Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays

Everyone here at the Sanbukan Dojo wishes you all a happy and healthy Christmas and New Years.

Our instructors all take a break to be with their families between Christmas and New Years, so all classes are closed. The first class of the new year will be on Tuesday January 3rd. See you all then.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Party Time!!!

That's right boys and girls, it's party time at the dojo once again. This year's annual Pot Luck party is this Saturday Dec 17th, right after class (12:30 roughly). So far we know what some people will bring, but not many. Here's the list:

Alonso and Brenda - Meat Dish
Cindy and Jeremy - Japanese Salad, Utensils, Cups, Napkins, Plates
Gilbert - Lots of Ham
Toru - Japanese sandwich
Moe - Pizza
Bruce - Cake
Jay -Veggie Plate
Larry - Fruit Plate
Misa - More Pizza
Patty - Lasagna
DC - Soda
Johann - Chicken
Mia - Portos
Rome - Pork & Chicken Lumpia

Anything else, will be a mystery I guess.

Please spread the word and let everyone know.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

The Sanbukan dojo would like to thank all of you who have served our proud country.

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations." - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday.

In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas man named Alvin King the owner of a shoe repair shop, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into "All" Veterans Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November 11 to honor all veterans. With the help of U.S. Representative Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

The Dojo will be closed tonight so that all our students can enjoy trick or treating with their families.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two Three Two

We tend to have our belt tests in groups here at the Sanbukan Dojo. After Marcus and Mia tested, we had Brenda test for Orange, Cindy and DC test for third Brown and then today Anthony and Martin tested for their Yellow belts. All of them passed and did exceptionally well. The Sensei' only consistent critique was "Kihon Dosa". You can NEVER practice the basics enough. Without a strong foundation your Aikido will not be strong.

Sensei Mits has a wonderful story about a Mathematician. He starts wanting to complete a complex equation and makes a simple math mistake right at the start. As a result, no matter how hard he tried or how hard he worked on the rest of the equation, it was always wrong. Until he finally goes all the way back and corrects his basics does his equation make sense.

Aikido is often referred to as a thinking art for just that reason. You can work and work at it for years and then suddenly stop and realize you've been making a simple mistake that has been hindering your progress. But once it's corrected, you soar!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Going green

This last Saturday we had two excellent green belt tests. Both Mia and Marcus performed wonderfully!

But as an aside, I found it interesting to see how each moved very differently. Marcus being a Master of Soo Bahk Do and Mia being so tiny, made them almost look like they were taking separate tests.

Congratulations to you both, you've earned those belts!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy 4th of July take Monday off

The monday class this coming July 4th will be cancelled for obvious reasons.  IT'S THE FOURTH OF JULY!

Enjoy the Independance of our wonderful country with your friends and families.  Watch a fireworks show, eat a few hot dogs and sing the National Anthem.  And for those of you who may never have actually read The Declaration of Independance, I posted it on this blog last year.  The Declaration of Independance

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Stephanie DeLange is now the 23rd black belt promoted at the Sanbukan Dojo, and only the 4th woman to make it.

She really kicked herself in to high gear. It was amazing to watch! The last week of almost "secret" training in preparation created a wave of energy that DC had to ride today. Which he did very well.

We are all proud of you Stephanie!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Congratulations Brenda

Sensei has always said, "The Yellow Belt is just as hard a test as the Black Belt".  It takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of the entire class and put your knowledge to the test for the first time.  Brenda showed us that courage this last Thursday.

Congratulations Brenda

BTW, Just a reminder, Stephanie is testing for her Black belt on Saturday May 7th.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Anchors away

We have so many students who have served our country in the various armed forces. And we salute them all!

Most recently, Jose Bonillo left to serve a term in Kuwait with the Navy Reserves and Javier left us for Navy Boot Camp. We will miss you guys. Come home to us safely, and Thank You!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Black Belt on the way

Stephanie has announced that she will be testing for her Shodan on Saturday May 7th.

These events are pretty rare, assuming she passed, she will be only the 23rd black belt Sensei has promoted in the 50+ years of training and teaching.

Don't miss it

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Huge success

This year's party for Mits was a huge success.  So many people attended that I thought we may actually run out of food.  But they stayed with Pot Luck tradition and brought more and more.  We live in such an abundent society it's amazing.  We even ended up with 3 Birthday Cakes...

Sensei was very pleased with all the laughter and gifts he recieved, and he thanked us all for making his life so easy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sensei is turning 69

Hello Sanbukan devotees,
Our friend and Master, Mits Yamashita Sensei is turning 69 this year.  We are having our usual Pot Luck celebration to commemorate this historic event on Saturday April 9th.  And we welcome EVERYONE to come celebrate with us.
Sensei has given so much to every life he has touched, we can't thank him enough!

So far the Pot Luck list is as follows:
Cindy and Jeremy               Birthday Cake, Utilensiles, Plates and Cups
Martin                                Cake
Bruce                                 Pasta
Alonso & Brenda       Ceviche
Marcus                              Drinks
Jay O'Balles                       "I'm thinking veggie plate"
Larry                                 Pizza

Please sign up at the Dojo, or send us an email, facebook comment, or just a plain old fashioned phone call and let us know what you're bringing.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Aikido in real life

It was Saturday night, Superbowl weekend in Las Vegas and our 6th kyu level (green belt) student, DC, was out at a club with friends.  Totally at random a large man grabbed DC's shirt near the neck and aggressively started pulling him closer.  Without fear or aggression, DC simply reached up, grabbing the man's wrist and hand, and applied our Lapel grab #1, placing him in a nikajo.  DC easily controlled his aggressor to about halfway down to his knees, and just looked at him...  Seeing that the man knew he was out matched, it didn't need to go any farther, and DC let him go.  Both of them simply walked away.

DC, not only used a technique in a real world situation, he used Aikido philosophy by controlling the situation, not amplifying it.  Both parties walked away without a punch being thrown.  Truly magnificent!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The new Monday class

Hello all you Sanbukan devotees,
Last Monday marked the first Monday class in years.  We worked on a couple of techniques that are not covered in the standard syllabus, both based on techniques covered in Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere.  They were modified to better suit the intention of the lesson, ALWAYS KEEP YOUR CENTER.

 images from Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere
click the image to animate

Uke grabs both of your wrists in a straight grab for the "one - on - one" attack.
You do a reverse 180 degree pivot in right stance, while bringing your elbow just over uke's arm. In this first motion, you have not moved uke much from his original position.

Next, while stepping back with your right leg, you draw back your right arm to place uke in a sankajo position while keeping your left arm outstretched, much like an archer draws his bow. It is important that during this motion you keep your hips and shoulders facing the same direction and keeping your center line.

Next, you keep your arms stationary with respect to your torso and perform a "turn-in-place" motion. Finally to complete the throw you take a step.
 images from Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere
click the image to animate 

Uke chokes you from the front.
Your right hand extends up through the middle of the choke, brushing up past uke's face and then extends down uke's right arm. This movement of your arm is vertical with respect to you.
At the same time you are starting a step and a half pivot. By the "half pivot" part, you have placed your left arm loosely on uke's shoulder, while your right hand acts as a hook for uke's arm which has his weight and balance dependent on it. After you complete the step and a half pivot, you now let your right arm drop. You begin to turn in place and your left arm pushes into the small of uke's back and your right arm comes up for an irimi.  Finally, you take a step and complete the irimi throw.

After the techniques we participated in a bit of light randori.  Each student was allowed to pick a single defense against a right center punch. Even just one person coming in at a time at random can get a bit unnerving for beginners, but everyone had a fantastic time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Try it this way...

Today's blog entry is an excerpt from Ryu Mail Magazine - February 2011 that discusses a problem many Aikidoka face. What do you do when when you're shown many different ways to perform the same technique?

The Art of an Aiki Life

In this section this month, Ando Sensei talks about the meaning of obedience. The word he uses is sunao. This can be translated as obedient; dutiful; respectful; submissve; in other words someone who is not stubborn; willful or obstinate. This word has very positive connotations in Japan, especially when applied to a child, whereas in English the word may have slightly negative connotations. Certainly, when used to describe an adult it may suggest that the person is overly meek or submissive, ready to obey any command unquestioningly. In this instance, Ando Sensei is also using it in the context of being obedient to one's own best self.

He recalls that Shioda Sensei told his uchi deshi that the best way for them to learn aikido was to obey him unquestioningly. "If I tell you to eat shit, then you say 'yes sir!' and eat it." Ando Sensei thought to himself that he definitely wasn't going to eat any but Shioda Sensei had made his point about the importance of obedience.

The problem was deciding who to obey. At that time, the uchi deshi were not taught directly by Shioda Sensei but by their senior deshi. One deshi told him to do a technique in this way, while another told him to do it in another way - everyone was telling him something different. The only thing to do was listen and nod obediently at every opinion; try it once and then choose from among the various options. At the very least, the quantity of information you possess increases. If you aren't obedient in a situation like this and don't listen to what people are teaching you then you lose a little bit of information every time.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brian Kaneshiro

Last Tuesday Brian Kaneshiro passed his Yellow Belt test. His techniques were clean and energetic. And his Uke, Ernesto, looked very fierce.

Congratulations Brian

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

22nd Black Belt

This last Saturday January 8th, 2011 Jeremy Johnston became the 22nd Black Belt to successfully pass the incredibly difficult test Yamashita Sensei has created.

Sensei Johann placed Jeremy on the spot right after the test by requesting an impromptu speech. Here is what was said:

"As many of you know, I've spent a lifetime in the martial arts. I started when I was very young. And several of the people who are here now and have known me for 25, almost 30 years, have seen my strugle through the martial arts. I am by no means a natural. I've struggled through every little bit of it.

About 16 to 17 years ago I had a major set back, I broke my hip. That's what brought me to Mits. I had seen Mits, actually through Soo Bahk Do. Master Duncan here and Mr. Greco were kind enough to work with me back then quite a bit and we knew Mits through Soo Bahk Do. He holds a second degree in Soo Bahk Do, of course It was called Tang So Do back then. But anyway, I saw how beautifully Mits moved and how it focused on the hip. And back then I was on my cane a couple times a year at least. And I dont even have a cane anymore. Aikido strengthened my hip. Aikido made me able to continue the martial arts, and I'm so glad I never ever stopped, because it formed this family that we have here.

And a few years back when the Dojo looked like it might go away, I said nooo. Couldn't have that. And so many of you guys, Andrew, Jay, Sean. All of you pitched in. We bult this home for ourselves. Everybody here chipped in and you are still chipping in by being here for us. You're the ones that keep this place, and my love for the martial arts going. So Thank You all!"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First class of 2011

We had a great class! Everyone was energetic and eager to start the year off right. Sensei Larry, as usual, lead the class with grace. I can't thank him enough for all he does for us.

Just a reminder, there is a Black Belt Test this coming Saturday Jan 8. As a result the class will most likely be a short one to make room for the test.

The weather report says sunny skies and a high of 60°. Which is just about perfect for that much exercise.

Hope to see you all there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!!

I'm posting baby New Year's picture to remind people of what he stands for. A sense of renewed spirit that 2011 will bring health, happiness and prosperity.

Let's all share that abundance together and with our friends, family, loved ones and colleagues.