Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵?, c. 1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was a Japanese swordsman and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age. He was the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪の書 Go Rin No Sho?), a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.
As rookie bouncer learning the ropes I used to observe how quickly and explosively the head doorman would grab and eject someone as I helped or watched his back. Rapid response and most importantly team work were the principles I learned in becoming a bouncer. The venue where I started work was used for student nights during the weekdays but on the weekends was the watering hole of all those turned down by the more upmarket establishments of the city. Working the weekends I would often get the butterflies of the slow adrenaline dump when starting my shift knowing I will almost certainly be dealing with a fight before closure.
When it did kick off often my reaction was almost Pavlovian with the only thought on my mind being the fact that drunken violence had taken place which needed to be curtailed quickly before it got out of control. Often I never really felt the effects of the adrenaline until after the incident has been resolved. The main objective in this type of response was to close the distance, trap and immobilize the arms and remove the aggressor as quickly as possible. Combative skills never came into play working the doors although they had a psychological value by creating an aura of intimidation and deterrent. The only martial art type skills of use in the profession in my opinion would be arm-bars, shoulder locks, choke holds and maybe wrist locks.
Last weekend I was rather surprised to have a couple of people from Rotorua contacting me to ask about my self-defence classes. One lady was particularly interested in the Women’s Self Defence course that I ran back in 2010; she wanted to allay her fear of violence by learning some practical self-defence skills. I was a bit tickled to hear that people of Rotorua were still talking about my martial arts and self-defence classes and seminars from two years back.
I advised the lady seeing that Indomitable Mind Body Combat Academy no longer operates in Rotorua I would be more than happy to organize some private training if she travelled to Auckland. From the phone conversation I got the feeling that fear of violence was affecting the quality of her life. In my career as an IT consultant I generally do not give much advice over the phone unless I am financially compensated for my valuable time and expertise. However as a martial arts instructor I am always open for a chat and ready to give my time to offer advice. It’s the human element to working with people rather than business enterprises.
My instructor recently spent six weeks visiting family and friends in his homeland, so it was my responsibilty to instruct the childrens class while he was away.
Teaching kids can be quite testing, especially keeping everyone interested and challenged at the same time! On top of that you are dealing with a variety of ages and experience. One thing I had noticed over the last few years and especially the last few weeks is that it is difficult to inspire the correct attitude when punching and kicking in kihon or kata regardless of the amount of explanation and emphasis on correct technique - punching and kicking air just is not reality. At this point you might say that is why we practise partner work which is fine for aiming and control, however, unless you drill 100% full-contact it is still not 'real'. Many old-timers will be thinking to themselves at this point that is the reason why we have makiwara (Makiwara - How to Build and Use) - and indeed they would be correct for those who practise diligently and probably daily, but is also not the reality for most kids/adults training in this modern world where they might come twice a week for an hour or so.
Dojo Kun - literal translation means "training hall rules". There are five main rules that serve as guiding principles for all who train in the dojo. Although they are usually listed in a set order, no one rule is more important than any other. To emphasise this all five are prefixed with hitotsu and end with koto, which together mean "one point".One Point! Seek Perfection of Character
Hitotsu! Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto