Training methods – Hakuzan-Kai School of Martial Arts

Training methods

Most training is hands-on, either direct instruction from teacher to student or practicing with another student. We do not memorize sequences of moves; we learn carefully-designed techniques that teach the mechanics of movement. This foundation grows with regular practice and unrehearsed attack-response drills.

Beginners start with a wide range of abilities. Some may have experience in other martial arts or physical activities like wrestling, ballet, yoga, gymnastics, etc. These can be helpful for balance and knowing how to move your body but most of martial arts training happens between your ears.

One of our primary goals is to off-balance the opponent. Striking or grappling is nearly impossible when balance is lacking. That applies equally to both the aggressor and defender. Before we can move someone else, we must be in balance. Learning stance, balance and distance from an attacker creates a good foundation for defending yourself.

The next level is learning some anatomy and physiology to know what to attack. The human body has many vulnerabilities to an empty-handed attack. Some weak points can be pressed or struck. Joints can be hyper-extended.  Airflow and blood flow can be cut off. Jujutsu attempts to take advantage of every weakness. It is up to the practitioner to decide what is appropriate in a given situation.

Pressure point attacks are introduced as students advance through the techniques (to higher levels). Many of the techniques from Hakkoryu can cause extreme pain if that is the desired intention.  Use of power is discouraged and can be counterproductive.

The techniques require precision and repetition but not a great deal of strength when done correctly. Students are encouraged to relax while executing and receiving techniques Hakuzan-Kai is based on the principles of human anatomy, physics and body mechanics. A small number of techniques are used to learn the principles with the idea that the principles can then be applied in myriad ways to respond to an attack. Strikes with the hand are usually done with the edge of the hand or the palm vs the fist because the fist is vulnerable to broken bones. Kicks are mostly below the waist when the opponent is standing. Weapons such as knives, guns and sticks are treated as an extension of the hand so principles learned in bare-handed techniques also apply.

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