This has been a very rough start to the year for my hitching adventures. The plan was to go to places around New Zealand teaching and learning Martial arts as I go but this new found freedom ran into a few problems along the way. Timing, no one wanting to appear on camera, troubles with my laptop and mobile internet. However like most problems I have in my life all it takes is a little bit of training to relax the mind and find the solution.
With that I present to you the new hitch hiking tour of the country. Before I begin I think a little background is in order.
Some samurai warriors in the 17th century would take long journeys around the country finding other warriors to train with; they would give lessons in exchange for shelter and food. These penniless vagabonds were called Ronin, Master less Samurai. Some of their warrior pilgrimages could last for years as they adapted the techniques they had learnt from others to improve their own personal practise.
Flash forward to twenty or so years ago. After the death of Ron Russell a teacher of kyu shin do aikido, Chris Nicholson left that system and along with Dwane Morgan a practitioner of karate and dabbler of numerous other styles, created Ronin Martial arts. Combining their experiences with many styles they focused on developing a system of practical self defence and uncovering the principles behind combative movement. Dwane later renamed the system Ai shin do Bujutsu (harmony of Martial truths) and continues to teach in Auckland.
My name is Jory and I am a 5th dan black belt in Ai shin do Bujutsu and have spent the last 5 years teaching self defence to community groups around New Zealand. I have taken our origins a little too seriously. This is my hike, my goal is to find experts and incorporate their knowledge with my own to improve my own personal practise. I will spend one month, somewhere in New Zealand, training in one style, after that month I will show you what I have learnt and where the conditioning and techniques of that style can be applied to the different aspects of self defence.
Right now I am in wellington, learning all I can from the New Zealand parkour association. You know what?
It is tough.
This past week has involved a lot more running then I am used to at a pace I don’t really enjoy up steep hills and stairs around wellington city. Something you may not know about me, I hate running (well dislike), not really my thing. My nickname around the club is lazy Jay partly because of my relaxed appearance when I fight. So this week I have committed myself to running four kilometres each day in the hope to keep up with the rest of the class.
We train twice a week, so I use my down time to perfect the techniques we are taught in the two hour session. I am currently practising a movement called the turning vault. It reminds me of the challenges of learning to throw for the first time. It requires a combination of timing and correct movement. Flow and control.
Doing the movement at speed I lose the technique but doing it too slow I miss the timing. This is a very enjoyable challenge and when you get it right it’s a great feeling. The other thing I have noticed is the change in the way I see my environment now. Hand rails and fences are now walkways. And I have never met a group of guys who talk about shoes so much.
And I have a facebook page called "the hike" that if you like you will see all my links and blogs on there too.