Are There Kata or Forms to Learn in CSFS?

January 16, 2012

Are there “kata” or forms to learn in CSFS?


No, there are no sets of 38 or 108 kata/forms or even 5 Fist Sets like in more traditional styles of martial arts. Why not? Here is an example:


In White Lotus Kenpo (and Kenpo is a very good MA btw) there is a form called “Thunder and Earth”. The attack is a straight arm choke or grab while the defense is to clap your hands together (thunder!) as you thrust your arms up (heaven!) in a triangle shape to free yourself of the attacker’s hands, then you bring both the attacker's hands down and yours (earth!), and then the defender applies a hammer-fist followed by an elbow strike.


The problem with a CSFS student practicing this as a set form for hours on end is this: what if, after you bring the attacker’s hands down, he finds himself in the perfect position to shoot in for a take-down? (CSFS principle of striking from wherever you find yourself) Now you are either off balanced or fighting to keep your balance and the opportunity to use that hammer-fist and elbow is now gone!


Rather we use flow drills in CSFS so that students can learn how to transition from one individual technique into another, and another, and another… Sparring or actual self-defense is a chess match and your opponent may not be playing with the same chess strategy as you so it makes no sense to stick with one kata or forum when your attacker does not know the pre-arranged reaction that you would expect when doing a kata with a student in the same school/style. After you learn individual techniques, it is better to spend your time learning how to act/react/flow with a person who is not using the same techniques as you rather than to waste hours on elaborate sets of 25, 50, 100 movements.


Note: When you learn sets of 5, 8, 10, and 12 angles in class, do not mistake these as techniques or kata because they are not. They are there to simply show you avenues or paths to enter in an effort to strike the body.


How To Make A Chinese Wand For Travel

October 30, 2011

At 48"-50" the Chinese Wand can be a bit large for traveling but I have found a cheap and easy way of making a take-down model.

You will need:

A length of 3/4" dia. PVC conduit pipe with connector end (I use the Carlon brand as that is what the local hardware store sells)
2 1" Vinyl Leg Tips (I get mine from Walmart and they are sold in a four pack)
A saw (The finer the teeth the smoother the cut)
A mitre box (not required but ensures a straight cut

How to make it:

One end of the conduit pipe will h...

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The truth about the use of the "cudgel" in old books.

August 20, 2011

A Little Word History: The use of the word "cudgel" does not always mean "Shillelagh" in historical books as some writers have stated. It is rather an English term for a heavy stick or a club used with the purpose of hitting. It is therefore a culturally neutral term used by English authors. Today we would more often use the terms "stick" or "club" rather than "cudgel". An old English author would often use the term "cudgel" to mean any stick that a person was using for striking regardless of...

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The Stick Weapons of CSFS

August 12, 2011

There seems to be some misunderstanding as to the weapons we use when people see our photos: "Is that a Shillelagh?", "Is that a Filipino stick?"...Yes and no to both and so much more. So today's blog should clear up some of the questions.

Walking Stick

Our main weapon is the 3' walking stick (actual size depends on the height of the user and/or personal preference, for example at 5' 10" a 2 foot stick would have me bent over like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame and therefore be very ineffective as...

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Training For Life

January 24, 2011

At our last class we had a new student join us who had experience in Capoeira; while this Afro-Brazilian art with it's hand-standing spinning kicks and dance movements may seem at first to be quite different than the weapon based* stand up stick fighting we do at CSFS, it was actually quite fun to share the similarities between the two arts with this new student. And therein is one of the "secrets" of the martial arts: a new student is not necessary a new martial artist.

However, one of our sp...

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Never Stop Learning

November 26, 2010

I have trained in Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu but in such a way that traditional and modern techniques were blended together to allow for effective self-defense against modern attackers who may not be using the same style as you are. Although I do admire the old techniques and the history behind them, I try to focus most of my limited time training on those techniques that will work with the common attacks we read about in the media and see on the news.

Up to now I've been aware of many other martial a...

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The Tai Chi-Jujutsu Connection

November 12, 2010

Two blog posts ago I wrote about Jujutsu and Jeet Kune Do (or JKD for short). JKD is a relatively modern "style" or system and therefore it is quite natural that Bruce Lee would incorporate aspects of other styles besides Wing Chun into his JKD. But what of the ancient Chinese system of Tai Chi and the comparatively old Japanese Jujutsu? What could a style known for slowness and flowing movements have in common with a style known for fast and bone breaking movements?

To answer that, could you ...

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Masters and Grandmasters

October 29, 2010

It seems anyone today can start their own style and become a Grandmaster, and books and DVDs are all over the place from Master soandso and Master what'shisname.

Just what does Master and Grandmaster mean?

The best answer that I have found is this: one who teaches martial arts to beginners, is a teacher (various countries have their own word for "teacher"); one who teaches teachers is a Master, and one who teaches Masters is a Grandmaster.

I really like the idea of a Master being one who teaches...

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Was Jujutsu a Part of Jeet Kune Do?

October 29, 2010

My parent art is Jujutsu, but I like to look at all arts for there is nothing new under the sun as King Solomon was fond of saying.

There is debate in the Martial Arts world as to just what is JKD. While I won't get into it much I will say that if Bruce Lee was doing it, then it was JKD.

So, was Jujutsu part of JKD? Yes! Dan Inosanto was a student and now teacher of JKD; not only that, but while some people only trained within the confines of the classes held in Seattle, Oakland, and Los Angele...

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Beware the Martial Art DVD!

October 25, 2010

Beware the Martial Art DVD? What does that mean? Does it mean that I think you can't learn from a DVD? No, you can certainly learn aspects of a martial art from a DVD, although you get the best results from attending a martial art class.

The "beware" is about those DVDs that were originally filmed in VHS format and then years later are re-released in DVD format without any editing.

Tonight I watched a Small Circle Jujutsu DVD from Black Belt Magazine Video and I knew right away that I had a VH...

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