Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Judo Unity

Letter sent to local papers

Dear Editor

For many years there has been disunity in the World of Judo and a sense of unfairness I refer to the fact that the British Judo Association the governing body for the sport forbid its members joining any other Judo association. Unlike other sports Judo is more then just a competitive system where a governing body decides rules of the game and oversees the conduct of its members, it’s a Martial Way and a philosophy of life. Therefore its practitioners have many interpretations on what direction they should travel to fulfil their ambition to become good Judoka, hence many Judo associations. The BJA have travelled down the road of being an Olympic Sport with some considerable success but their refusal to recognise other associations has caused upsets.
Recently there has been a dramatic change in the attitude of the BJA and I might say quite a courageous policy change in my opinion, they now allow their members to belong other Judo associations, this opens the door to clubs like the Young Judo Club based at the Swale Martial Arts Club East Street Sittingbourne to affiliate its members. The YJC which is 50 years old in 2007 has for the last 30 years been affiliated with the International Budo Federation an organisation that was founded in Holland and has representative throughout the World, the IBF caters for many Martial Arts and Combat Disciplines such as Sombo, CombatSombo and Kurash, hence you will see our members entering and grading in many varied events. If a member wished to compete at World Level in Sombo or Kurash their membership to the IBF was not a problem with Judo it would mean rejecting their IBF membership to join the BJA and then return at a later date, something I have done on many occasion 1977-80 becoming a member of the Olympic Judo Squad, 2001 winning the World Masters. This no longer the case and YJC members can now retain their IBF license and be a BJA member, which we intend to encourage.
Some months ago months ago the BJA approached myself about affiliating the club, the majority of the Instructors agreed, this involved having grades and coaching certificates verified. This has caused some concern with other clubs who refused to attend a familiarisation course, this I cannot understand as our own IBF would not allow someone to join without checking their credential and explaining their methods. The first step for YJC member was for our competitive Black Belts to attend a grading at the famous Budokwai Judo Club in London to see if competitive standards are the same needless to say they were Danny Carrott had 3 fights to confirm his 2nd Dan winning 2 and drawing 1 the latter in competition he would have won but in BJA grading only Ippon and Waza-ari are scored, Colin Carrott who is in his mid 40’s insisted on going for a competitive grade rather the a Technical Grade as his would have been allowed because of his age, also had his 3rd Dan recommended drawing 1 fight and losing to a 128 Kilo (20 stone) 4th Dan , John Clarke who is a member of the PE Staff at the Sittingbourne Community College, fought the same 4th with a different result in grading terms it was classified as a draw but in real terms John’s continual attacking made the big guy look ineffective and he picked up 4 penalty points (4 shido’s) in normal circumstances they heavyweight would have been disqualified but the examiners decided to let the fight continue as they wanted to assess John’s ability as their was no one else of his standard present, in my opinion this was the right course of action. An Ippon won his next fight he was recommended to 4th Dan. All returned proving that the YJC has a very high standard, being welcome edition to the BJA family something that our rivals have questioned in the past. Joining the BJA will help John in his bid for his 5th Dan because he can stay in this country the IBF would have expected him to travel to Holland.

The next stage is to have their theory confirmed this will be the easy side as the IBF theory syllabus is lot more involved then the BJA this will be done on the weekend Coaching Course the BJA are doing at the YJC Dojo in East Street where several of our older Dan grades and instructors will be attending. This liaison will prove a major benefit to both organisations and we are already preparing our youngsters for BJA competitions.

For further details on Judo, Sombo, Kurash contact 01795 437124, 07074 200150, youngjudoclub@yahoo.co.uk, www.sittingbourne.org

Martin Clarke 8th Dan

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

CombatArts Writer Lurch Explains

Dear Martin,
As a wrestler you understand the theory of throwing, projecting a resisting opponent to the floor with his energy and energy you have supplied to knock him out or badly damage him so he cannot continue to attack you. But you are an 8th Dan in judo and a 6th Dan in jujitsu, you are extraordinary not ordinary like we lesser mortals. For me striking makes my throwing and locking techniques work. There are at least four theories of striking that I know about: the Chinese Internal Systems; the Chinese External Systems, which includes both long hand boxing-the origin of karate and short hand boxing, where wing chun kung fu system is the best known; western boxing has in it simplicity and effectiveness a lethal system; jujitsu has its strikes to stun, some systems within jujitsu especially the kempo jujitsu emphasis on striking.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans used the fist to strike, representations of boxers where found on pottery vases. However, the boxing of the ancients consisted of the left arm being used for defence and the right landing blows. Originally the Greeks sat on two stones across from each other and punched each other, the winner was the one who was best able to survive the punishment. Rome increased the gore by wearing cestuis, a form of brass knuckles. Representation of the earliest boxers can be found on the volcanic island of Santerini from the Minion Civilisation of ancient Crete. The Greeks of the classical period combined the skills of boxing and wrestling to produce the first close quarter battle system known as pankration. The army of Alexander the Great had tents where pankration was practised carried in his baggage train; in fact there is a theory that the army of Alexander brought their skill of pankration to ancient India where it took root in Indian martial arts, which was taken to the Shaolin Monastery by the Indian monk Bodhredama, who was originally an Indian prince, well versed in martial arts of India. From the Shaolin Monastery martial arts knowledge was carried by its fighting monks and their pilgrimage to all parts of the east.
Wearing armour influences warfare, the protective effect allows hack and slash fighting only, therefore atemi was not emphasised, wrestling was the preferred method of unarmed combat, kumi uchi-grappling in armour was used in medieval Japan. In the west manuals of combat, fechtbucher, showed wrestling defences against armed opponents. Gunpowder changed everything, heavy armour was a liability, it cut down on mobility the only defence against firearms. Striking became important, adapting weapon fighting techniques to empty hand fighting; in England quarter staff fighting was along with sword fighting the basis for Western Boxing, from the quarter staff came upper cuts and hooks; the jab came from the lunge in fencing. English and American Boxing changed with the Spanish-American War of 1898 when the United States of America gained the remains of Spain's Empire, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. The American Marines were famous for their boxing prowess after the victory over Spain in the Philippines they boxed with the Filipinos who due to their blade culture practised bobbing, weaving and evasion techniques against the American Marines who changed their style from the upright European Style to the crouched style that has now become the American Style of boxing.
The island of Okinawa midway between Japan and China was for centuries a trading centre between these two cultures it traded goods and conveyed ideas, weapons were banned by the ruler of Okinawa as a means of control after the rise of the Shogun in Japan winning in the civil war the Satsuma Clan had fought for the losing side, as punishment they were ordered to invade Okinawa for some perceived insult and to punish them. The clan were able to successfully invade the kingdom due to the banning of weapons. The inhabitants fought back with their empty hands and farm implements but in open warfare against the samurai with their long sword the katana they lost. Guerrilla Warfare was the only option available the Chinese centuries before had sent artisans to teach the Okinawans these Chinese brought their knowledge of kung fu which they shared with the inhabitants who combined what they learned with the native fighting arts of the island to form the art of karate. The Japanese Invaders found themselves fighting an enemy who turned their bodies into a weapon by hardening their hands and feet to punch through the bamboo lacquered armour. Karate was created from sword fighting, the back stance is a defensive position in ken jitsu, Japanese Fencing. The front stance of karate is the position that a fencer takes on cutting down with a katana. In karate there is the cat stance in ken jitsu there also is a similar stance for cutting down with the sword.
To study striking you must study weaponry to discover how it originated, if you discover this vital knowledge then you will make sense of your blows to weak points of the human body, all combat is influenced by the society it came from. From the 18th century the English developed boxing as a means of self defence when they were unarmed. During the 17th century the islanders of Okinawa developed karate as a vehicle to resistance against the Satsuma Samurai from Japan. Self protection is a universal need for society, to throw you must hit to distract and if you are successful you could knock out or disable your attacker so you may not have to.

Yours in budo

Ian " Lurch " Durie.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

An Ode to Kano from Colin Carrott

An Ode to Kano

In days of old,
When knights were bold
And Judo wasn’t invented.
Men wrestled their brother,
In front of each other
And had to be contented.

Then came a wise man,
From the land of Japan,
Who reasoned this couldn’t be right.
He devised his own art,
That took off from the start
When his students all followed the light.

His name was Kano
And he thought, I know,
I’ll call this The Gentle Way
We’ll throw one another
To the ground with no bother
The winner, on his feet, must stay.

And as this won’t hurt,
There’ll be no need for groundwork,
The best throw will decide the winner.
Large or small will not matter,
With no rule book to shatter
It’ll be equal for saint, or for sinner.

So, the best in the land
Decided to try their hand
To become a judo Dan grade.
A black belt they desired,
As their ambition was highered,
But a Kyu grade was what they stayed.

After practice and training
Through sunshine and raining,
After hour upon hour of meditation.
The judoka got his reward,
For his knowledge was broad,
He was applauded for his dedication

So as he studied this noble path,
A question that was often asked,
Do you meditate to control your karmas?
Follow your beliefs with all your heart?
Practitioners of this ancient art,
Or are you just a poof, in white pyjamas?