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By Jikishin Kobudo, Oct 18 2015 11:00AM

It is difficult to conceive a full combat strike to the high section that does not carry a risk of causing fatality. Osteoarchaeologists find many causes of violent death in history resulting from a single head strike.

Although the brain is reasonably well protected from the occasional bumps of day to day life, being attacked by a weapon with force under the control of a malevolent adversary will almost certainly lead to an unfavourable result.


Certain parts of the skull are particularly vulnerable to fracture and our major auditory and visual senses are also easily disrupted. The greatest danger is of significant brain trauma, which will almost certainly see the end of a feudal fighter. A good fighter should be able to keep their head out of trouble through evasive body manoeuvres and good distance; however a series of compound attacks can open up the target.


Trained fighters know the risks of a battle and the ease with which serious damage can be caused. As such they do not want to be put in the situation of having to risk injuring another if at all necessary. For this reason the strongest avoid fights unless absolutely required. In some cases they may be seen to walk away or back down from conflict. This is described by the Japanese as ‘Make Ruga Kachi’ 負けるが勝ち(Losing but Winning).


The high section striking targets are:


TENDO – Crown of the head

TENTO – Fontanelle

KOMEKAMI – Temple

MIMI – Ears

DOKKO – Behind the ears

SEIDON – Eye socket

MIKEN – Between the eyes

GANSEI – Eyeball

JINCHU – Philtrum

GEKON – Front of the jaw

MIKAZUKI – Jaw

NODO – Larynx

HICHU – Base of the throat

KEICHU – Nape of the neck

SHOFU – Side of the neck

SHONO - Cerebellum


By Jikishin Kobudo, Oct 1 2015 11:00AM

Is this the most rare and important literature on Kobudo found any where in the world?


These volumes titled 'Ryukyu Kobujutsu: Jokan-Gekan' written by Inoue Motokatsu in 1972-4 and reprinted in 1983 go into intricate detail concerning the complete system of Kobujutsu and provide the only comprehensive record of a Kobudo school created by a legitimate Headmaster in existence.


The scale of the contents is staggering, all of the Kata and a great deal of bunkai is shown here, including historical descriptions of the weapons and of the people who inspired and contributed to the development of Kobujutsu in the world as we know it.


Thank you to Don Warrener for sending this book to us here at Jikishin Kobudo. It will take pride of place amongst our collection. We are only too aware that all Okinawa Kobudo and Ryukyu Kobujutsu styles have a common history, use common weapons, many of the same kata, and largely derive from the same Masters. Irrespective of badge or school, we are as brothers and sisters descendants and custodians in the same family.


Contents:


Shushi no Kon Sho, Shushi no Kon Dai, Sakugawa no Kon Sho, Sakugawa no Kon Dai, Soeishi no Kon Sho, Sueyoshi no Kon, Tsukenshitahaku no Sai, Hamahiga no Sai, Chatanyara no Sai, Jigen no, Sai, Hamahiga no Tonfa, Yarasho no Tonfa, Kanegawa no Nichougama Dai, Kanegawa no Timbei, Testuko no Kata, Nunchaku Sho no Kata, Surushin (Nage), Soeishi no Kon Dai, Urasoe no Kon, Sesoku no Kon, Hakuson no Kon Dai, Raigo no Kon, Tsukensunakake no Kon, Yakaa no Sai, Hakutagawa no Sai, Tawada no Sai, Nunchaku Dai no Kata, Toyama no Nichougama, Kanegawa no Nichougama Sho, Surushin (Tan), Yonegawa no Kon, Chinenshichanaka no Kon, Tsuken Bo,

Choun no Kon, Chatanyara no Kon, Hakuson no Kon Sho, Shushi no Kon Koshiki, Sakugawa no Kon Chu, Kojo no Sai, Kyushakubo no Kata, Sanshakubo no Kata, Sansokan no Kata

By Jikishin Kobudo, Sep 27 2015 11:00AM

The origins to our style of Kobudo claims lineage from the elite fighters of the Kingdom of Ryukyu. This image (identified by Jikishin Kobudo) is of a scroll circa 1830 which shows the Ryukyuan 'Royal Guard' protecting the regal entourage as they visit Edo. The guards carry weapons and wear black outer jackets with white trousers, just as we still wear in our Kobudo practice today. Of note for those who practice Okinawan martial arts, is the colour of the Obi in this scroll - red - the colour signifying a completion of training or full mastery.


It is reassuring to see such pictorial links with the past and know that some traditions are being continued with authenticity. The challenge is for us to ensure that the transmission methods, practical techniques and emotional approaches to Ryukyu martial arts remain true, when so many 'masters and non-masters' seek to try and legislate the nature of the arts for personal financial benefit.



By Jikishin Kobudo, Sep 20 2015 11:00AM

According to the simple mathematics of a straight line, the closest attack point for your limbs (which emanate from the torso) are your opponent’s middle section targets or chudan. For that reason some may say they are the easiest targets.


Chudan can be divided into two areas - the torso and the arms. Whilst the arms are the most mobile part of the body, the torso is the most immobile and so strikes to the middle section form somewhat of a paradox.


If we ignore footwork, the arms must rely on their speed of movement to avoid attack whereas the torso is defended by hands, weapon or armour. Strikes to the fast moving arms may be a useful tactical option, in order to open up targets on the torso. Strikes to the hands and arms can immobilise your opponent and cause them to drop their guard or weapons.


Strikes to the torso can inflict significant and even mortal damage, but generally strikes to the middle section are useful if you want to end a fight without causing death. It is possible to injure an opponent sufficiently that they will not wish to continue the conflict Jigou Jitoku自業自得 (one’s action is one’s advantage).


Because injuries to the torso cannot be seen with the eyes, many ignorant martial artists strike each other to the torso with full force in training. This may be OK if four criteria are met: Fighters attacks are not too powerful, the musculature of the defender is developed, adrenaline is released in the defender, strikes are not targeted to vital points. However, according to common sense, attacks to the major organs in the body should always be avoided, as these can cause more complex and long term injuries and can lead to the development of diseases.


The middle section striking targets are:


DANCHU – Top of the sternum

SONU – Middle of the Sternum

KYOTOTSU – Base of the sternum

SUIGETSU – Solar-plexus

KOKANSETSU - Hip joint

INAZUMA – Above each hip

GANCHU – Below each nipple

MYOJI – Below the navel

KYOEI – Upper ribs

DENKO – Lower ribs

SODA – Upper spine

KATSUSATU – Central spine

JINZO – Kidney

KANZO – Liver

WANSUN – Upper arm

HIJIZUME – Elbow

UDEKANSETSU – Inside the elbow

KOTE – Top of the wrist

SHUKO – Back of the hand

UCHIJAKUZAWA – Inside of the wrist

SOTOJAKUZAWA – Outside of the forearm


By Jikishin Kobudo, Sep 5 2015 11:00AM

It is the nature of weapons that their attacking focus can very quickly become redirected from high techniques to low techniques in a way that unarmed fighting cannot. In unarmed fighting your primary attacking tools (arms and legs) are rooted to the torso through the major joints (hips and shoulders), which makes them largely predictable to the trained fighter; whereas in weapon-based combat, your attacking tools are rooted to the highly mobile and more volatile wrist joints. As such, low-section attacks and defences feature heavily in Kobudo to a much higher proportion than in Karate.


This is just one reason among several why Kobudo is distinct from Karate and should not be practiced like it.


A large proportion of the Japanese/Okinawan approach to Kobudo (in comparison to the Chinese, Taiwanese and Philippino approach) is concerned with understanding the complex relationship between technique and target. It is understanding the right combinations of striking movement and attack points that allows those on a path of Budo to consider the principle of Seiryoku Zenyo 精力善用 (maximum efficacy, minimum effort).


The low section striking targets are:


KODENKO – Base of the spine

BITEI – Coccyx

COSHI – Hip

USHIRO INAZUMA – Under the buttock

KINTEKI – Testicles

KISHO - Inguinal region

YAKO – Inside of the thigh

FUKOTO – Outside of the thigh

HIZA – Knee joint

KOKOTSU – Shin bone

SOBI– Base of the calf

AKIRESUKEN – Achilles tendon

UCHIKUROBUSHI– Inside of the ankle

KORI – Inside of the foot bridge

KUSAGAKURE – Outside of the foot bridge


By Jikishin Kobudo, Aug 21 2015 11:00AM

Four of the Sensei from Jikishin Kobudo entertained visitors today at a packed Royal Armouries Museum by teaching children the defensive martial arts techniques and stances used by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Though Jikishin Kobudo is strictly an adult club and we do not condone teaching weapons to children because weapons are malevolent in construction, we believe that offering them a censored experience of what real defensive martial arts training consists of helps children to contextualise the techniques of the cartoon in the real world and understand that weapons are not toys and the cartoons are ficticious portrayals.


Sensationalising fighting techniques is one of the biggest social problems in western society and leads to many assaults, injuries and deaths due to unrealistic expectations of fighting. We have learned that when we introduce fighting to children it must be done with much careful consideration, if it is to be done at all.

By Jikishin Kobudo, Aug 19 2015 11:00AM


The relationship between France and Okinawa is long standing and is thanks to the Daimyo overlord Shimazu Nariakira (島津 斉彬).


Despite the Bakufu or “Shogunate” maintaining a closed door policy to the outside world, the Ryukyu Islands were never subject to the same level of isolation. Their remote geographical position meant that policing such a policy would be impractical and besides, the nations relied on international trade for their wealth.


The Shimazu clan were (as lords of the Sastuma region of Southern Kyushu, Japan) able to instigate relations with the Western world through their Ryukyu Island dependents. Nariakira was very western minded and was greatly interested in their technological advancements and how these may benefit his own clan.


This picture is the oldest photograph of a Japanese person and was taken of Nakiakira in 1857.

He advised the Tokugawa shogunate in 1851 to open relations with the west and in 1853 welcomed the arrival of American diplomats to Japan. In 1857 Shimazu Nakiakira, in an attempt to match the hegemony of the Bakufu, encouraged the French missionaries who were resident in Naha to act as intermediaries between his Okinawan representatives (Mabuni and Onga) and the French government. Nariakira agreed to purchase, under the cover of the King of Ryukyu Sho Tai, two screw-driven steamers, a warship and a commercial ship, and introduced a Western style navy including modern harbours to the islands. He purchased weapons and other various pieces of equipment and then constructed blast furnaces to develop western firearms.


He modelled his army drill and cavalry on that of the French, and he began to send his young academics to France and England to gain knowledge as part of cultural exchanges. Understandably King Sho Tai at the time was very welcoming of these advancements.


A remarkable man, Nakiakira permitted western residences to be built on Okinawa to house and provide work for foreigners both French and English. However, Nakiakira’s actions created huge division amongst those who wished to see integration with the West and those who did not. Following Nakiakira’s early death in 1858 there was a violent and revengeful response to his actions by those loyal to the Shogun who saw his actions as treasonable. Those loyal to the deceased daimyo suffered terribly and a brief period of resistance to the West was seen. Ultimately in 1863 Nakiakira’s open door policy was resumed, this time on Kyushu itself and the future of Japan was about to change forever.




By Jikishin Kobudo, Jul 21 2015 11:21AM

Matayoshi Shinpo wrote no textbooks instructing people in the techniques he taught. However, the organisation that he led during the second half of the twentieth century has. The Zen Okinawa Kobudo Renmei was begun on 15th May 1973 to help expand and develop in 'friendly relationships' the art of Okinawan Kobudo as taught by Matayoshi Shinpo Soke.


The sixteen petal chrysanthemum logo was chosen for the organisation since it is a symbol that represents plentifulness and is a symbol of good luck to the people of Okinawa. This textbook explains the reasons for the formation of the Renmei and explains how it began. Its members are obliged to preserve the techniques of their ancestors and for that reason none of the techniques in this book have been subject to adaptation or change from how they were originally taught. It is good that this book exists, created equally by several masters of Kobudo and under scrutiny of each other.


Though all of Matayoshi Sensei's students had different training experiences and now teach in diverse ways, this book perhaps represents the most reliable consensus of what Matayoshi Sensei communicated and what he wanted the world to learn, remember, protect and promote with pure hearts and diligent souls.


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