Articles and Essays

Hanko — Japanese Signature Seals

Hanko — Japanese Signature Seals

by Steve WeissThere comes a time in the life of an instructor when you are faced with the task of issuing menkyo (rank certificates) to your students. One of the essentials pertaining to this job is the proper use of hanko (seals). The first thing you must do is of course find a qualified seal carver to make the actual seals for you. At this point you will probably wish to have at least three sea...

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Deshi

Deshi

by Lynn ReafsnyderMost of us have used the word deshi, often without any real understanding of just what the term means. Many of us hearing the word think of the usual, poor translation of “student,” but the word really means something much more. In Japanese, the term for student is gakusei and the term for disciple is deshi. There is a difference.Let’s take a look at the kanji ...

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Lessons from the Gorin no Sho

Lessons from the Gorin no Sho

by Robert WolfeIntroductionThe following article has a very long history. It was originally written in 1977 as a paper for a college course examining Japan from the perspective of cultural anthropology. In 1981, it was accepted for publication in The Bujin, and it became my first writing credit. A reworked version later appeared in the second issue of the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, in 1992. I...

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Conditioning Exercises for the Abdominals

Conditioning Exercises for the Abdominals

by Robert Wolfe / Illustration by Rosanne Wolfe“The serpent in the stomach.” For centuries, martial arts instructors have used this colorful metaphor to describe the source of muscle power for most traditional techniques.Working in concert, the muscles of the hips and abdominal region produce the torque that drives cuts, strikes, and throws. Most people today train their midsections f...

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