Violence doesn’t discriminate

Violence doesn’t discriminate, and nor do we.

If you need to protect yourself or a loved one from unavoidable violence, it’s nice to know that the physical universe has your back. The laws of physics (and the principles of TFT) work for everybody, regardless of sexuality, gender identity, genetics, socialisation, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, size, age, health, wealth and dress sense.

There’s only a little over a week left to sign up for the discounted rate to our next TFT Live Training weekend, 1–2 April.

Please feel welcome whoever you are! We’re reaching out to anyone who might end up in harm’s way just because of who they are or where, when and how they live, work or play. We welcome anyone who feels that being able to survive the most critical 5 seconds of their life is a skill worth having.

Register now!

Details

When: Sat 1 & Sun 2 April

Time: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm each day

Place: Bridge Road School, 127 Parramatta Rd, Camperdown

Cost: $495; early bird $395 (pay by Sunday 25 March)

Why learn?

Read Radical therapy for a Good Girl, a post from one of our female students;

also How will you react to unavoidable violence?, a post from one of our male students.

What makes Target Focus Training different?

TFT is an evidence-based program that uses the best research available to empower you to use the most important weapon you possess – your brain. Because surviving a violent encounter requires both the knowledge of what to do, and the will to do it.

And, like learning to ride a bike or swim, once you quickly and easily learn these skills, you never forget them. In the process you gain a true life-skill, one that enables you to survive the most critical 5 seconds of your life.

If you are a busy person with no interest in martial arts who just wants to learn how to survive violence, this weekend is the only training you will ever need.

If you are a serious martial artist, you will be astonished to discover what you’ve never learned before.

This is not just another self-defence primer with a bunch of scenarios and a lot of feel-good nonsense, nor is it cultural or legacy martial arts, or combat sport where you’re safe behind a set of rules and a referee to enforce them.

And it’s not about punching and kicking, or learning how to fight. It has nothing to do with athleticism, size, speed or strength.

Because none of that guarantees you’ll survive unexpected violence.

Restrictions

Maximum 20 attendees

Training is open to participants only — no observers.

Female participants must be at least 16 years old; male participants at least 18 years old.

Register now!

Still not sure?

Call Andy on 0468 490 706 to discuss why this training is right for you.

Every woman has the right to:

  • feel safe and be safe at home, at work and on the street;
  • live, work, travel and socialise without harassment; and
  • hospitalise anyone that attempts to restrict these rights through physical assault!

On International Women’s Day 2017 we affirm every woman’s right to learn to use the tool of violence to save her own life, or the life of someone she loves, in a single weekend.

Our next TFT Live Training in Sydney is the weekend of 1–2 April. As a special concession to gender equality we are accepting male trainees as well! 😉

A participant at a previous weekend commented, “I woke up on Monday morning knowing I had a skill I didn’t have when I went to sleep on Friday night. If I had to protect my family, with their lives in immediate danger, I knew I had the knowledge, the intent and the ability to do whatever it took to keep them safe”.

Register now!

Details

When: Sat 1 & Sun 2 April

Time: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm each day

Place: Bridge Road School, 127 Parramatta Rd, Camperdown

Cost: $495; early bird $395 (pay by Sunday 25 March)

Why learn?

Read Radical therapy for a Good Girl, a post from one of our female students;

also How will you react to unavoidable violence?, a post from one of our male students.

What makes Target Focus Training different?

TFT is an evidence-based program that uses the best research available to empower you to use the most important weapon you possess – your brain. Because surviving a violent encounter requires both the knowledge of what to do, and the will to do it.

And, like learning to ride a bike or swim, once you quickly and easily learn these skills, you never forget them. In the process you gain a true life-skill, one that enables you to survive the most critical 5 seconds of your life.

If you are a busy person with no interest in martial arts who just wants to learn how to survive violence, this weekend is the only training you will ever need.

If you are a serious martial artist, you will be astonished to discover what you’ve never learned before.

This is not just another self-defence primer with a bunch of scenarios and a lot of feel-good nonsense, nor is it cultural or legacy martial arts, or combat sport where you’re safe behind a set of rules and a referee to enforce them.

And it’s not about punching and kicking, or learning how to fight. It has nothing to do with athleticism, size, speed or strength.

Because none of that guarantees you’ll survive unexpected violence.

Restrictions

Maximum 20 attendees

Training is open to participants only — no observers.

Female participants must be at least 16 years old; male participants at least 18 years old.

Register now!

Still not sure?

You can call Andrew on (02) 9380 7170 to discuss whether this training is right for you.

Six pillars and three grounds

O-sensei spoke of the six pillars of aikido: osae waza, shihonage, iriminage, kokyunage, kaitennage and ushiro. But on what do these pillars rest? As we work to define Great Ocean Aikido, I’d like to propose three “grounds” — aiki body, aiki physics and atemi jutsu — as a way of describing our approach to aikido.

Aiki body refers to building the engine that is able to accomplish aikido. We were struck by Wayne Murray Driver’s question some years ago: “what if there is no such thing as good technique, what if there is just good posture?”. Since we started focussing more on developing our own stability and structure we have seen a marked change in our ability to practise kata “effortlessly”.

Aiki physics is about understanding and employing a number of physical states. Primary of these is described by Danny James in the formula ɣΔF (gamma grad F) or “stepwise reduction of force”. This is the basis of the topple, reducing our partner’s power to zero. Incorporating modern physics and biomechanics has brought tremendous insight into how we can be authentically powerful without using strength.

Atemi jutsu is the art of striking: where to strike, what to strike with, and how to use our bodies to greatest effect. We can use atemi jutsu to change violent conflict in our favour from the point of initial contact. O-sensei is quoted stating that in real fighting situations 70% of aikido is atemi and 30% is throwing. Atemi was largely removed from aikido training in the post-war era. We are discovering just how much simpler aiki becomes when we add it back in.

Of course there is a lot of overlap in these concepts and this is why there are three grounds on which the six pillars rest: it takes at least three legs to make a stool.

photo: Simon Russell

Oak tree or bonsai?

Would your aikido survive in the wilderness, or is it a beautiful abstraction that requires a controlled environment?

In this possibly postmodern age of aikido, it is important to take time to unpack our practise and approach. Here is a reflection from Danny James Sensei.

Many of us studying aikido and other asian martial arts are familiar with bonsai, in which beautiful trees are created in miniature over many years. Bonsai are exquisite in detail and desired by japanophiles and appreciators of art alike.

I would suggest that as we develop our skills in aikido (and similar arts) we are creating something just as beautiful. It takes many years of careful nurturing, pruning where necessary, and gentle shaping to create something quite extraordinary.

No matter how beautiful the bonsai is, however, it can never become a mighty oak. It is restricted by artificial limitations, such as the size of the pot, and requires careful tending. It is unlikely to survive outside its high-care environment. In contrast, the great oak can achieve its full potential — assuming it survives the rigours of the wild!

The practice of traditional martial arts has similarities to both the bonsai and the natural tree. The controlled environment of the bonsai can be essential for the development of a thing of beauty growing in a predetermined direction and shape. However, to remain indefinitely in such an environment as a martial artist can be self-limiting. While it’s rewarding to strive for the beauty of the bonsai, there is a danger that we become reluctant to leave the certainty and comfort of the familiar, forgetting that it was only ever a training paradigm. Those that repot themselves into a broader landscape, with a wider view of the art, can continue to grow and eventually approach something of the oak that flourishes in the wild.

Dedicated to my many pots (teachers) of the past and my buddies, Andrew, Jim and John who have held my hand as I have leapt from pot to pot on the journey to sapling.

Happy repotting!

words: Danny James
image: http://www.bonsaiempire.com/ Example of an Oak Bonsai tree, by Walter Pall