Thursday, April 26, 2012



Date: April 28, 2012
100 Payne Spring Road
Dickson, TN
Host: Dan Smith
(615) 446-3800
Cost: $50 for full day/ $25 for half day

Clinician: Grandmaster Larry Beard

Soke, Grandmaster, Budoki Junari Jiu Jitsu Hanshi, Honorable Grandmaster, Kenwayoshin Jiu Jitsu 9th Dan, Kenwayoshin Jiu Jitsu 8th Dan, Professor, Budoki Junari Yudo 8th Dan, Professor, Midori Yama Budokai Yudo 8th Dan, Professor, Shin Shin Jujitsu 6th Dan, USJA Judo 6th Dan, Traditional Kodokan Judo 4th Dan, Budoki Junari Yusool 4th Dan, Budoki Junari Hapkido 4th Dan Shin Nagare Karate


9 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. advanced jujitsu must be brown belt or above
lunch from 12:00 pm until 1:30 p.m.
from 1:30p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Yusool open to everyone


Yu: (Gently / Giving / Yielding)
Sool: (Technique / Skills)

The martial art of Yusool represents a controversial case in modern Korea. Records show that centuries ago, there existed only two fighting styles in Korea: The kick-punch art of Taekyon, & the grappling art of Yusool. Taekyon lives on today, but Yusool in its original form, died out more than 300 years ago.

Professor John E. Chambers, founder of Martial Arts USA, was keeping the art of Yusool alive and active by passing his system, BudoKi-Junari-Jujitsu, on to Grandmaster Beard and Shihan Patricia Hill. Techniques range from least to more difficult, as the student progresses through the ranks. Professor Chambers revised many of the antiquated Yusool techniques, combined those with modern yudo/judo, hapkido and his own system of jujitsu, to establish a practical, effective & exciting array of 120 self-defense techniques. Some of these techniques will be covered in this session.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stat Update

Last class was another great Judo class.  Terry Spencer was recovering from participating in the USA Judo Nationals last weekend (Good Job Terry!) so Mike Smith lead the charge.  We roughly followed the same out line as last Thursday but worked on a the details of a few of the throws on the list rather than covering them all.
We had a BJJ student join us for this class. He has been out a few times and is really getting the feel for it.  Usually when we have lower belts in class we work on a throws like O Soto Gari and the guys with more experience take a lot of falls.  This works really well in my opinion because the lower belts get to throw more without getting punished the next day for taking so many falls.  We also do more Uchi Komi (fit in without throwing) so they get the mechanics rather than full throws.  As such I think I did more falling than throwing, but I still feel that I got a lot in and got a good workout.

The picture is from a few years back during one of my instructor's (Joe Dan Pickering) black belt test.  I still have not figured out how to work taking a few pics into the scheme of things, but I will.

Throw Last Class Total
O Soto Gari 15 20
O Goshi 5 10
Tai Otoshi 5 15
Ashi Garuma 0 15
Hari Tsuri Komi Goshi 0 5
Ko Uchi Gari 15 25
O Uchi Gari 5 10
Ippon Seoi Nage 5 5

CombosLast Class Total
Ko Uchi Gaka to Ippon Seionagi 010
Hiza Garuma to Hari O Goshi: 510
Ko Uchi Gari to Tai Otoshi33
Ko Uchi Gari to O Uchi Gari
to O Soto Gari

Total Hours of training: 4

Friday, April 20, 2012

Post class analysis

Great class last night. Mike Smith took the lead as instructor as Jim was out of town to see his instructor,  Shigeyuki "Ace" Sukigara, receive a Life Time Achievement award.

Mike followed the curriculum pretty closely.  I was having trouble with my foot work due to brain death, but I loosened up as time went on.  Mike is a real student of the art and I really like hearing his analysis.

I don't have exact counts on my throws. I can see that the challenge will be how to gather good metrics without interrupting the flow of class.  I also want to take some video so that I can visually analyse my throws, but again, I don't want to stop class to do it.  I think 10 min after class may be the best time for that.

Conservatively here are my rep counts on full throws (not including Uchi Komi) :
O Soto Gari: 5
O Goshi: 5
Tai Otoshi: 10
Ashi Garuma: 10
Hari Tsuri Komi Goshi: 5
Ko Uchi Gari: 10
O Uchi Gari: 5

Ko Uchi Gaka to Ippon Seionagi: 10
Hiza Garuma to Hari O Goshi: 5
Hours of training: 2

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tonight's Judo Class

Sensei Jim Irvine sent out the schedule for tonight's judo class along with some videos so that we can see the technique we will be working on.

Foundational Skills Class – 7:30 – 8:30
·         General warm-up – falls, rolls, & light throw-for-throw (15 min)
·         Uchi Komi (10 min)
·         we will then have a short conditioning section (15 min)
·         next will be a quick review/practice of O Soto Gari, O Goshi, Tai Otoshi, Ashi Garuma, & Hari Tsuri Komi Goshi (15 min)

Advanced Skills Class – 8:30 – 9:30
·         Groundwork Randori (back-to-back drill – 1 min rounds) (10 min)
·         Throw-for-throw your favorite technique (15 min)
·         finally, we will spend the remainder of our time working on Ko Uchi Gari – basics and several tournament attacks/variations – the video’s below will provide you a good overview of this technique (35 min)
1.        Old Masters (:30) –

2.        Basic Instruction (3:28) –

3.        Basic - no movement (:59) –

4.       Tournament footage (2:54) –

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Specialization : Judo and BJJ

According to Judo info there are 67 throwing techniques and 29 official grappling techniques in Judo.  The techniques of Judo were parred down from a broader variety of Jujitsu techniques eliminating  the dangerous ones.  According to  Origins of Judo in the US by Kazuo Shinohara
"While omitting dangerous techniques, Kodokan judo maintained the appeal of maintaining combat techniques to defeat opponents. Not just having “artificial techniques”, Kodokan judo maintained its progress as the modern sport of judo by emphasizing the importance of “ukemi” (The safe landing of your opponent after the receipt of a throw) and continuing the concept of jujitsu through the practice of “randori” (free practice of techniques), “nagewaza” (throwing techniques), “newaza” (mat work), “shimewaza” (choke techniques), and “kansetsuwaza” (arm lock- joint locks), which could actually be used effectively in combat"
I don't think that there can be much dispute in that this simplification of techniques, combined with rules of sport Judo, has allowed the application of the art of throwing to advance.  In a similar way the rules of Judo competition have somewhat discouraged the advancement of ground techniques.  Ronda Rousey (Olympic Bronze Medalist) and this to say about judo newaza in an interview.
Ronda Rousey: "Training in newaza in judo is not mandatory. You can get away with not knowing any ground and just knowing how to defend and stay standing. I just happen to come from a background where my mom, she tore her knees out when she was like 17 so all of her fights, she won on the ground and then when I was 16, I tore my knee out and I spent that entire year only doing ground work and when I moved away from home, I went to [Jimmy] Pedro's. They're known as mostly a very ground based judo school so the difference I think between a judo and jiu-jitsu ground game is in judo, you only have sometimes only three seconds, even less than that to make something work so it pushes the transition and the pace on the ground to be faster than any other grappling sport."
So, while ground work has certainly not been abandoned in Judo, Ronda believes that her experience in developing an extensive ground game is the exception and not the rule within the Judo community.

I think it is pretty much undisputed that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has its roots in Judo and Japanese Jujitsu via Mitsuyo Maeda.  The art is much more focused on mat work than Judo currently is and its rules of competition have allowed the application ground techniques to develop in a different way then the ever could under Judo rules.

Developing these different competition rule sets has been key in advancing the throwing and grappling techniques to new levels.  Because we have people who have dedicated much of their lives to the study of these arts, they move forward in ways they wouldn't have if everything were unified.  Society and martial arts students get to reap the benefits of those advancements.

Below is a video series found on YouTube called Kosen Judo.  It covers a wide variety of Judo grappling techniques and one of the demonstrators is the famous Masahiko Kimura.  It is interesting to watch the videos and look for the roots of the techniques and transitions that are practiced to day.

Kosen Judo Vol 1 Part 1
Kosen Judo Vol 1 Part 2
Kosen Judo Vol 1 Part 3

Kosen Judo Vol 2 Part 1
Kosen Judo Vol 2 Part 2
Kosen Judo Vol 2 Part 3

Kosen Judo Vol 3 Part 1
Kosen Judo Vol 3 Part 2
Kosen Judo Vol 3 Part 3

Kosen Judo Vol 4 Part 1
Kosen Judo Vol 4 Part 2
Kosen Judo Vol 4 Part 3

If you are in Middle Tennessee and interested in learning Judo and/or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu please visit for class details.  They have very qualified BJJ instructors and Judo instructors.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Video study : Combat Jujitsu

My training day this week is going to be Thursday and I have been chomping at the bit to go and do some throws.  I have been thinking a bit about some of the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu training that I did when I was back in Canada.  I liked a lot of the standing arm locks and wrist locks that we did.  We don't practice those much in Judo.  I found this syllabus  for the World Ju Jitsu Federation on YouTube.

Starting around 6 minutes in you can see that the demonstrators are doing a lot of throws from arm and wrist locks.  Pretty cool stuff from a self defense standpoint.  I also found a video series from a ALL JAPAN JU-JITSU INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION competition in PERU that combine striking and grappling with the gi on.  This is a little different than MMA because in MMA you can't grab the cloths.

There are many parts to the competition video series

One thing that makes Judo practitioners effective martial artists is that they can practice their techniques against people who are resisting them safely and effectively.  The theory is that a person who can drill a throw or technique full force hundreds of times in a dynamic environment will be more effective at delivering their techniques than people who must drill these techniques in a static or staged manner but can not practice them fully or dynamically because bones would be broken if they did.  This is also why Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has been proven to be very effective as it primarily employs 'safe' ground finishing techniques that can be drilled and repeated in dynamic environments. Sports like Tia-boxing and western boxing are probably effective for similar reasons.  They are practiced in dynamic environments with competition and resistance.

In Judo, one of the most important elements of a throw is the off balancing or Kuzushi.   These videos demonstrate to me how you can take effective and drilled Judo technique and augment it with striking, wrist locks and arm locks to effectively create Kuzushi.   Striking someone can make them stumble so they are easier to throw, as can locking someones wrist or arm to put them up on their toes.

In terms of progressing in the martial art of Judo I think that a decent approach would be to:
A) learn the mechanics of a technique (or throw) through a lot of repetition.
B) learn the timing and applications and combinations of the technique through light randori and heavy shiai.
C) learn the most effective martial setups for a technique by combining it with Judo atemi-waza and joint locks.

Of course I am just pondering these ideas, but in terms of my progression in the art, this may be a good strategy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Developing a Plan

Judo is a lot of fun.  My club has a good group of guys and we have developed a great sense of comradery.  Currently my schedule and life circumstances have placed some pretty significant limits on the time I can spend training in the art.  I recently came across Malcom Gladwell’s theory (as presented in the book Outliers) that it takes 10000 hours of deliberate practice to master a particular field.  I believe he suggests that corresponds to about 20 hours a week for 10 years.  My schedule allows for about one tenth of that so it is clear to me that I will never Master Judo by this definition.
It is also clear to me that in order to get the most out of my training time I have to develop individual goals and a plan of attack to achieve them.   I’ve been somewhat inspired by Dan McLaughlin who, having minimal experience as a golfer, quit his day job and set out through deliberate practice to become a PGA tour golfer.   I believe that Judoka’s who excel in competition usually have a few throws that they have truly mastered and know a wide variety of setups to exploit those throws. I think it is safe to assume that although I enjoy competitions, I will not be making it to the Olympics in this lifetime and so at this juncture I think I must make a decision as to whether to focus on sport or on the art.
There are 67 throwing techniques described in Kodokan Judo.  My current goal is to eventually become competent in all of them and fluid in a few.   Of the few I become fluid in I want to explore a few different combinations to set them up and focus on the timing.  While this won’t make me a master of the art by any means I believe I will be able to say that I am competent in the art.
Today I want to start by simply identifying which of the 67 different throws I have had some exposure to.

Ippon Seoinage
O Goshi
Osoto Gari
Seoi Nage
Uchi Mata
Kouchi Gari
Ouchi Gari
Deashi Harai
Uki Goshi
Kata Guruma
Tsurikomi Goshi
Ashi Guruma
O Guruma
Tai Otoshi
Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi
Harai Goshi
Hiza Guruma
Hane Goshi
Harai Tsurikomi Ashi
Tani Otoshi
Sumi Gaeshi
Tomoe Nage
Soto Makikomi

Next I want to rank my proficiency at the throws so that I can decide which are my weakest and thus need the most work. My theory is that repetition is the strongest component of building competence. I want to start logging the number of reps I do of each throws to see how I improve.  I also have new 44 throws to work on.  If I can work on 2 new throws per month I can cover the remainder in a two year period.  We will see how long I can stick with this, but it won’t happen at all without a plan.