Yonkyoku or Spiraling Downward

Yonkyoku or Spiraling Downward At the heart of Taikyoku Budo (太曲武道) is the belief that all martial movements can be subdivided into five themes or kyoku (曲). These themes create the basis for our solo practice, but also act as a sort of filter through which to analyze and incorporate techniques from other martial studies…

Adrift with Amnesia (A Break From Training)

After several years of doing martial arts as many days a week as I could, I stopped. I stopped for several reasons, not the least of which was that my teacher moved his school to the other side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and, without reliable transportation, it was increasingly difficult to get to class….

Leg-Locks are an Effective Violation of Trust

There is an ongoing debate in submission grappling regarding the legitimacy and efficacy of leg-locks, including foot and ankle locks, as a method of submission. Leg-locks are certainly not my specialty, but whenever a certain technique or entire set of techniques is considered controversial, I begin to ask why. Unlike other submissions, leg-locks seem to…

Resolving the Wrong Notes

“It’s not the note you play that’s the wrong note – it’s the note you play afterwards that makes it right or wrong.” – Miles Davis When the doors of Kogen Dojo opened, after a lot of anticipation and hard work, we had a brief moment to step back and really appreciate what we had…

Uki Gatame (Knee-on-Belly): A Position of Options

Taikyoku Budo originated as a set of principles, a different way of looking at martial art techniques and the body skills and mechanics that make those techniques work. The idea, originated by Ellis Amdur, was to give practitioners of the so-called aiki arts, aikido specifically, a set of solo exercises for conditioning the body in…