DSI UK Spring workshop April 2016


It was Grand National day and whilst many people were out enjoying the sun, beverages and horse racing, a few of us were inflicting pain on our friends, then laughing about it.The DSI Spring Seminar was due to kick the start the season and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Sensei Jon Ryley, Sensei Brian Whatford and Sensie Neil Flowers were up to guide all attendees in the various principles/players to the game as related to the sub-art of Torite Jutsu.

Since gaining their instructor ranks in Torite Jutsu with the DSI last year, Sensei Brian and Neil have gone from strength to strength, gaining a deeper insight into the various nuances of what makes a technique go from average to incredible. Please read on, for a whistle stop tour of the day.

Sensei Brian kicked off the proceedings beginning with the DSI core technique 1: parry, brush, grab followed by a (very light) palm strike to Stomach 4, a release point of the neck. From here you take your opponent’s back, attacking the Bladder meridian/GV/ Kidney and bringing your partner down, safely. The extreme combative nature of such technique does not need much of a disclaimer attached it, but as always, safety for one’s partner was paramount.

Following this, Sensei Brian worked through an application of age uke which was far more useful than teaching it as a ‘block’. The sequence finished with some bunkai/oyo from Naihanchi/Tekki Shodan. The technique was as such: Your opponent strikes with a hook punch, you step in and strike their Pericardium 8 point and punch their centre line. You continue by seizing their arm and striking with age uke to their jawline or neck. Keeping the arm contact on the side of their neck, roll the arm down into the LI 18/SI points a second time, to enable you to encircle the head. Trap their head in the centre of your chest/stomach and grind into Stomach meridian along their jawline, switch hand position and perform a neck twist takedown whilst stepping side ways into kiba dachi.

Many players to the game were used in this sequence to add to the overall efficiency of the technique,and for purely artistic purposes, it is fun to see how many players you can add, although this is not always fun for you partner!

Forty minutes on and it was Sensei Neil Flowers turn to show a brilliant lock flow drill which could be utilised in any martial art. The sequence once again started with the Torite Jutsu core technique 1. You counter attack a punch thrown at you with a standing arm bar to Triple Warmer 11, then roll their captured wrist up and back to go to a figure 4 lock. A great enhancer here is to push down at 45 degrees between index and middle finger knuckles, to takedown. Still with the figure 4 lock on, knee on their head to allow you to transition to a straight arm bar over your leg, similar to the hammer and anvil position from various Filipino Martial Arts. The opponent is then ‘lowered’ down to an arm bar with them lying face down. From here, scoop their head up using the foot furthest away, turn your opponent over and go to omoplata, placing force diagonally over the opposite shoulder. As a painful enhancer, turn their head, by the nose, back to face you. “The head tries to turn from pain,” we were told by Sensei Neil, “don’t let it,” he reminded us.

After a brilliant series of techniques and players from Sensei Neil it was Sensei Jon Ryley’s turn. As with his fellow DSI Instructors, we began with DSI technique 1. From a punch, parry, brush, arm bar. This en transitioned into a hammerfist to their groin/centreline, a head butt to their jawline/cheek, then a sweep their closest leg backwards and stepping through with your lead leg behind their lead front food and a compress, with the knee, to make them fall, follow with a stamp on Spleen 6.

A word of caution: Spleen 6 is an extremely potent point. For those who have an interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Sp 6 is an absolute target of opportunity. Located about 6cm up from the inside of the ankle, it is easily accessed with kicks, stamps or with grinding into the point with the knuckles. Sp 6, often referred to as ‘inner gate’ or the ‘Three Yin Junction’, is an intersection point of the Spleen, Liver and Kidney meridian. This makes it an target of opportunity given the effect it has on the body’s energetic system. It is also listed as one of the 108 vital points of the Bubishi. However, for those who do not adhere to TCM, it is still in exactly the same place and still really hurts when it is attacked!

After we had all had an opportunity to ‘play’ around with this sequence and a few other ‘fun’ techniques, Sensei Ryley discussed with us the importance of personal security, the ‘fight or flight response’ and maintaining your ‘fence’. We were all reminded that physical protection is what we are left with once your self protection skills have failed or cannot be employed. Nobody I was with in that room ever, wants to be involved in a ‘real’ street ‘incident’. Let’s be honest, what normal person would? Awareness, avoidance, escape are the order of the day; the physical skills we were engaged in, are there as a support network when escape is not possible and for me personally, are practised for academic and physical enjoyment, as well as the pursuit of the ever elusive perfection in the application of technique.

Finishing the day in this manner, was a seamless blend between Jutsu and Do, yin and yang, the combative and the aesthetic. Or in modern parlance, the Martial Arts.
Written by Kris Mansfield 2nd Dan KJADSI SPRING

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