Student Obligations and Responsibilities

What New Students Need to Know

Entry level students of Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu begin their training with an overview of the Academy, the key personnel, the training program, and history. Physical training begins with instruction on the basics of Kumite Jutsu, Kata, Weapons, Bogu Kumite, stretching, strength training, and heavy bag work. As a beginner, the student is provided the opportunity to assess whether to pursue this form of martial art with commitment. In terms of equipment requirements, the initial cost to begin training is high in this level.

Responsibilities of students:

Read and study the available written material; remember and pass examinations on the subject matter.
Continue practicing outside the formal training session of the dojo.
Attend recommended symposiums, workshops, conferences, conventions, and competitions.
Volunteer and assist in the cleaning, general maintenance, teaching, and other aspects of training at the school.
Acquire the relevant equipment for the level at which you are training.

Training Objectives

Academic: To provide the student with a historical overview of Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu, and its role in the spread of modern Martial Arts. To provide the student with the knowledge to recognize and avoid violent confrontations. To provide the student with the ability to de-escalate a potentially violent situation. To provide the student with the necessary anatomical and physiological education to understand the physical effects of his practical training. To provide the student with the R.O.E. (Rules of Engagement) of Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu. To provide the student with the moral guidelines involved in the usage of this deadly art.
Practical: To present a series of routines, methodologies, solo and partner drills, kata, and kumite that will provide the groundwork for the student to successfully defend himself during physical assault. To provide the student with a sequence of goals in order to enhance his will power, and build his self confidence. To provide the student with a healthful framework within which to increase his health and prolong his life as he learns this intricate art.

Therefore let every man that is desirous to practice this Arte', endeavor himself to get strength and agility of body, assuring himself, that judgement without this activity and force, avails little or nothing. Giacomo di Grassi, 1570.

This advice is timeless and applies across the board to all self defense arts. In order to achieve perfection in any craft or skill, practice, and more practice, and still more practice is required. The Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu training program is no different. The exercises, drills, and forms enhance the flexibility and strength necessary to achieve our goals. Therefore, they are repetitive, difficult and long. Discipline forms the core of the Ryukyu Kenpo Kobujutsu training program. This art requires a commitment to training outside of class time.

Basic Principles

The following briefly describes the basic fighting principles that the student must know, and apply to successfully defeat an opponent.

a) Physical Balance

The ability to maintain equilibrium and remain in a stable fighting position during an engagement. This is critical for deploying a defensive maneuver or posture, and for launching an effective attack against the opponent. There are two aspects of balance that the student must possess:
1. The student must develop the ability to move the body, utilizing such concepts as: stepping patterns; ensuring that the legs do not lock out, and, generally, are kept about shoulder's width apart; lowering the body's center of gravity; static and dynamic balance.
2. Through training and experience, the student must be able to move his body during an engagement maintaining balance and stability; while, at the same time, exposing the opponent's weak points.
b) Mental Balance

Not allowing fear, excitement, or the adrenaline dump to overcome the ability to concentrate or react skillfully during a fight.

c) Distancing

The relative distance between individuals engaged in a fight. The student must learn how to position himself at a distance that is most advantageous. Adjustments to this distance is continuous during the engagement and ensures that the student maintains the most beneficial range between himself and the opponent.

d) Timing

The student must learn, though experience, the best time, during an attack, to move to a favorable position, or employ his counterattack. If the movement is too soon, the opponent will be able to respond and set up a counter, or, adjust his attack. Conversely, if the student moves too late, the opponent will be successful in delivering his attack; usually at the moment the student is most vulnerable.

e) Positioning

The location of the student in relation to his opponent. Moving the body to a place that allows for simultaneous attack and defense is the goal of positioning. Many, but not all, times this is accomplished by moving somewhere off the line of attack. Movement to an accommodating position will require accurate timing and distance perception.

f) Momentum

Momentum describes the body's tendency, while in motion, to continue in the direction of motion; unless, acted upon by another force. The greater the mass or speed of the movement, the greater the momentum. This is a principle that can be effectively exploited during attacks. The student can control the momentum of an attack, redirect the momentum behind the strike, and, provided the student understands the principles behind momentum, the following can be acted upon:

1. The student can use the opponent's momentum to advantage; by moving in, along, or to the side of the opponent's attack.
2. The opponent's momentum can be exploited by forcing it to extend further than expected.
3. The student can use his own momentum to maintain pressure on the opponent; and, assist with his attack.
4. The student must, also, be aware that the opponent can use the student's own momentum to the student's disadvantage; and, therefore, should avoid placing himself in an awkward or vulnerable position.

Basic training that must be internalized:

1. Basic exercises and movements.
2. Footwork.
3. Competency in techniques.
4. Ability to redirect and/or manipulate your opponent.
5. Ability to direct your opponent without physical contact.