JUDO MAKES YOUR MARTIAL ARTS BETTER!!
BY FRANKLIN PUELLO
4/6/2014 JUDO SEMINAR - FIRST IN SERIES, HOSTED AND PRESENTED BY: BRONX JUDO- SENSEI CHRIS HALBAL
On Sunday April 6, 2014 while accepting an invitation by Sensei Chris Halbal, Bronx Judo, to attend his scheduled organized and most rich in content seminar on the principle: Judo makes your Karate, jiu jitsu, Tae kwon do and any other Martial Arts better. I experienced a great time not only on the mat but in the company of many other Martial Arts contacts. Sensei Chris Halbal, in conjunction with his teacher, Master George Pasiuk, is a long time study and highly skilled Judoka. Knowing and understanding the importance of principles and principle application in the Martial Arts, set out to organize and promote the application of Judo principles to thoroughly enhance any Mart Arts system in existence and presently studied and practiced by many. This seminar featured Jodo Master Sid Kelly, 8th Dan Judo ( Kelly began Judo in 1957 in London England, studying and training for three years under the tutelage of the famous pre-second World war Japanese Judo technician Mr.Kenshiro Abbe, 10th Dan (6th Dan at 23). Mr Abbe was one of four people to beat legendary Mr. Masahiko Kimura during his earlier days of competition), among many other elite members of The Bronx Judo and Martial Arts Dojo www.bronxjudoandmartialarts.com
The very large group of attendees, members of Yudansha and Mudansha who attended this, most reasonably priced seminar covering a fascinating subject and presented by highly skilled teachers not only in the art of teaching but in the presentation of technical skills of Judo and skill execution were treated to an exceptional presentation, demonstration and skills practice of principles in Judo that are guaranteed to totally enhance the study and training of any Martial Arts system chosen. First by reminding and facilitating the attendees in a smooth transition from outside students with the time of study in other specific systems and preset state of mind into the often used and now cliche: "Beginners Mind" - To unquestionably accept technical and non-tecnical information including new and old physical skills presented by Hanshi Sid Kelly and in the spare of the moment attendees were to digest and put into application under the watchful eyes and corrective umbrella of the teachers in the room.
A major principle I noticed was stressed from the beginning and often was the need for a state of: Beginners Mind ( Unquestionable acceptance of information); Tabula Raza ( A blank slate); ( Acceptance of old information and skills as new; Zanchin (Perennial state of alertness and readiness). All the attendees humbly demonstrated a conscious and or unconscious state of gratefulness and willingness to share and learn according to the aforementioned state of mind. I noticed this taking place during the greeting exchanges and information about reasons for attendance and information to be covered in this seminar; observed and overheard conversations of exchanges during the changing of street cloths in Gi (Uniform) and while mustering on the Dojo floor. I point these details for it was very refreshing to see and be part of what I consider presently an oddity instead of the norm. As it was when I started studies and training in the Martial Arts during the mid 1970's and being surprised by Hanshi Sid Kelly when he constantly repeatedly reminded us of this principle and state of mind stressing the paramount importance for its implementation leading to the success in absorbing the imparted knowledge and principles that were then mandated to be taken back to the Dojo and not only practiced but suggested implementation into daily training and routines to maximize the spreading and utilization of gained experiences with the attendees own students, other students, other teachers and friends.
Another principle taught, reminded, refreshed and practiced is the state of Zanchin or ever ready for any and all situations that may arise. Hanshi Kelly led us through a path of mental and physical relaxation that facilitated the feeling or anticipated attack or opponent readiness. Hanshi emphasized that being in a relaxed state would allow us to read the opponents movements and attacks enabling us to flexibly and with utmost generation of speed move into action in evasion or defense and counter. He demonstrated how a relaxed grip in engagement along a relaxed posture ( Kamae ) was optimum in defending or countering attacks by allowing the body to utilize the maximum contraction of muscles to explode resulting in an increased velocity which is in contrary to the counter productiveness of tightness or rigid engagements which result in a slow reaction due to the physiology of muscles in contraction not being able to explode producing speed and or power in contrary to relaxed muscles which would from sudden contraction from relaxed state produce maximum speed and or power. This fact and principle was being introduced and implemented in the easiness of skill execution by both partners in an efficient exchange of assistance and resistance as appropriate for the practice and implement in the part of both Martial Artist. The invaluable lesson and practice led us into a conscious state of alertness, simultaneously producing an efficient flowing harmonious exchange of techniques that created a non stop revolving exchange that maximized time, effort and efficient practice by both; again with emphatic recommendation on taking these skills, practicing them then incorporating into training eventually into routine to be shared with other Martial Artist and even students at various stages.
The expertly designed presentation of technical and non technical material by Hanshi Kelly, the designed and presented progressive escalation of skills building was a marvelous display of refined teaching methods and skills brought together by acquired and practiced teaching history, psychology of teaching, philosophy of teaching resulting in highly effective teaching. Hanshi Kelly revealed himself to be a Master teacher with proverbial "Wizard " teaching skills. Words used to describe him ( Sid kelly ); Outstanding "Teacher of teachers." In purposely skipping details and going right into the meat of the seminar, I take express delight in a brief detail of the start of this teaching seminar, besides teaching us principles and skills it taught us efficient teaching methods. In brief details of the start we were taught the importance of warm-ups in a most revealing if not revolutionary manner reminding us as important as warm-ups are , of greater importance is to devise a structure of warm up exercise common to the skills in the system of study - meaning that the warm ups will not only facilitate movement but lead right into the skills motion and serve as stepping stones into the following sets of skills to be learned and or practiced. Purpose and targeted warm ups come to mind as description.
Hanshi Kelly had all the participants working as a cohesive group sharing and assisting each other promoting brotherhood and skill practice. This leading to refining teaching skills.
Some of the principles presented and learned today:
Presence - relax, confidant, alert
Engage - relaxed yet securing in control
Alert - Awareness to each other and surroundings
Tabula Raza - Blank slate, empty mind - empty cup allows to receive and keep information
Execution - economy of movement or high efficiency
Give and Take - sharing, assist and resist to promote learning a acquisition of skills by both in partnership
Listen, learn, train - always listen with "New ear" considering information to be new even if not, practice to master and then share with others to enable reaching higher levels.
This was indeed a most certainly vastly rich in content seminar and very much worth the investment of time, effort and minimal financial consideration (Fee) and strongly recommended for attendance in the near future. Judo makes your Martial Arts better, if you don't believe then see for yourself, Schedule attendance to the next seminar under the giudance of these highly experienced and qualified teachers; Chris Halbal, Sensei - Halbal is a Martial Artist with 32 years of experience. He is a direct student of four giants in Budo, achieving black Belts from Sichidan George Pasiuk ( JUDO), Grand Master Jerry Fontanez ( Sport Karate ), Master Steven Katz ( Sport Karate & MMA ) and Hanshi Miguel Ibarra ( Jujutsu ), A student for life, Halbal understands the importance of being exposed to differant styles while havinf a strong foundation. He feels it is important to make the distinction of "Study under" and "Train with." Make sure you study under a reputable Master before you train under or with other practitioners.
Sid Kelly, Sensei 8th Dan Judo with 55 plus years of diverse Judo experience, is a well renown Judoka and author of books rich in highly technical and non-technical information. Among the many accomplishments and accolades gathered during his journey , we can list briefly that Kelly Sensei represented great britain in 9 occasions in international Judo matches. He was Captain of the NHC Team, winning the prestigious Britain area team championship. He became the overall New England black belt champion. He has been a National referee for 10 years( Refereed many national events including finals ) and as mentioned the author of multiple books on Judo lesson plans, contact games, USJA coaching and includes a book on Judo poems. Kelly has 7 published DVD's on Judo techniques: Waki-Gatame (Arm Locks ), Knowledge of techniques - test modules, introduction to Randori - Kelly's Capers.
For more information see www.thejudolab.com from 04/21/2014
He is profiled by the Pacific Southwest Judo association. Sid Kelly created and scientifically engineered Kelly's Capers ( The road to Rendori ) - A five part system that progressively prepares the Judo beginner for Randori. The main goal of the system is that of improving retention rate in the Dojo. Mastering the throwing skills of Judo is a very difficult challenge. It requires a fine degree of skill, physical fitness and correct mental attitude. This challenge is met and played out in the time tested Judo exercise of Rendori. Kelly's Capers tackles what must be the most neglected area of teaching Judo - preparing the beginner for skills required to apply and defend against throwing.
Techniques in Randori: How beginners are introduced to this difficult, demanding and strenuous exercise is the probable reason why unrecorded millions of beginners have quit Judo. A " Caper" is defined as a Jolly, Joyful playful jump or leap. Kelly's Capers guides the judo beginner down a non traditional innovative path by way of playful jumps or small steps. The Caper begins with twi methods that familiarize the beginner with the skills of Randori - Randori without Ukemi and the bull and the Matador. Randori without Ukemi is practiced from the beginners first lesson up until he begins Randori ( 6 months or so ). The Bull and the Matador is introduced about 3 months after the beginner starts judo. The final Bull and Matador exercise is called The road to Rendori. At this point the beginner has been gradually familiarized to the skills that occur in Randori and is now prepared to participate in the regular exercise of Randori.
The Renrukan Judo - School of continuous attack described Sid Kelly's judo poems book in the following manner. About the author intertwining 50 years of high level judo experience with 50 plus years of mechanical engineering experience and a lifetime of reading and writing, the author has produced a book consisting of 16 poems and an essay. The poems , written mainly for people who have experienced judo at all levels and ages, cover a wide range of subjects. The poems are intended to be thought provoking as well as instructional, educational, elucidating, enlightening and hopefully above all entertaining. The opening poem. " Hello to Judo," introduces a potential beginner to what he or she can expect to experience from attending judo classes. The positives of judo are endorsed but the beginner is preparatory notice with the following lines: Most sports at first are easy play, because one's motor skills show the way, but beginning judo is a different story, because learning with patience comes before the glory.