Wednesday, December 23, 2009

End of the Year

The end of another year. Ah. I would like to congratulate Mark, Cory, Dakota, Sue, and Frank on their recent promotions. Excellent job one and all. We will reconvene The first Monday of the new year at the usual time. 'Til then, Merry Christmas to all. Stay safe, and share your love and time with your friends and families.
I tried to find a video that combined the Holidays with judo or jujitsu. No such luck. I found this one instead and--though it is a flagrant plug for the dojo--I liked the mix of techniques. Frankly, I can't understand most of the screaming in the music, so I can't guarantee it is appropriate for all ages. Turn the volume down before viewing...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Doctor Stuff

As I write, I'm at the American Academy of Family Physicians annual conference in Boston. I arrived today and will be here until Sunday. I spoke to both Joseph and Peter after class Monday. The ranking student in class will run class tomorrow evening (Thursday). I expect all my students to treat the covering instructor with respect, and with an eye towards being helpful in teaching the lower rank students.

I am postponing this Sunday's class for one week, which means we will have class a week from Sunday, and then again a week later. Please take a peek at the schedule on the calendar at the bottom of this page. I appreciate everyone's cooperation. See you next week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Schedule Change

The fall schedule is upon us, and necessitates a schedule change. Amy, Sue, Frank and I spent some time at the dojo last Monday trying out different mat arrangements. We should be able to accommodate both junior and senior students in the same mat space, using a rotating station model. Effective immediately, the new schedule will return to the one we used last year: Mondays and Thursdays from 6-7, and alternating Sundays from 9-11 AM. Because of the Labor Day Holiday, the first Sunday in class will be September 20th. Sunday sessions will be for senior class students only. The new schedule is reflected on the calendar below. I am sorry if this poses a hardship for anyone, but it is unavoidable.
This video highlights two Brazilian techniques that closely match several of the techniques we do in Danzan. Though they sometimes seem to take undeserved credit for inventing the wheel, I think the Brazilian stylists do an excellent job keeping their art focused on applicable street techniques. They're so much fun to watch.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The News from Las Vegas

Hi everybody,
I'm currently at a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. This post is mainly a reminder that Christopher will be teaching class tonight. Remember, the Junior Class now goes from 6 to 7 PM, with the Adult Class running from 7 to 8:30. Chris could use help, especially from colored belt ranks, when teaching the kids.
I will be back at the helm on Monday.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Martial Artist, or Magical Artist? You decide.

This is a National Geographic video of Sensei George Dillman performing one of his magic shows. There. I said it. Now you know what I think about it. To quote Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Be wary of any martial art that is only effective against those who believe in it--or people without big toes. Such nonsense!

Summer Schedule

I understand the AYC will be closed on Sundays through the summer. I am planning to compensate for this by extending class by 1/2 an hour on Mondays and Thursdays, but will check with Renshi Craig to make sure Sensei Mike's class is done for the summer.
I apologize for the mix up today. I thought the building was going to be open for us. Coffee afterward was nice though.
The new schedule is now reflected in the calendar below.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tai otoshi: Video of the Week

This short clip highlights tai otoshi, the body drop. Very nice technique. Notice how quickly tori darts the leg across in each instance. Notice how quickly uke hits the deck.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Latest Newsletter

This is the most recent Newsletter for Shoshin Ryu Yudanshakai. Professor Bryan Stanley does a fantastic job putting this together. Follow the link to check it out. Feel free to send any letters to the editor to Professor Stanley at:

If you peruse old editions, you will see that letters to Dr. Rich get posted once in a while. If you have any questions for Dr. Rich, forward them to Professor Stanley at the link above. He will forward them to the doctor for review and probable response. (Shameless plug.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Uchi Mata - Video of the Week

Gotta love the music. And, the throw's pretty cool too.
On our list, this throw is almost indistinguishable from uchi momo harai. We teach to grab around the waist, as in o goshi.
Also, congratulations to Sam Helm on his promotion to Yellow Belt this evening. Nice job Sam. Keep it up.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Video of the Week

I will begin posting weekly videos again. Here is this week's offering. I had not run across this particular clip online before. A little history: this film is part of a collection of silent film shot in the 1940s. Some of it is from inside the Honolulu dojo, and parts are from outdoor demonstrations. In the late 1970s or early 1980s, Bernie Lau, an aiki-jujitsu specialist put the collection together on VHS for commercial release. This would appear to be a copy of part or all of that collection.

Spring is Here at Last

The middle of March has finally come and gone. The snow is melting, the mud is deepening, and the lakes are thawing. Soon, I'll be fishing again. We've been at the Alfond Youth Center now for seven months. Class has grown quite a bit during that time, and the students are progressing nicely. We've had lots of promotions over the past few months. I've updated the slideshow to include some recent photos.
My early years in the art cause me, every spring and autumn, to reflect on the kata contests the Ryu sponsored in the Southwest. We had a blast! I particularly enjoyed meeting students from the other schools spread across the area. I learned a great deal about the techniques I was focusing on for the contest, and from watching my fellow jujitsukas interpret what they were learning. Meeting at Shakey's Pizza, or Chris n Pitts afterward just put a warm cap on an exhausting, but wonderful day.
The closest I can bring my students to that kind of experience as they learn here in Maine is by making the trek to the Southwest each September. I'm looking forward to that this year as well. I'm having the students pick techniques now for a Kata Contest-like demonstration for some Sunday next month. The experience is definitely worth it, and I think I can give them a taste of what September can be like.
Following is a link to a video taken at the contest in September of 2008. It happens that I am one of the judges at the judges' table for this brown belt division pair. Remember, this team is receiving collective scores for these techniques. There total score is then compared to scores of other teams in the same division. The top three teams are awarded trophies. Notice that the techniques each have an entry, followed by the technique itself, and then an exit. Deductions can occur for any shortcomings at any point in the process.