Posts from May 2014

Ninjutsu sessions this week, 1-5.6.2014

Sunday at the Jerusalem dojo and Monday at Ramat Hasharon dojo will go as usual. We will continue our pursuit for more opportunities of shoulder locks in Randori.
We will not train during Tuesday and Wednesday because of the Shavuot Holiday.
At Thursday session in Tel Aviv we will briefly go over Oni Kudaki derivatives and start to build the 5th, Sabaki sequence.
There will not be any weapon training this Friday because of place constraints.


What does the sheep stand for?

So, this is a Kurd riddle: A farmer has to cross the river with his only sheep, a sack of cabbage for the winter and a big wolf. What he sees when he comes to the river is one tiny boat with place for two. It’s either him and the wolf, and then the sheep eats the cabbage, or if he takes the cabbage, the wolf eats the sheep.
You get the picture…

So it’s a simple kid’s riddle and the guy can solve it with some extra rowing, some extra work.

When my teacher told me this, I just figured it’s a lame riddle.
“Nope,” he said, “the point is not how to juggle the passage, the point is that the wolf comes with you”, he said: “you have to take the wolf”.

So I am watching my wolf, sometimes it scares me, there used to be a time it got me into trouble, many times it protected me, but for sure, my students, and many of my friends here in Israel have a wolf.

So the riddle is not one of transportation, instead it points to the necessity of being the master of the things you carry with you, voluntarily or not.

wolfImage CC BY-SA 2.0 by Dennis Matheson


Schedule this week, 25-30.5.2014, and outlook of coming seminars

We are continuing integration of kata sequences into target work. We will present the syncopation, without using a metronome, and build three kata sequences with the syncopation. Several minutes each lesson will be dedicated to Oni Kudaki. Apart from the busy syllabus, we will start to introduce the 5th, sabaki, sequence.

  • This Friday, 30.5.2014 at 08:00-10:00, we will do an extended, two part training session. The first part will be Japanese sword. At the second part we will use tempo to work with advanced aerobic rhythms in attack. Please bring the punching gloves.

In the next month we will have two seminars

  1. VUS seminar at the Judea mountains, at 20.6.2014 08:00. This seminar has most of the places filled, so contact your instructor to check out availability.
  2. Gun 1, the first modern weapons seminar for 2014 at 27.6.2014 07:30, This seminar has 9 open places left.


Weekend quote – S. Alexander Haslam mail, Stephen. D. Reicher

1st quote

The banality of evil thesis shocks us by claiming that decent people can be transformed into oppressors as a result of their “natural” conformity to the roles and rules handed down by authorities. More particularly, the inclination to conform is thought to suppress oppressors’ ability to engage intellectually with the fact that what they are doing is wrong.

Although it remains highly influential, this thesis loses credibility under close empirical scrutiny. On the one hand, it ignores copious evidence of resistance even in studies held up as demonstrating that conformity is inevitable. On the other hand, it ignores the evidence that those who do heed authority in doing evil do so knowingly not blindly, actively not passively, creatively not automatically. They do so out of belief not by nature, out of choice not by necessity. In short, they should be seen—and judged—as engaged followers not as blind conformists.

What was truly frightening about Eichmann was not that he was unaware of what he was doing, but rather that he knew what he was doing and believed it to be right. Indeed, his one regret, expressed prior to his trial, was that he had not killed more Jews. Equally, what is shocking about Milgram’s experiments is that rather than being distressed by their actions, participants could be led to construe them as “service” in the cause of “goodness.”

To understand tyranny, then, we need to transcend the prevailing orthodoxy that this derives from something for which humans have a natural inclination—a “Lucifer effect” to which they succumb thoughtlessly and helplessly (and for which, therefore, they cannot be held accountable). Instead, we need to understand two sets of inter-related processes: those by which authorities advocate oppression of others and those that lead followers to identify with these authorities.

From: “Contesting the “Nature” Of Conformity: What Milgram and Zimbardo’s Studies Really Show”, S. Alexander Haslam mail, Stephen. D. Reicher, November 20, 2012DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001426
2nd quote


Weekend quote – Jubran Khalil Jubran

1st quote

And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

From The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran (Jubrān Khalīl Jubrān) 1923
2nd quote


Ninjutsu sessions for 11-16.5.2014

This week’s sessions will diverge into two different directions: We will continue practicing intricate tempo, of 180 BPM and up, still with no syncopation. Please do not forget punching gloves. We will use this tempo for Kansetsu waza and kicks.

In addition, we will start a new chapter that will integrate Togakure ryu Kuruwaza to improve Ukemi work in other Ryu, mainly Fudo ryu.

This Friday, 16.5.2014, at 08:00 sharp, we will have a weapon training session that will focus on breathing and Kiai.


Weekend quote – Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto

1st quote

The factors which detract from Zeal are those which promote laziness. The greatest of these is the desire for bodily repose – aversion to exertion – and the love of pleasures to their very limits. There is no question that a person laboring under the above deterrent will find Divine service a great burden. For one who wishes to take his meal with complete relaxation and repose, and to sleep without being disturbed and to walk only at a leisurely pace, and so forth – such a person will find it extremely difficult to arise for morning services or to curtail his dinner so as to pray the afternoon service before nightfall or to go out to perform a mitzvah if the time does not suit him. How much more reluctant will he be to rush himself for a mitzvah or for Torah study! One who habituates himself to these practices is not his own master to do the opposite of these things when he so desires, for his will is bound with the bonds of habit, which becomes second nature to him.

From Mesillat Yesharim [ Path of the Just ], Moshe Chaim Luzzatto
2nd quote