Monday, November 30, 2009

Masahiko Kimura

Here at the Sanbukan Dojo, we not only study Aikido we also practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Yamashita Sensei has been practicing since well before it was popular here in the US. His quote that, "Grappling is Aikido on the ground." Opened alot of peoples eyes to the similarity of the 2 sytles.

After last Saturday's class with Sensei Johann, I decided to research a little more about the Kimura Arm Lock. If you want to learn more about it, read below and follow the link from

Elbow Lock
An elbow lock is a type of joint lock that hyperflexes or hyperrotates the elbow joint. An elbow lock is applied by forcing the arm beyond its normal range of elbow-wise movement, which can be done through a variety of ways. Typically, the body is controlled from moving by using a pinning hold, and the arm is then pulled, pushed or twisted.

A keylock (also known as a bent armlock, figure-four armlock or ude-garami) involves holding the forearm and using it to twist the upper arm laterally or medially, similarly to turning a key in a keyhole. It is usually considered to be a shoulder lock since the primary pressure is often on the shoulder, but depending on how it is performed, significant pressure can also be applied to the elbow. It passes for a lock on the elbow in judo competitions, where only elbow locks are allowed. It can be applied from a multitude of positions, and it is the most common shoulder lock used as a submission hold in mixed martial arts competition. The keylock has several variations with their own names, for instance depending on in which direction the arm is rotated. The word "reverse" is sometimes added to signify medial rotation as in reverse keylock or reverse ude-garami, in which case the usage of just "keylock" indicates lateral rotation.

Figure Four Arm-lock/Americana (Ude-garami)
The figure four arm-lock (also known in the USA as the americana) is a term used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to specify the lateral keylock known in judo as ude-garami (arm entanglement). This lock is generally applied only from the mount or side control. The opponent's arm is pinned to the ground so that it is bent at the elbow, with the opponent's palm upwards. The wrist is grabbed with the opposite hand, and the arm on the same side is put under the opponents arm, gripping the attacker's wrist. This results in the necessary figure-four hold. While keeping the opponent's hand pinned to the ground, the attacker begins sliding his or her pinned arm down and parallel to his or her thigh while cranking the elbow upwards. This is referred to as 'painting'. The opponent will feel pressure on their elbow and/or shoulder. From some positions, such as kesa-gatame, it is possible to apply this technique with a leg instead of using two arms.

Kimura (Gyaku ude-garami)
The kimura lock (Reverse Ude Garami), applied on Hélio Gracie by Masahiko Kimura. The arm is twisted unusually far because Gracie refused to submit.Kimura (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), chicken wing/double wristlock (wrestling), or reverse keylock are terms used to specify a medial keylock known in judo as gyaku ude-garami (reverse arm entanglement) or simply as ude-garami. The application is similar to the americana, except that it is reversed. It needs some space behind the opponent to be effective, and can be applied from the side control or guard. Contrary to the americana, the opponent's wrist is grabbed with the hand on the same side, and the opposite arm is put behind the opponent's arm, again grabbing the attacker's wrist and forming a figure-four. By controlling the opponent's body and cranking the arm away from the attacker, pressure is put on the shoulder joint, and depending on the angle, also the elbow joint (in some variations the opponent's arm is brought behind their back, resulting in a finishing position resembling that of the hammerlock outlined below). The kimura was named after the judoka Masahiko Kimura, who used it to defeat one of the founders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Hélio Gracie.

To learn more on how to apply the Kimura Arm Lock follow this link:

Kimura (top) applying the ude garami to defeat Helio Gracie in their match in Brazil in 1951.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Visitors Welcome

Today we had a couple of guests visit our class. Peter (Emmanuel's cousin) and Cesar. Both did great for their first class. And even on a holiday weekend, we had 10 people on the mat.

Since the majority of our instructors were off visiting their families, we were led today by Sensei Johann. Our after-class grappling session was fantastic. We worked on a Kimura 4 corner arm lock, several offensive chokes and defense against a bear hug from a sprawl position.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

gobble gooble

We here at the Dojo are VERY thankful for all of our wonderful students and instructors. For obvious reasons there will be no class tonight. Hopefully everyone will be with their families, giving thanks and stuffing themselves with plenty of food. *CLASS WILL RESUME ON SATURDAY*

Being a "foodie", my wife found this article about the foods at "The first Thanksgiving". I found it an interesting read, and I hope you do too.
Partakers of Our Plenty

by Kathleen A. Curtin, Food Historian

For most Americans, a “traditional” Thanksgiving meal includes a turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pumpkin pie (or sweet potato pie if you hail from the South.). While there are numerous regional and ethnic variations, this basic menu has not changed much in the last two hundred years. Nor is the standard menu much older than that. Our modern holiday fare bears little resemblance to the food eaten at the three-day 1621 harvest celebration at Plymouth Colony, the event now recalled as the “First Thanksgiving.”

The Wampanoag and Plymouth colonists often ate wild turkey, however it was not specifically mentioned in connection with that 1621 harvest celebration. Edward Winslow said only that four men went hunting and brought back large amounts of “fowl” – more likely from the scenario to be seasonal waterfowl such as ducks and geese. And what about the stuffing? Yes, the Wampanoag and English did occasionally stuff the birds and fish, typically with herbs, onions or oats (English only).

If cranberries were served at the harvest celebration, they appeared in Wampanoag dishes, or possibly to add tartness to an English sauce. It would be 50 years before an Englishman mentioned boiling this New England berry with sugar for a “Sauce to eat with …Meat.” In 1621 England, sugar was expensive; in 1621 New Plymouth, there may not have been any of this imported spice at all.

Potatoes, which had originated in South America, had not yet made their way into the diet of the Wampanoag in 1621 (though the Wampanoag did eat other local varieties of tubers). By 1621, potatoes, both sweet and white, had traveled across the Atlantic to Europe but they had not been generally adopted into the English diet. The sweet potato, originating in the Caribbean, was cultivated in Spain and imported into England. It was a rare dainty available to the wealthy, who believed it to be a potent aphrodisiac. The white potato was virtually unknown by the average early 17th-century Englishman. Only a few gentlemen botanists and gardeners were trying to grow this colonial oddity.

But surely there was pumpkin pie to celebrate the harvest? Pumpkin -- probably yes, but pie – probably not. Pumpkins and squashes were native to New England. Certain varieties had been introduced from the Americas into Europe by 1500 where they gained widespread acceptance (as had turkey, another New World native). In Plymouth, the specific American varieties were new to the colonists, but hardly exotic. However, the fledgling Plymouth Colony probably did not possess the ingredients to make piecrust (butter & wheat flour) nor an oven in which to bake it. The now-familiar custardy pumpkin pie, made with pureed pumpkin, was several generations away from invention. The earliest written recipes for pumpkin pie came after 1621, and those treated the pumpkin more like apples, slicing it and sometimes frying the slices before placing them in a crust. (There were no apples in 1621 Plymouth, either. Apples are not native to North America.)

The typical menu of Thanksgiving dinner is actually more than 200 years younger than that 1621 celebration and reflects both the holiday’s New England roots and a Victorian nostalgia for an imaginary time when hearth and home, family and community, were valued over progress and change. But while we have been able to work out which modern dishes were not available in 1621, just what was served is a tougher nut to crack. The only contemporary description of the event by Edward Winslow tells us that they had seasonal wild fowl and the venison brought by the Wampanoag and presented to key Englishmen. The same writer is eloquent about the bounty of his new home (items in bold were available in the early autumn).

Our bay is full of lobsters all the summer and affordeth variety of other fish; in September we can take a hogshead of eels in a night, with small labor, and can dig them out of their beds all the winter. We have mussels ... at our doors. Oysters we have none near, but we can have them brought by the Indians when we will; all the spring-time the earth sendeth forth naturally very good sallet herbs. Here are grapes, white and red, and very sweet and strong also. Strawberries, gooseberries, raspas, etc. Plums of tree sorts, with black and red, being almost as good as a damson; abundance of roses, white, red, and damask; single, but very sweet indeed… These things I thought good to let you understand, being the truth of things as near as I could experimentally take knowledge of, and that you might on our behalf give God thanks who hath dealt so favorably with us.1

Another source describing the colonial diet that autumn said “besides waterfowl, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides they had … since harvest, Indian corn.”2

Though not specifically mentioned as a food on the menu, corn was certainly part of the feasts. Remember that the harvest being celebrated was that of the colorful hard flint corn that the English often referred to as Indian corn. This corn was a staple for the Wampanoag and soon became a fixture in the cooking pots of New Plymouth. The English had acquired their first seed corn by helping themselves to a cache of corn from a Native storage pit on one of their initial explorations of Cape Cod. (They later paid the owners for this “borrowed” corn.) It is intriguing to imagine how the English colonists processed and prepared the novel corn for the first time in the fall of 1621. One colonist gave a hint of how his countrymen sought to describe and prepare a new grain in familiar, comforting terms: “Our Indian corn, even the coarsest, maketh as pleasant a meat as rice.”3 In other words, traditional English dishes of porridge and pancakes (and later bread) were adapted to be used with native corn.

In September and October, a variety of both dried and fresh vegetables were available. The produce from the gardens of New Plymouth is likely to have included what were then called “herbs:” parsnips, collards, carrots, parsley, turnips, spinach, cabbages, sage, thyme, marjoram and onions. Dried cultivated beans and dried wild blueberries may have been available as well as native cranberries, pumpkins, grapes and nuts. While many elements of the modern holiday menu are very different from the foods eaten in 1621, the bounty of the New England autumn was clearly the basis for both. The impulse to share hospitality with others and celebrate and give thanks for abundance transcends the menu. Edward Winslow’s final comment about the harvest of 1621, is a sentiment shared by many Americans on Thanksgiving Day: And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.4

1. Edward Winslow, “A Letter Sent from New England,” In A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth [Mourt’s Relation], Ed. Dwight B. Heath (New York: Corinth Books, 1963), p. 82.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Full class

Yesterday's class was full of energetic students. It was good to see such a full class. And we had some returning people like Sensei Bill Shank and Elaine Khoo who joined us as well. We've missed you guys.

Yamashita Sensei had us working some more Koshi-waza (腰技): hip throwing techniques. He believes a strong hip throw is a good foil for many situations and should never be ignored.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The house is now warm!

I took this picture with my iPhone just a few minutes ago. The firepit was once raging and wonderful. It's now a soft romantic glow that has served to keep us all warm during our conversations.

Thanks to all who came to the party! We had a great time.

Friday, November 13, 2009


The irrational fear of Friday the 13th. But today holds nothing to fear, because it's really Big Jei's birthday!!! Jeifrem Hall is one of those students that really makes everyone who works with him happy. He's got some serious skills in the martial arts, and Aikido is just his latest step.

We're all glad you're with us Jei. Have a wonderful next year, with MANY more to come.

In other news Marcus Acosta (A Master of Soo Bahk Do, and student of ours) has passed his Orange Belt test, Rokkyū (六級). I hear he took it slow and steady, but performed beautifully. I'm sorry I missed it personally.

Congratulations Marcus!

And finally another reminder about Stephanie and Marisella's House Warming Party. For details see my last post.

Happy Paraskevidekatriaphobia'ing

Saturday, November 7, 2009

House Warming Party

Marisela and Stephanie would like to invite the students of the Sanbukan Dojo to their House Warming Party

La Casa de Paz y Harmonia
589 Walnut Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802

Remember, this event will feature the Taco Fest from 6-8pm

Next Saturday November 14th.

You can come anytime after 5. We recommend you park on 7th if can't find it elsewhere.

See you there!
Marisela and Stephanie