Monday, July 25, 2011

Seminar in Oklahoma

This past weekend the Windson Dojo in Oklahoma city hosted J.W. Bode to teach a session on aikido from his unique police tactical background. I was attended by many of the usual suspects of the growing Kaze Uta Budo Kai scene.

I just wanted to write a few quick notes about some of t he people and experiences, to start getting my head back into writing and blogging.

J.W. Bode

He was the featured presenter at the seminar. Much of the material he covered was the same as when he visited us in March, it was a good refresher. Basically he has shortened release motions, and ends them all in control positions. I feel that this slight shift in methodology is a good move for the kata. We also started exploring the notion that if you understand release motions, you have enough material to start doing some valuable randori. Bode Sensei was his usual charming self. Rather than saying he is a martial artist, I believe him to be a strategist, in the way Musashi viewed swordsmanship. Every release motion had correlations to arrest, squad movement and military strategy. Good stuff.

JW is a good friend.

Nick Ushin Lowry

Our host was laid back and chill this session. Often he shoulders much of the long session teaching. This time, he chilled out and did not even put a uniform on. He spent time filming and playing host. I feel the big lesson to learn from Nick is how to run a loose organization. He built a lovely dojo, and invited people to come play. He has a place where we come together, exchange and play. Minimal politics.

Nick did get into a conversation with Bode about Judo foot sweeps. Nick threw me a few times harder than I have been thrown in a good while. It felt like my feet were surprised by an ice patch. The throw wasn't hard, per se, but I accelerated towards the Earth due to gravity and girth. Bam. Nick has wicked sweeps.

Nick is one of my best friends. I love that guy.

Patrick Parker

Patrick Parker from the Mokuren Dojo and Blog drove 14 hours up to the session. I didn't get to play with him too much, but I love it when I see him at a session. For a fact he has a damn cool southern accent. It is not a yokel one either, seeing how he is a reader and all.

I did get to briefly show him a ukemi/sacrifice drill we have been working on in our dojo. He saw it and instantly did it better than me. He gots some skills that guy.

We did not get to have our second randori off for glory. I assume he backed down this time due to my awesome mohawk. He is often intimidated by stunning fashion and good looks.

Patrick is damn cool, despite being wrong about something he wrote one time. (I don't remember what) I consider him a good friend and a true scholar in our field.

Jack Bieler

Jack is the Kaze Uta Budo Kai sword and stick maven. He moves cool, with grace and poise. I watched him for a while teaching a separate iaido session and it made me envious of his skills with the art form. He looked exacting, focused, meditative and dynamic. Neat stuff.

We did a good long session of release motions where we gave each other a lot of problems. The one thing that stuck out as we got increasingly physical intense, we talked casually about topics. There was an odd separation of intensity that even thought there were difficult training problems going on, there was an over riding internal 'cool' going on. Physical training need not be an ego or stressful issue.

Jack is always fun, plus he has a cool mustache. Only regret this session with jack is that I did not get to drink a beer with him.

Jack is a great guy and I am looking forward to when he invites himself down for a seminar.

Damon Kornele

He attended this event.

George Spriggs

I had long heard of this man who I finally met just last year. He taught a interesting session with his friend Daniel about thinking about aikido differently. He was full of ideas, for sure. He is one man I wouldn't want to tangle with.

He tackled me when I was trying to to leave the mat. I was hoping he was going to teach me something, but much to my surprise he started picking my brain and stealing my secrets. I was impressed at how open this high ranked artist was to learning different ways of moving and thinking. Although he far outranks me he still is learning and I was honored that he enjoyed some of the strategies I have been developing.

I hope George can make it to Austin sometime this year. I am looking forward to making this guy a close friend.

John Boone

My long time friend, and new member of my dojo. We drove up to Oklahoma together and discussed strategy, military tactics and aikido. I laughed so hard and almost passed out on the drive back.

Missouri College guys

I loved meeting these guys. I had some nice randori with several of the guys and they were all nice and skilled. I hope to get invited out there sometime.


  1. Good to hear ya'll had fun.... just wanted to ammend your blod so it was actually correct.

    It should read; "Damon Has Game"


  2. I laughed my ass off at the Damon entry! You gots mad blog skillz!