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Tanto & Tanbo-Jitsu Course with Sensei Simon Oliver 7th Dan

On Sunday 19th February, four of the CFTS instructors committee (Senseis Dan and Steve Young and Senseis Simon and Pam McMahon) went to train with JKR-UK Chief Instructor Sensei Simon Oliver, 7th dan.

Sensei Oliver has been training in martial arts for over 50 years. He has studied in Japan and Okinawa under various instructors including Nakayama Sensei of the JKA, Konishi Soke, plus masters who came over to the UK such as, Asano Sensei, Yamazaki Sensei, Enoeda Sensei and English instructors such as Sensei Terry O’Neill and Sensei Dave Hazard.

The seminar began with Sensei explaining the benefits of training weapons such as rubber vs dull metal vs wooden knives and how to train them effectively as well as a brief introduction to the tanbo (short stick) that would form the second part of the session. We began with almost what you would call kihon, looking at basic attacks with a knife from a hidden position, these focused on using various clock points to perform tsuki (thrusting or stabbing attacks) and was then followed by slashing attacks. We performed those from short range and were moving in on each attack.

After this we paired up and practiced each of the attacks we had just done on a partner who stood there whilst we performed them. This was followed up by dealing with hidden blades, visible blades by closing distance and controlling the limb that was either hidden or held the weapon into a takedown and disarming. A threat was next on the agenda and this again focused on disarming the opponent, we used footwork to enable this to take place. To finish off this section of the seminar we had a slashing attack from our periphery, closing distance using juji uke, controlling the limb and then disarming and counter strikes.

The tanbo session began similarly to the tanto session with us performing some kihon attacks. We then paired up again and performed these kihon attacks on a partner with great care so as not to cause injury. We looked at attacking joints and limbs as the purpose of the tanbo is limb destruction. Once we had blocked the attack, which is how we might describe it but Sensei spoke about attacking their weapon with ours, we followed up with choke hold and takedowns.

To end the seminar we recapped our tanto work from the first session before Sensei thanking everyone for their attendance and a group picture. Throughout the session Sensei Oliver spoke about his experiences training in Japan and Okinawa, his working life and training in the UK as well as history, humour and a relaxed atmosphere. The session went by all too quickly and I look forward to training with Sensei again.

Sensei Dan Young


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