Before Yom Kipur, this Friday morning, 29.9.2017, 07:00-08:00, we will condense a fitness and technique seminar in the water at the sea shore. Wear AKBAN shorts and tee-shirt.
Here’s a link to registration page, number of places limited… click here to register (AKBAN Active students only).
In the dojo, we have been working on several subjects since the beginning of September: Several opponents, stance for grappling, combining kicks and strikes, evasion 7-8 and entering an arm lock from a double strike.
This week we will learn elbows and combine this with Jumonji and sharp weapons, in preparation for Sukkot Sharp weapons seminar.
Rituals have energy, but the proper routine has hidden power. A training regime that is going on correctly is the engine of a long train whose cars will push to keep moving even if the locomotive thinks about stopping.
Our routine, at the beginning of every fall, is a reminder. We walk on an ancient trail that went on for hundreds of years, a path whose song line I received from my teacher, Doron Navon, a path of martial arts practice. On this centuries-old road, weapons have changed, enemies became friends and we do not yet know what foxes we will see, what hides behind the curve. Modernity makes old paths disappear, sometimes it’s unseen, hardly threaded.
It’s not enough to walk, you have to walk in a certain style. It’s important to know what language we speak, what is my family name, what is your family name, what is our family name, what is our uniform, where we did start and where we will not set foot.
This reminder is a choice, this choice is not comfortable.
In AKBAN we wear black gi. Beginners wear pants and upper jacket, advanced practitioners, from three years onward, wear the Hakama, Japanese combat skirt. On the chest, on the left side, an embroidered Akban Kamon.
This is how we start training from tomorrow, September 2017 till July 2018, preparing for the next Blitz.
This is the 31st year I teach. This is ritual and the routine of what we do.
Black pants and Gi jacket for beginners, and for veterans, black Hakama, black Gi.
Sunday, 18:00-20:00, Municipal martial arts center, Tedi Stadium, Jerusalem
Monday, 19:00-20:30, Hakatedra, Ramat Hasharon
Tuesday, 18:00-20:30, Ironi He, 294 Hayarkon St., Tel Aviv
Wednesday, 18:00-20:00, 20:00-21:00, Municipal martial arts center, Tedi Stadium, Jerusalem
Thursday, 18:00-20:00, Ironi He, 294 Hayarkon St., Tel Aviv
The sparring we do during the Blitz month are recorded in slo-mo video, edited and are sent to private WhatsApp accounts of every AKBAN practitioner. Every bout is debriefed, using the Methodical pyramid, and the conclusions are applied in the next session. Every week I video, edit and send more then 150 bouts.
The “120” concluding event will take place in Wednesday, August the 30th, 18:00 in Tel Aviv. I will update on the exact place.
Till 2016, practitioners in Akban sparred for the whole length of the session in August, it’s called the blitz month. This year I added 20+ minutes of chaotic kata to get into ‘mindless mindfulness’ at the randori.
We always video all the sparring sessions, slo-mo the clips and send them individually to each practitioner so that I can debrief the techniques. I now see the results of the efforts we made over the last three months, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
Hundreds and thousands of punches later, in extreme heat and humidity, and we changed something fundamental in the way we conduct kata training in AKBAN.
The way I learned it, from my teacher Doron Navon, is that when practicing the pre-determined drills of our tradition, the kata, the Uke and the Tori decide what kata, what mutual drill is to be done and practice it.
Two things about this practice bothered me: when practicing one drill at a time there is no element of surprise and another is that in the regular way we did kata there was rarely any impact, no feeling of punching.
If, while preparing our slow advance in the methodical pyramid, we neglect to practice in a combat situation that is more and more chaotic, we then arrive at the chaotic sparring practice (Randori) or even a real skirmish (Takakai) with no inner abilities to use our form in the random reality that is a fight.
The ‘Impact Q&A’ we have been learning through ‘Mindless mindfulness’ changed all that, we now have a superior practice tool that will reconstitute our ancient tradition and breath new life into the patterns of our art.
When all this happens in the Israeli hot and humid summer it poses some new challenges. I have shortened some sessions, especially in Tel Aviv, to lower the risk of a heatstroke.
This week we will integrate sabaki and kicks. Please bring water and punching equipment.
What disappeared from our culture and most martial arts, and what we are desperately trying to save in our dojos, is the connection to nature.
Nature begins with being outside, walking outside.
Many activities have become a gym activities, boxed existence. In ancient Japanese budo, pupils used to walk for days just to reach a teacher. The necessity of moving on foot, to this day, for many people. Walking outside is a part of the human heritage that is becoming a novelty. Just as we preserve ancient martial traditions we should preserve this outside backdrop. The outside was once ingrained in our lives and so taken for granted, now we make the effort, even if it is on a hot summer day. So on many levels, just being outside, moving outside, without vehicles should be top priority because of mental health, physical health, martial abilities and ethics of mutual interdependence. So on many levels, just being outside, moving outside, without vehicles, or air condition, should be top priority because of mental health, physical health, martial abilities and ethics of mutual interdependence.
I will give a name for this treatment, I call it: “Respect”. Respect like this is the un-necessary, the un-reasonable, the un-expected respect and thus – a rare commodity.
Usually respect is directed to another human being as an expression of hierarchy and that person’s social status. But there is another form of respect. In the old school regime, respect is expressed also to a technique, an object, to a way of life. Through the observation and the action one can practice respect to movement, to someone, to something.
This week we will be training outside on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem groups. Hakama, battle skirt is only needed on the weapon classes. On other sessions, please bring punching equipment, water and extreme fitness.
We will be continuing our two months long exploration into ׳Mindless Mindfulness™ as means of augmenting kata into randori level using dyads and triads Q&A.
Please bring: Water, punching gloves, extreme fitness.
Video of hierarchies of order and chaos in practice
This week we will continue to hone our techniques. The Jerusalem group will be training in the Supreme court rose garden. The Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon groups move into grappling attire: Gi pants and a tee shirt.