On the 28th and 29th of March 2009, the IRKRS Ireland hosted Renshi Olaf Krey for a two day seminar based on the principles of Koryu-Uchinadi Kenpo-Jutsu.
Renshi Krey (5th dan Koryu-Uchinadi) is a seasoned martial arts practitioner and instructor. He has been training in the martial arts since 1992. In 2004 he graduated from Hanshi Patrick McCarthy's college level martial arts instruction diploma program as a Koryu-Uchinadi Renshi level instructor and has been running a Koryu-Uchinadi dojo in Germany since that time.
In late 2004, he became Hanshi McCarthy's Shibucho in Germany and he is currently the chief Koryu-Uchinadi instructor in Germany. He has been teaching seminars internationally since 2004 and was awarded his 5th dan in Koryu-Uchinadi in 2008.
Day one of the seminar was devoted to the Koryu-Uchinadi Ne-Waza drill. This is a complex drill providing an arsenal of techniques for use in a ground-based situation. The drill moves through different mounts, holds and positions in a flow that allows each practitioner take the offensive and the defensive position in a smooth manner working initially on the positioning and form for each technique using passive resistance before adding gradual resistance to present a more real feeling to the exercise. Although this drill comprises approximately 52 different positions, and can prove a challenge to anyone learning it or practising it, Renshi Krey presented it in manageable chunks, breaking the drill into sections dealing with the mount positions, leg locks, arm bars and shoulder locks.
There was a change of tack on day two, returning to the fundamentals through kata. The kata of interest in this case were Chokyu and Naihanchin. While these two kata may not be overly long, they are very involved and served to illustrate the connection between habitual acts of physical violence, two person drills and the solo re-enactment, which we know as kata. The triangle is complete and the transition between each stage of practise was well presented by Renshi Krey. Demonstrating the kata, he explained how no move is wasted and showed the applications for each move before transitioning to the two-person drill with each section. The connection between the drill and the kata is essential for understanding and competency. The participants can better appreciate the meaning of the kata and thus the learning is re-enforced by the practise of both the solo re-enactment and the two-person drill.
Following a mentally and physically tough day, Renshi Krey treated us to an excellent display of the tegumi drills with Newcastle-based assistant, Sensei Ben Ryder. The following puts the Tegumi in context.
In Koryu Uchinadi, defensive principles are incrementally imparted using Tegumi drills to assist in delivering the corresponding acts of violence addressed that kata address through its prescribed application templates. Fundamental applications of kihon waza ("basic techniques") are taught prior to learning the supporting variations of how to enter and follow-up. In bunkai-jutsu [analyses practice], this is referred to as omote-waza [surface techniques]. It is a necessary requisite before ura [lit. back or behind, but referring to hidden techniques, beyond the surface] can be learned. This study is culminated in oyo (application practice), a process that can never be wholly understood or completely appreciated without first mastering its omote and ura predecessors. Imagine a primary school student attempting to compose a high school essay without first having learned the essential grammatical principles necessary to write the project. It simply would not be possible.
Continuing this language analogy: If kihon waza (the building blocks of the tradition) was compared to the ABC's, then kata (made up of kihon waza) represent grammatical structures. Extending the metaphor, bunkai-jutsu portrays the meanings of its sentences and paragraphs. In this example, tegumi (a process of linking basics to application) represents the vital process of changing tenses in the language.
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!’
It was great to welcome other Koryu Uchinadi practitioners from Europe. Special mention given here to Freddy Laesure from Belgium, Joost Frehe from London and Eric Forsythe from Belfast.
For further details on upcoming events or enquiries about incorporating Koryu Uchinadi concepts into your training please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and check www.irkrs-ireland.com for regular updates.