu of human society.
Samurai - The Honourable & The Treacherous
The Japanese Samurai were warriors. Highly trained, skilled and efficient killers. Indeed, for many years the Samurai were the law of the land, a class of citizens above all except their Daimyo and the imperial Shogun. The samurai inhabited and roamed a land which was governed by the sword, and the samurai were masters of the sword.
Its Not a Matter of Who is Right
"People here may belittle sports arts...."
The Acronym That Saved My Life
Frequently, I get asked about certifications, systems or methods. We made a decision a long time ago of purposely staying away from things like this.
The Best Martial Art
It is a very difficult task to determine which martial art is the best so first of all let's take a look what a martial art exactly is and what not.
Things to Know About Learning Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing)
For Easterners, particularly Chinese, this MAY not be an issue. Tai Chi Chuan is deeply rooted as part of the Chinese culture. It is known to almost everyone what Tai Chi Chuan is all about. Note there: I said "?MAY not be an issue", meaning that there are exceptions, particularly to Chinese who are not born and grown up in China.
Catholic Self Defense
Note: I wrote this essay regarding the development of Tekkenryu jujutsu. However, I think it is applicable for all methods of self defense. It may also explain why martial arts are the way they are.
Expect the Unexpected Grass Hopper
The Myth perpetuated by Self Defense Oriented Martial Arts
The Shocking Truth About Stun Guns
If you are outside the world of law enforcement, chances are you haven't had much "hands on" work with stun guns. Stun guns are as popular today as they have ever been and with the newer smaller packages like cell phone/stun guns, their popularity continues to grow. But before you deploy a stun gun, there are a few misconceptions you may not know about.
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