On Saturday, December 2, 2017, the International Karate Kobudo Union joined together for our annual 2017 IKKU Christmas Clinic and Celebration Dinner. The event was held in Dexter, GA and hosted by Kyoshi Kim Blue, Chief Instructor of Suansu Karate Kai. There was a good intimate turnout with approximately 26 attendees for the event. Participants gathered from across the Eastern U.S., including attendees from Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and Maine. The IKKU – International Karate Kobudo Union was represented with participants from 8 affiliated Dojos.
With the focus of this years Clinic being Kobudo, everyone armed themselves with Bo and Sai for the upcoming sessions.
Bo Shodan & Bo Nidan
The morning session was comprised of multiple Bo Kata. Both Bo Shodan and Bo Nidan (also known as Tokumine No Kun) were taught and practiced intensively. For those that had previously been taught these kata, both were both fine-tuned with Soke’s oversight. Soke Ruiz and Hanshi Downton also spent time reviewing the Bunkai associated with these kobudo kata. Various Uke’s took their fair share of knocks and falls in sacrifice for the betterment of the group.
Participants that did not previously have these kata, broke away into smaller groups outside to drill their appropriate Bo Kata(s). As well, some participants spent time working Sai outside to take advantage of the spring-like unseasonal weather conditions. Kyoshi-Sei Larry Griffin invested the time in helping these Bo and Sai groups learn their applicable kata.
The performing arts theater has been historically a very a popular entertainment event in Japan. Kabuki, like many Japanese and Okinawan Arts, has a rich history and traces its origins back to the early 1600s. During that time, the word Kabuki was translated as “unorthodox” or “eccentric”. Throughout the years the theater players were changed from young ladies to young boys and most recently, to groups of adult men which play both male and female parts of the show. Over time the original meaning of the word has evolved to become: Ka (Song), Bu (Dance), Ki (Technique or Skill). Originally Kabuki was focused on short dances, but the art has now transformed into plays and dances, mostly set in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It’s not uncommon to see Kabuki theater performances of Samurai dueling in deadly fight scenes.
The story goes that Soke Shogo Kuniba upon watching a Kabuki Theatre performance admired a portion of the show which featured the Sai. His memory of the performance fueled his desire to develop a functional Sai Kata that mimicked the performance and could then be worked and taught to students. The kata has a memorable opening that mimics the lazy grasshopper stance from the Kabuki theater performance that Soke Shogo Kuniba attended. During the afternoon session of our clinic, Soke Ruiz taught this special kata entitled Kabuki Sai to a group of participants.
Please note that there is another Sai Kata named Namake Inago which formally translates to “Lazy Grasshopper”. Soke Richard Baillargeon taught this Sai kata to Seishin Kai Students back in the 60s. This is not the same kata, and should not be confused with Kabuki Sai. There is also an alternate spelling of Kabuki which is commonly spelled as Kubuki.
Additional IKKU Information
For a full listing of upcoming scheduled sessions please visit our Events Page. Here we showcase our upcoming Clinics, Camps and other opportunities for engagement with the IKKU.
For information about joining the IKKU – International Karate Kobudo Union then please visit our IKKU Registration Page. We welcome new members to our organization and have 6-8 scheduled events each year. This will allow you direct access to Soke Joseph Ruiz, founder of the IKKU and other High Dan Instructors.