|Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu Seminar with Renshi Ante Branbacka
On the 13th and 14th of September 2008 the first Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu seminar (outside of the visits of Hanshi Patrick McCarthy 8th Dan) took place in Ireland, Galway. This seminar was organised by the IRKRS Ireland and the instructor for the 12 hours of training was Renshi Ante Brannbacka, Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu chief instructor for Finland.
Renshi Brannbacka is a seasoned martial artist and holds a masters degree in education which could be clearly seen with his ability to deliver the information, he is one of the graduates of Hanshi McCarthy’s full time MA Instructors Diploma course.
[For those interested in the instructors’ diploma course, the outline is as follows:
The course includes foundation studies in Martial Arts Theory & Practice, Anatomy & Physiology, Oriental Massage, Sports Injury Management, Personal Development & Communication, TCM, Instructional Skills, Psychology & Nutrition in Fitness, Clinic, Laws, Ethics & Business, as well as Instructional Skills Practice.
Anatomy & Physiology 1, Martial Arts Foundation 1, Martial Arts Technique 1, Massage 1, Point Location 1.
Martial Arts Foundation 2, Martial Arts Technique 2, Personal Development & Communication, Oriental Massage 1, Sports Injury Management 1.
Field Studies 1, Instructional Skills, Martial Arts Foundation 3, Martial Arts Technique 3, Oriental Massage 2, Sports Injury Management 2.
Clinic law, Ethics and Business, Field Studies 2, Martial Arts Foundation 4, Martial Arts technique 4, Psychology and Nutrition in Fitness & Special Group Instruction.]
Day one started of in a relaxed’ manner, in fact becoming relaxed and maintaining that state was the objective. A number of exercises/methods were taught to remove the ‘staccato’ like presence that most of the attendees had, these exercises then moved into the practice of the fundamental blocks with a partner, initially evading then seizing with but ultimately using them as methods of attaching the incoming limb.
Following that we moved briskly to the first two person set Tsuki Waza Futaragiko this allows the continuous practice of the movements without the need to stop and restart.
While this was still bubbling in our minds, the unique ‘body dynamics’ that make KU effective was introduced and applied to the fundamental blocks (which by now were not blocks at all), this made use of all movements preparation/chambering etc and applied the dynamic to all. Renshi indicated an exercise with the focus mitts, which aided the recognition that all movements have a purpose and here is how you use them against a target at full power.
Taisabaki gata were next, these were relatively new to most at the seminar, the history of the kata are as follows,
In September, 1924, Hironishi Ohtsuka, the founder of the Wado-Ryu style of karate, and Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan karate, came to the kendo training hall at Keio University. They approached Konishi Sensei with a letter of introduction from Professor Kasuya of Keio University and asked for Konishi's permission to use the kendo dojo during off-training hours for karate practice. Konishi not only granted his permission but also invited Funakoshi to come to his Ryobu-kan dojo to teach him karate. The Keio University Karate Club was established on October 15, 1924.
In addition to training at Funakoshi's Meisei-juku dojo, Konishi received karate instruction from Choki Motobu and Kenwa Mabuni (founder of Shito-ryu). While Konishi respected Funakoshi's personality and Mabuni's technical refinement, he was most impressed by Motobu's fighting abilities.
Konishi Sensei and his wife also studied under Morihei Ueshiba (founder of Aikido), who was still teaching Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu at that time. Having already trained in karate for a number of years, Konishi Sensei demonstrated the kata Heian Nidan (which he learned from Funakoshi Sensei) to Ueshiba Sensei.
However, Ueshiba Sensei remarked that Konishi Sensei should drop such nonsense for such techniques are ineffective. This comment came as a blow, since Konishi Sensei believed in karate and that held Ueshiba Sensei's opinions in the highest regard.
After many months of research and training, Konishi Sensei developed a kata called Tai Sabaki (Body Movement). He based this kata on karate, but incorporated principles found in the teachings of Ueshiba Sensei. Though the new kata did not contain any complex movements, it consisted of a chain of actions, with no pause after each action. After the demonstration of this kata by Konishi Sensei, Ueshiba Sensei remarked that, "The demonstration you did just now was satisfactory to me, and that kata is worth mastering." Later, Konishi Sensei developed two other kata based on the principles of Tai Sabaki. The three kata became known as Tai Sabaki Shodan, Tai Sabaki Nidan, and Tai Sabaki Sandan.
Konishi was one of the first group of students who received Dan ranks from Gichin Funakoshi.
While the Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu suite of tai-sabaki kata are not the same they are the creation/interpretation of Hanshi McCarthy one of the purpose’s that they serve is to deliver the lesson of ‘a chain of actions, with no pause after each action’, to serve as the introduction in the Nyumon stage where no other practice proceeds them and to represent the mnemonic tool after the dynamics of the combative scenario are understood and its combative theory has been imparted.
Renshi Ante guided us through all 6 of the Koryu Uchinadi Taisabaki kata, introducing the principle movement of each and the oyo waza specific to each kata, this connected directly with the earlier training undertaken. Below is a list of the kata and the principle technique, which are in fact the basic blocking techniques of karate but when used in the oyo waza they become releases from grabs, strikes, attacks and seizes etc.
Taisabaki jodan (jodan uke – mae geri – jodan oi tsuki)
Taisabaki gedan (gedan barai – mae geri – gedan oi tsuki)
Taisabaki chudan dai ichi (uchi uke – mae geri – chudan gyaku tsuki)
Taisabaki chudan dai ni (soto uke – mae geri – tettsui uchi)
Taisabaki kaishu dai ichi (kake uke – fumi komi – shotei uchi)
Taisabaki kaishu dai ni (shuto uke – kinteki geri – koshu te)
Practicing the oyo waza was a revelation for some attendees as this was their first experience of that ‘close distance’ and bringing an opponent to the ground and following him/her down and using a finishing technique; choke/strangle arm-foot lock etc. This brought us neatly to the finish of day one.
The start of day two was eagerly anticipated by the participants even though the Koryu Uchinadi training (wink!) continued into the late hours of Saturday night in Galway city centre. The warm up consisted of the solo re-enactment of the Heishu Waza Futaragiko, (alternative tools of impacting two person drill), from jab/cross/hook we moved to uppercuts elbows and knees finishing off with head butts and elbows. We later went on to incorporate all of these into the corresponding two person drill which can also be applied against the pads.
We then reviewed the oyo waza from day one and placed the truncated versions (without exiting techniques) into a two person drill Uke Waza futaragiko, then the ‘blinding flash of the obvious occurred’ we had received the full package, applications against some of the common habitual acts of physical violence, a set of composites (kata) to be used as a mnemonic guide, the history/principal technique and purpose of each kata and of course a two person drill allowing ease of practice and linking the individual fundamental techniques to the actual kata.
While at almost saturation stage, with yet three hours to go Renshi Ante turned his attention to groundwork/grappling, commencing with the explanation of several positions and escapes Renshi Ante encouraged us to drill these using progressive resistance. Moving on to positional dominance and the keys to controlling your opponent on the ground, we branched out to submissions next, with only two house remaining we had a very enjoyable opportunity for live rolling, with each person getting three or four rounds and a chance to roll with Renshi Ante. In the final hour the seminar the participants were split into three groups, one reviewing the content of the seminar, one continuing the grappling and one to refine their tegumi drills, here you will find the evidence of what a professional instructor Renshi Ante is and the quality of the graduates of Hanshi McCarthy’s programme are, as he ran 3 different classes simultaneous.
As could be expected, the quiet dojo filled with applause during Renshi’s closing address, and as each participant thanked him individually the question was asked ‘when’s the next Koryu seminar!’
For further details on upcoming events or enquiries about incorporating Koryu Uchinadi concepts into your training please contact email@example.com and check www.irkrs-ireland.com for regular updates.