Bokken Tori Shomenuchi Kokkyunage

This is an aikido technique that has its roots in jujutsu.  Aikido comes from a synthisis of many different styles of jutsu, both armed and unarmed.  As a result, you will find some form of weapons training and familiarization in most aikido dojo.

Just like any instance of combat with an armed opponent, these sword techniques would never be easy to execute on the battlefield.  The samurai were still taught these skills to give them a small chance of success should they lose their weapon, or some other factor were to present itself to allow them that fighting chance.

In reality, however, the chances for success in a situation like this would have been very slim, but not altogether impossible.

Still, in aikido, we practice, train, and study these movements on both sides. That is to say we study the movements of the attacker (uke, teki, uchidachi) and the movements of the defender (nage, ware, shidachi).

How does a soldier fight an enemy that he cannot see?

This is one of the areas where Sun Tzu’s advice in Art of War really comes into play. Know youself and you will win 50% of your battles. Know your enemy and you will win 50% of your battles. Know yourself and your enemy and you will win 100% of the time.

In todays modern age of technology it makes it very hard to remain unseen on the battlefield for very long. So one can stay hidden, but for how long is a real concern among troops wishing to remain unseen.

Before the invention of radars blind soldiers were used to listen for approaching aircraft that were still out of sight.

Aside from satellite, various detection devices and cameras, the methods used to locate an unseen enemy come in small stages of getting to know your enemy. You start to learn certain habits and patterns and then find ways to exploit those.

Skills like tracking, intelligence gathering, laying traps and ambushes all become part of an overall strategy to locate and flush out the enemy. Takes a little time, in some cases a lot of time and patience, especially if the enemy is good at remaining unseen while still engaging on the battlefield, but these are some of the methods put into practice.

Is a martial arts studio a profitable business? By William Stynetski

So you start out with a space to teach in. By the time you get enough students to actually cover the costs of running that place, you have already outgrown that first training dojo.

So now you need a bigger place. Which is going to cost more, so you will need more students.

On average it takes about 10 years to actually have and maintain a solid base of 30 students. As an example lets say that means during those first 10 years you might have 100 potential students come through your doors, but only about 30 of them will stay long term.

If you are charging $100 a month thats $3,000 a month you are bringing in. $3,000 a month is not a lot of money considsring that at that point, you will probably need to move into a bigger space.

That’s just the first 10 years. The first 3–5 years you will be lucky to get 10–15 students, for $1,000 to $1,500 a month. During that time you will have a small dojo, and probably be fronting much of the costs yourself.

Then you have to consider that people move, or change jobs, or have a baby, or grow up and go to college, or get involved with video games and cars and girls and tons of school activites. My biggest competition? Video games.

Then most kids and adults come to find out that studying martial arts is a lot of work (yes moving the body somehow equates to work these days) and a commitment of time. Progressing and sticking around to get a blackbelt or maybe actually learn a particular art or style can lose its appeal, despite all of the benifits of training in a martial art.

Not to say it cannot be done, but If you are actually teaching a martial art (as opposed to running an after school day care program disguised as a martial art), and you take all of this into consideration, you can probably forget about seeing any kind of a profit, especially in those first 10 years. You will be very lucky just to break even.

Is sitting in seiza uncomfortable? Do people capable of seiza for long periods of time have better circulation or simply pain tolerance?

I dont think it is uncomfortable at all. It does take some getting used to and some practice. I started out working on my seiza some 25 years ago. I started by sitting seiza 2 minutes, then increased to 5. Every couple of weeks I would add on time spent sitting in seiza. Gradually I built it up to 20 minutes. Sometimes I would only do this for the set time. If I had more time I would sit down for my two minutes or ten minutes however long I was sitting seiza for then I would stand up stretch my legs walk around a bit and sit back down for another 2 minutes or 15 minutes or whatever the time that it was. Other times I would sit seiza during the tv commercials. When the show started again I would sit back up on the couch or stay on the floor. I like being on the floor anyways, kind of closer to earth. Then after a while I started watching tv in seiza, and occaisonnaly eating in seiza at the coffee table. I’ve also had some long winded sensei, so there was some extra seiza built in. Now granted that was in my younger days and I don’t do all that seiza training now, but I have no trouble sitting seiza for extended

Now something you can do is shift weight to one side, let pressure off the other side for a minute or two, then shift to the other side. Another thing you can do is rise up to your knees and let the blood flow back into your feet. When I do this I will straighten out any clothes…gi, hakama..that have bunched up behind my knees.Seiza back

Now after a while of sitting in seiza you will get the prickley needles feeling in your feet and they will go numb. Even though you can’t feel your feet in this case, they are still there, and the bones and muscles will work just fine when you rise, step, run and so on. The feeling will come back in a few minutes.

Good luck!

What do Spec Ops (Rangers SEALs SF) think of Night Stalkers?

To these special operations members, Night Stalkers are about as close to God as you can get. In addition to other missions, not only will the Night Stalkers get them where they need to be, but they will also pick them up and take them back to the nearest FOB (Forward Operating Base).

These pilots are some of the most skilled in the military. They will fly anywhere and under any conditions to do their job, and do it safely.

Yes, Navy pilots launching and landing from a carrier requires a lot of skill and practice. Night Stalkers rank right up there in what is known as the pucker factor, often delivering and extracting special ops teams from rugged terain and/or under enemy fire, or participating in direct action engagements as well.220px-Two_UH-60M,_160th_SOAR_on_USS_Bataan_on_10_Feb._2006

Think about this…a special ops team has just completed a mission behind enemy lines. Every enemy troop on the ground and in the air is scrambling around in a frenzy trying to figure out what just went down and looking and hunting for any soldier that speaks english as their first language.

Now picture yourself as one of those special ops members just trying to get out of there as fast as you can, and hopefully without having to engage the enemy in any numbers.

The enemy is not stupid either. You are on their turf. They are going to begin looking for possible exfil methods and points to prevent you from escaping. Time is critical on both sides.

Now imagine one of the other members of your team took a hit to the leg. You are all moving towards the rendevous point (RP) and you are spotted by an enemy patrol.220px-MH6_at_NASCAR

An engagement ensues as both sides open fire while continuing to move to the RP. Then you radio your friendly neighborhood Night Stalker and wait for them to fly in. While waiting, you are still keeping at a distance an enemy that will soon be reinforced, if it hasn’t already.

When those Night Stalkers make it over the exfil zone to pick you and your team up, greatful to see them and appreciative of the job they do is probably a huge understatement. These pilots are about as close to God as you can get when it is time to go back home, and I know they are treated with the utmost respect by those that hitch a ride in their helecopters.

Pictures used are from Wikipedia.



What are some defining characteristics of the Japanese Samurai culture?

Theirs was a culture rising from war. From the very beginings they served their employer or daimyo in protecting cities. This was before they rose up to power as a class, or in politics. They were servants bred in warfare and combat.

They were experts in warfare and trained for the battlefield. They were experts with weapons such as the bow, spear and sword, and experts in unarmed combat.

They trained constantly in the use of these weapons, for the purpose of combat.

Theirs was a culture of service in war and peace. They were fierce, and for the majority of them, loyal warriors.

Those that survived the many major battles throughout Japan’s barbaric history, walked, limped or crawled away from battlefields. where tens of thousands on both sides lay dead, and another tens of thousands on both sides lay screaming or in shock waiting to die from their wounds.

It was not until around the 10th century that samurai grew into a ruling class in Japan.

  • William Stynetski