Sunday, March 18, 2007

Special Training, March 17, 2007

Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

Today was our first special training in the new dojo. It was very well attended with guests from Panama City, Gainesville, St. Augustine and Jacksonville, as well as a number of locals we haven't seen in a while.

Thanks to Sensei Janos' insightful teachings we have much to work on between now and next special training.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Care and Usage of Wooden Weapons

It is good to always take care of your wooden weapons. Before you buy any weapon such as a bo, do a little research and find out what kind of wood it is made of. You will want to get wood that is pliable enough to not be brittle, strong enough to take punishment and has a good balance and weight. Most of my weapons are red oak, white oak and ash.

The first thing I tell students to do when they get their bo is to sand off any existing varnish. A bo that is varnished may look nice, but it is next to impossible to use effectively, especially doing Yamane Ryu bo kata. After they have sanded the weapon down with a medium, then a fine grade sandpaper, I have them oil it with boiled linseed oil to protect the wood. Oiling should be done periodically to ensure the long life of the weapon. Follow directions and take care to clean up as described on the linseed oil can as it can be dangerous if not used properly.

In our dojo we practice weapon against weapon technique in order to get the feel for hitting the weapons together through blocking and striking techniques. For this reason, students should try to acquire a good quality weapon that can take the abuse of another weapon hitting it.

Students should learn Okinawan weapons only from a qualified instructor and should take extra care when practicing alone. Students should never practice weapons that they have not received instruction in yet, especially Kama.


Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

Kusanku kata is always one of the more vigorous to practice...especially in the hot Florida sun at the end of a 2 hour workout!

This was shot at Sensei Steve Harless' house yesterday where we worked out then cooked out.

I have been eating Sensei Harless' chicken wings for about the last 20 years. They may be the only thing better than his Karate :)


Dojo Floor
Originally uploaded by lucasbv.

This picture is of the new floor under construction this week at the Dojo. I'm not sure of the actual area this floor will cover, but I believe it will be close to 1500 square feet of springy, raised, matted workout space.

The area directly in front of the double doors seen in the picture will be occupied in the future by the Shomen.

The Aikido folks told me that they believe this will be one of the largest and best Aikido Dojo in the country when it is complete. It's more than ample for our class.

Our first special training in the new Dojo is on Saturday, March 17... on the new floor!