Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Kajukembo Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the second day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the third day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me three wrist locks, two for flinching, and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the fourth day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the fifth day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me FIVE KICKS IN THE GROIN, four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the sixth day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me six backfists, FIVE KICKS IN THE GROIN, four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the seventh day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me seven painful nerve strikes, six backfists, FIVE KICKS IN THE GROIN, four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the eighth day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me eight mule kicks, seven painful nerve strikes, six backfists, FIVE KICKS IN THE GROIN, four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the ninth day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me nine vicious throat grabs, eight mule kicks, seven painful nerve strikes, six backfists, FIVE KICKS IN THE GROIN, four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the tenth day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me ten assorted bruises, nine vicious throat grabs, eight mule kicks, seven painful nerve strikes, six backfists, FIVE KICKS IN THE GROIN, four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me eleven uppercuts, ten assorted bruises, nine vicious throat grabs, eight mule kicks, seven painful nerve strikes, six backfists, FIVE KICKS IN THE GROIN, four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my Sifu gave to me twelve roundhouses, eleven uppercuts, ten assorted bruises, nine vicious throat grabs, eight mule kicks, seven painful nerve strikes, six backfists, FIVE KICKS IN THE GROIN, four hip throws, three wrist locks, two for flinching and a stiff punch in the kidney.


Still want to try Kajukembo?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Ground Game

We did some ground fighting today and despite what your lovely lady has told you, size matters. I was paired up with my buddy, David who is much smaller than me. I'm 6'3" and 230 pounds. He's 5'8" and 200 pounds (he should be 160 - 170 but he's working on that). Today, David learned why there are such things as weight divisions in the sporting arts. He physically couldn't get his legs around me to get into the guard position. I don't have a huge waist or anything, but his legs simply weren't long enough to lock his ankles behind my back. I, on the other hand, was able to do so with ease. Couple that with the fact that me just laying on him was making it extremely difficult to breathe and he learned that the ground is the last place he wants to be with someone my size.

Lucky for him, we're doing Kajukembo not Jujitsu or a sport version of MMA.

In Kajukembo, we're not training for an extended ground game with attempts to submit the opponent as you would in Jujitsu. That sort of ground fighting is great for the ring where there are rules and a referee to keep the opponent's buddies from jumping in. In the real world, however, while you're rolling around on the ground, your attacker's friends are grabbing a stool or just plain stomping on you to smash your head in.

Our intent is to know enough ground fighting to get out of the situation and back to our feet as quickly as possible. Since we're not restricted by any rules of engagement in a true self-defense situation, David was able to soften me up with a few groin strikes (we wear cups but it still isn't pleasant) enough to reverse the mount and get out. As they say, "it's not dirty fighting, it's effective self-defense."

All in all, it was a fun workout. I look forward to some more ground training in the future.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beginnings

I started Kajukembo about three months ago, training under Sifu Jeff Grant.

As a White Belt, I'm focused mainly on learning technique, building muscle memory* and strength, and the fundamentals of the art. In Kajukembo, as in all martial arts, the fundamentals can seem boring and pointless until you learn how they fit into the grand scheme (see The Karate Kid; "Show me paint the fence."). For example, the Palama sets (also known as Forms or Pinions and similar to Kata in other martial arts) seem like a dance of sorts until you see how they form the foundation of advanced techniques later. You would never perform Palama 1 (http://www.youtube.com/user/burtvickers#p/u/52/T8BCsZnvzbM) in a real self-defense situation but by performing these motions repeatedly and fluidly, they become second nature and just seem to happen when the situation arises.

I look forward to sharing my journey in Kajukembo with anyone who cares to listen, but mostly this blog is for me to work through thoughts on the techniques and value of Kajukembo. If I can actually bring myself to keep up this blog, I hope it will serve as a guided tour through my learning of a practical martial art for the modern age.


* For all you pedants out there, I realize that muscles don't have memory; the brain does. I'm using a commonly used term that works as short hand for the process of ingraining certain actions into the subconscious so they can be performed without thinking. You can go back to arguing over whether "invaluable" or "valuable" is more correct now.