Welcome To Our Dojo! - Who We Are, What We Do and What To Expect

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Kodawari Hombu Dojo

Welcome to Our Dojo!

 

 

Who We Are

What We Do

What To Expect

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Kodawari Hombu Dojo

Kodawari Hombu Dojo

If you are reading this post and you are also new to me and the Kodawari Hombu Dojo, then the following post might also be of interest to you for further reading as you have time. Some of the same information here will be duplicated in the following posts. But each one will have a good amount of unique information that may be of benefit to you.

 

 

Kodawari Hombu Dojo

 

NOTE: You should understand that my teaching style is often VERY direct. At times, I even use explicit language…which may offend some people. This teaching style often goes against what many people “expect” from a teacher or instructor. And, sometimes this offends what many people in the West call “the Ego”. If this teaching style is NOT for you then I strongly encourage you to find another teacher that better matches your current needs and expectations.

If the disclaimer above didn’t get your attention, please do read it as it is certainly going to apply here pretty quickly. You have been warned! LOL!

Obviously, my name is Michael Davis and I am the owner of this website as well as the physical Kodawari Hombu Dojo. Since it is probably important to some, I will list my qualifications below and a much more detail bio is also available on this website for those that are interested.

Kodawari Hombu Dojo About Michael Davis

Kodawari Hombu Dojo About Us

Beginning his martial training almost 50 years ago, Michael Davis has spent almost his entire adult life attempting to internalize, add to and propagate the body of knowledge that makes up the principles and techniques of the life preserving combative arts and sciences. Michael has taught or assisted with the teaching of seminars and events in 17 US states and four countries. In addition to training every day martial artists, he has taught members of the US military as well as law enforcement at every level…from local LEOs to Federal Marshalls and US Secret Service agents (protective detail). He has co-authored a martial arts book, written numerous magazine articles that were published internationally as well as appearing in and assisting with the production of martial arts videos and other training materials.

My Qualifications

 

  • Almost 50 years of total martial arts experience, covering Okinawan, Japanese, Chinese and Filipino combative and energetic arts.
  • Godan (五段 – 5th degree black belt) and a renshi (練士) teaching license – Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu (龍精派琉球拳法唐手術).
  • Godan (五段 – 5th degree black belt), Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kobudo (龍精派琉球古武道 – Matayoshi Kobudo – 又吉古武道 – based).
  • Yondan (四段 – 4th degree black belt) and a renshi (練士) teaching license – Matsukaze Aikibudo (松風合気武道)
  • Yondan (四段 – 4th degree black belt), Shotokan Karate-do (松涛館空手道).
  • Sandan (三段 – 3rd degree black belt), Goju-ryu Karate-do (剛柔流空手道).
  • Experienced in Yangshi (揚式), Chenshi (陈氏) and Wushi (吳氏) Taijiquan (太极拳).
  • Extensive training in other Chinese martial arts (中国武術 – Chugoku bujutsu) such as Baguazhang (八卦掌) and Xingyiquan (形意拳).
  • Extensive training in other Chinese energetic arts (気功 – qigong and 內功 – neigong).
  • Highly trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (中药 – Zhongyao) with an emphasis on the combative use of vital points (急所 – kyusho or 点穴/點穴 – dianxue).
  • Highly trained in Traditional Chinese Herbology (中藥學 – Zhongyao Xue).

 

Kodawari Hombu Dojo Side Note

Kodawari Hombu Dojo

Technically speaking, my godan (五段) and renshi (練士) teaching license (kyoiku shogo – 教育称号) is in Ryukyu Kempo (琉球拳法). The “Ryusei-ha” (龍精派 – dragon spirit school) component was added as a prefix to indicate that what I am teaching is my particular interpretation of Ryukyu Kempo. This is not to mean that I have “created my own style”. But, it is meant to differentiate what I currently teach as being slightly different than what my original sensei may have taught me. Any mistakes or inaccuracies are my own and should not reflect negatively upon any of my prior sensei. Additionally, the “karate-jutsu” (唐手術 – China Hand Skills/Science) was added to specifically indicate that components of Chinese martial arts are included in and influence the principles and techniques that I teach. More information in regards to this can be found in the post Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsuI will be expanding on this more soon.

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Kodawari Hombu Dojo

At a 10,000 foot level, the base arts that we teach are Ryusei-ha Ruykyu Kempo Karate-jutsu (龍精派琉球拳法唐手術) and Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kobudo (龍精派古武道).

As indicated in the section above, the “Ryusei-ha” (龍精派 – Dragon Spirit School or Faction) portion of the name indicates that it is our version of both the Ryukyu Kempo and Kobudo.

In particular, we are looking at a specific version of Ryukyu Kempo that teaches a more “original” or “authentic” version of the traditional Okinawan arts as seen prior to the assimilation of the art into the public school system and mainland Japan. More specifically, an art that includes not only percussion type strikes with the hands, feet and other parts of the body (手小 or 当身), as well as grappling (手組 – standing and on the ground), joint locks and breaks (取手 or 取り手) and kata (型). Kata would necessarily include bunkai (分解 – analysis), oyo (応用 – combative applications) and henka (変化 – combative variations of the applications).

It is also very important to note the use of “karate-jutsu” (唐手術). Here we are very clearly showing that we are also including the Chinese influence and development that helped to form the traditional Okinawan arts. In particular, the Hakutsuru-ken (龍精派白鶴拳) or White Crane Fist Arts that developed out of Fujian White Crane (白鶴拳) and, in particular Mínghèquán (鳴鶴拳) which is the Crying Crane Fist (sometimes also known as Calling, Whooping, or Shouting Crane). If you have not read the information on the Hakutsuru-ken that the Kodawari Hombu Dojo teaches, we would recommend viewing the following at your convenience:

We believe that it is this base curriculum (教案 – kyoan) that best represents the individual combative arts and sciences before other influences came to be imposed and changed that art

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The Meiji Restoration (Meiji Ishin – 明治維新) was a highly political event that, essentially, restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 (under the rule of Emperor Meiji) and abolished the Tokugawa shogunate. From a martial arts standpoint, the koryu (古流 – old school or style) or kobudo (古武道 – old martial ways) martial arts were, essentially abolished. Prior to this point, the koryu arts were not open to the general public and were only taught to family and/or clan members via a great deal of secrecy. Rising from that reformation came the gendai budo (現代武道) or modern martial arts (sometimes also called Shinbudō – 新武道 or “new budo). Kenjutsu (剣術) became Kendo (剣道), Jujutsu (柔術) and aiki-jujutsu (合気柔術) became Judo (柔道) and, eventually, karate-jutsu (唐手術 – China hand skills/science) became karate-do (空手道 – empty hand way). One of the main differences in the creation of the various styles that make up gendai budo is a shift away from warfare utility or combative use of the koryu arts to one of self-improvement. The inclusion of the “do” suffix (道). Along with that was the shift in how the gendai budo are performed for recreational and sporting purposes as well as being introduced to the school system. From a combative standpoint, this became a great watering down of the martial arts.
Since there are no written records it is not known definitely whether the kara in karate was originally written with the character 唐 meaning China or the character 空 meaning empty. During the time when admiration for China and things Chinese was at its height in the Ryūkyūs it was the custom to use the former character when referring to things of fine quality. Influenced by this practice, in recent times karate has begun to be written with the character 唐 to give it a sense of class or elegance.Funakoshi Gichin - Founder of Shotokan Karate-do

Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu is most definitely a part of gendai budo (現代武道) arts even though it is based, as best we can, on the more traditional or combative version of the art that existed prior to the Meiji Restoration. The main problem that we, as martial artists, run into is that there are very few written documents that have survived over time and war that clearly outline specifically what was taught on Okinawa prior to the Meiji Restoration.  While we can make some very educated guesses and also work from older source material, it really does fall upon the individual martial artist to work out what the more “original” and combative arts contained.

More important, to us, than being defined as a gendai budo art is being a sogo bujutsu (総合武術)1Sogo (総合) means, total, well rounded, complete, integrated, consolidated, or comprehensive. Bu (武) means martial, military, warrior, chivalry, or arms. Jutsu (術) means technique, skill, science, method, and technology. art. What this means is that our aim is to teach a well rounded and comprehensive martial art that has our roots in the old style(s), but is also an art that can easily be transformed to the combative needs of modern society. In particular, the Kodawari Hombu Dojo is specifically interested in teaching the personal combative arts and sciences. We are not interested in tournaments, competitions, “sparring”, etc. The skills we are looking to impart would be as follows and discussed below.

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Grappling

 

When it comes to most forms of “karate” (Japanese or Okinawan), the various grappling arts are what are missing. In terms of how the Kodawari Hombu Dojo teaches the combative arts (and, in particular Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu), here is how we look at and teach grappling.

There are various forms of grappling. In Japanese, the catch all term that we us is katame-waza2押込技 which simply means grappling techniques or grappling arts/science. And, yes, contrary to popular thoughts among many (if not most) martial artists, karate does containing grappling of all types. Especially when speaking of Okinawan based karate arts.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juyanT_0zoM” /]

 

 

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kv8HkGWo2Q” /]

Within katame-waza, we have two sub-levels of classification. Tachi-waza3 meaning standing techniques or standing arts – 立ち技 and ne-waza4 meaning ground techniques or ground skills – 寝技.

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Striking

atemi-waza Striking Techniques

Kodawari Hombu Dojo

Vital Points

kyusho vital points

Kodawari Hombu Dojo

Kata

kata

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Weapons

Kodawari Hombu Dojo

Energetic Arts

energetics qigong neigong kiko naiko

 

We will be diving into all of the above topics (and more) in the coming days and weeks.

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Ancillary Martial Arts Training and Studies

 

As up to now [1938] karate has only partly been introduced in Tōkyō, people who exercise karate in Tōkyō believe that it solely consists of atemi (punching) and kicking techniques. When talking about gyaku-waza and nage-waza they assume that these only exist in jūjutsu and jūdō. This way of thinking is exceedingly counterproductive with respect to karate itself and can only possibly be attributed to a lack of knowledge. In any case, with respect to the propagation of karate-dō it is exceedingly disappointing that only a small part of the entirety of karate had been introduced in Tōkyō. To those who have the future of karate-dō in mind I recommend to under no circumstances narrow-mindedly hold on to the “nutshell” of a style and a school, but rather to synthetically explore karate as a whole.Mabuni Kenwa - Founder of Shito-ryu Karate-do

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Much was said above. If we boil it all down to the most simple of terms, the Kodawari Hombu Dojo is primarily concerned with teaching the old combative arts that originated on the Okinawan island chain that were also heavily influenced by the Southern Chinese martial arts (primarily from the Fujian or Fukien – 福建 – province). While individual students may have their own personal or private reasons for studying with us, those are secondary to the Dojo itself and would be a natural outgrowth from our combative arts and practices.

What it all really comes down to is “jutsu vs. do”. We are interested, in all aspects of our training, in the “jutsu”. That is, the combative skills or science as opposed to the “do”…which is concerned with using the art(s) as a means of personal enlightenment, development and/or perfection. In other words, to return to the original and base intent of developing personal combative skills.5To be clear, it is true that components of what we teach can lead towards these admirable personal results. Meditation skills, energy work, breathing methods and other skills can help you make large steps towards personal development and personal enlightenment. But, the results of all of those practices are geared towards improving our combative skills as their primary objective. If personal enlightenment, development and/or perfection happen to manifest along the way, then so much the better. But, to be clear, those personal benefits are secondary.

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Kodawari Hombu Dojo

  • 1
    Sogo (総合) means, total, well rounded, complete, integrated, consolidated, or comprehensive. Bu (武) means martial, military, warrior, chivalry, or arms. Jutsu (術) means technique, skill, science, method, and technology.
  • 2
    押込技
  • 3
    meaning standing techniques or standing arts – 立ち技
  • 4
    meaning ground techniques or ground skills – 寝技
  • 5
    To be clear, it is true that components of what we teach can lead towards these admirable personal results. Meditation skills, energy work, breathing methods and other skills can help you make large steps towards personal development and personal enlightenment. But, the results of all of those practices are geared towards improving our combative skills as their primary objective.

About Michael Davis

Michael Davis
Beginning his martial training almost 50 years ago, Michael Davis has spent almost his entire adult life attempting to internalize, add to and propagate the body of knowledge that makes up the principles and techniques of the life preserving combative arts and sciences. Michael has taught or assisted with the teaching of seminars and events in 17 US states and four countries. In addition to training every day martial artists, he has taught members of the US military as well as law enforcement at every level...from local LEOs to Federal Marshalls and US Secret Service agents (protective detail). He has co-authored a martial arts book, written numerous magazine articles that were published internationally as well as appearing in and assisting with the production of martial arts videos and other training materials.
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