Showing posts from December, 2015

A wonderful new review for Essential Jo

I've received an absolutely wonderful New Year's Eve gift from Dr Arnold Rosenstock in the form of a 5 star review of Essential Jo.

Thank you Arnold!

Edit: and a great 5 star review from Josh Fiebig - thanks Josh!

Copyright © 2015 Dejan Djurdjevic

Essential Jo - an official Amazon bestseller!

After making an entry several times this year into the "hot new release" list (but languishing in the top 200 generally), last night "Essential Jo" finally cracked Amazon's Martial Arts Bestseller list overall, reaching at least 46. [Edit: as of 31/12/2015 it is at 33!]

Given that the sales have steadily been increasing from month to month - and the fact that I'm about to release the companion DVD in the next week or two, I have no reason to suspect the situation will change except for the better.  Every single month brings increased awareness and sales.

Either way, I'm officially a bestselling writer!

So much for the two publishers who, after a full year each of wasting my time with indecision, finally rejected my text as "not commercially viable".  (One of them had the gall to write to me recently asking me to review their titles on my blog!)

Anyway, look out for the DVD folks!

Copyright © 2015 Dejan Djurdjevic

Physical prerequisites for grades

Our Wu-Wei Dao syllabus at the Academy of Traditional Fighting Arts contains physical prerequisites for grading.

The first reaction I tend to get from more mature students is one of horror.  I guess that is understandable: the older I get, the less I like the idea of having keep up with 20-somethings.  I guess I feel a bit like some ancient police sergeant having to do an obstacle course in under a certain time.

There are the usual arguments I face - like "I'm learning martial arts skills - not training to be an MMA fighter, a law enforcement officer or soldier.  Why the heck do I need some kind of physical test?"
And the answer is: "You don't." We have plenty of students who train in our non-grading classes - in particular my Chinese arts class.  There we don't have any gradings at all.  I teach certain techniques and coach students in developing their skill in these techniques.  And all of this is done without any reference to a particular physical &qu…

Kata-based defences against combinations

Over the last 2 decades I've noticed an explosion of interest in karate in "bunkai" - applications of karate's kata (forms).  There was a time (in the not too distant past) where karate had stagnated badly.  Kata were practised almost in a vacuum: forms as a series of movements and no analysis on one hand - sparring or two person drills with no nexus to the kata on the other.  This seemed to be the case since karate became popularised in Japan in the 1930s and was diluted for teaching to school kids.  It only got worse in the 1950s and 60s when it spread to the West.

By the 1980s I noticed a few teachers trying to claw the way back to bunkai as the primary source of karate knowledge.  As just one example, Higaonna Morio sensei of goju ryu released his 8mm and later video tapes of kata and applications.  Meanwhile, other teachers, like Hirokazu Kanazawa sensei of SKI shotokan, handled the dilemma in a totally different way, cataloging hundreds of two person sparring …

Blocking the jab

"You can't block a jab - and that shows blocks don't work"

I recently made a video on this topic and I'm surprised by the reactions - especially the private ones: my inbox this morning is full, mostly of some very strongly worded negativity towards what I thought was a fairly honest, unremarkable analysis of the possibilities and limitations of blocking jabs.  I guess people can't seem to understand that a video filmed in class doesn't provide a full analysis of a topic and relies on some background.

I made the video recalling an event that occurred some 20 years ago.  I was training in a gym which had boxers training.  One young trainee there knew I did karate, so he came up and challenged me.  "Blocks don't work," he said.  Then he mimicked a jodan uke and a chudan uke, showing he'd done bit of cursory study in karate.  "You couldn't possibly use these to stop my jab."

I'm going to put aside the obvious absurdity of h…

DVD launch in Perth

Today I launched my 3 new DVDs, Internalising Karate, Bridging Hard and Soft: Vol 1 Fundamentals and Chang Dao: Chinese long Sabre at the Ray Hana's Superstore in Perth WA.

It was great to meet some new people and wonderful to see some old friends too!

Videos now ready for download

And just like that...

All of my 3 new videos have been approved for download and are available from Amazon.  Just click on the links or pictures below! [Note: Amazon have just confirmed that the download option is only for the US and its territories.]

Internalising Karate

Bridging Hard and Soft Vol. 1: Fundamentals

The Chinese Long Sabre: Chang Dao

Three DVDs published today!

Just in time for the Christmas season, I'm proud to announce the publication of 3 of my instructional martial arts DVDs today (one is a re-issue to facilitate a download version which is coming soon).

These are:
Internalising KarateBridging Hard and Soft Vol. 1: FundamentalsThe Chinese Long Sabre: Chang Dao For a description of these DVDs go here!

The direct download versions of the above videos are now available in the US but it will take another week or two for them to become available in other countries.

Copyright © 2015 Dejan Djurdjevic