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Training Values – Safety

January 6, 2018

If you have attended my classes, you’ll know I am a stickler for details. Why? Because I know that while there is no one definite, correct way of doing a move or technique, there are certainly many wrong ways.

So I help you all work on details especially for the kihon happo. You don’t need to observe all the details in order to make the kihon happo work in real life, those kata actually have a decent margin for error. That’s great because under actual combat stress your technique level will drop. You will most likely miss out important details in your movement. Training seriously in class gives you a better chance to retain more details when your life and your safety depends on them.

The details are also important, because when you get the details correct in class, you are able to get the kata to work without having to muscle your way through the movements. The correct distance, angle, kamae and taijutsu help you to get results AND keep your training partner safe from injury at the same time. As I said before in an old blog post:

In the end, I’d just like to say: if you want to get Bujinkan type of results (certain things happening to your opponents), either you get them by skill or by brute force. Whatever you lack in skill, you WILL compensate for with brute force. So which will you choose? If you choose brute force then

1. Don’t call what you do martial arts, it’s not;
2. Don’t teach it to other people as martial arts, that would be false advertising;
3. Don’t come train with me unless you want to learn things right; I want to practice martial arts, not brawling!

from https://shunketsu.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/wrenching-wrists-defending-drills/

Not saying that muscling your way through techniques is always wrong. In real combat, sometimes that is all you are able to do in the moment. It is the very last resort. In class, your last resort should NEVER be your first reaction. In class, you should be concentrating on getting things correct rather than getting in a cheap shot at your training partner’s expense.

And as an instructor, it is MY responsibility to watch out for the safety of the students who honour me with their time and attention. It is wrong for instructors to neglect safety issues during the class, putting students at risk of injury from each other. It is even more wrong for instructors themselves to injure a student to prove a point, just to feed their egos or because they think they already know everything there is to know about Hatsumi Soke’s Budo.

As I said before in another previous blog post:

I am totally committed to the safety of the people who attend my class and those I am training with. I’d rather look like an incompetent than use injuries to intimidate trusting students. And I expect the same thing from my students. I expect them to watch out for the safety of their training partners.

https://shunketsu.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/training-injuries-2/

But you students have a responsibility too. It is your responsibility to watch out for the safety of your training partner. That also includes getting me to help fix whatever you people may be getting wrong. If your training partner is doing anything risky to anyone, it is your responsibility to bring it up to either the instructor or the sempai (senior students).

And if the instructor himself is the one putting students at risk of injury, it is your responsibility to leave. Don’t risk getting yourself crippled at the hands of an instructor who derives a sick pleasure from inflicting pain on others or who is too incompetent  to make techniques work without muscling through with brute force. You do not owe anything to the instructor. If any instructor (including me, of course) isn’t adding value to your life, either go find another one or even switch to another martial art if necessary. Because you truly benefit from studying martial arts only if your instructor is a person of honour.

What does being a person of honour mean? I’ll tell you more in my next post. In the meantime, train safe, train well. See you at the next class!

 

Junjie 俊傑
(Shunketsu)
Bujinkan Ninjutsu
Singapore

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