Monday, November 30, 2009

Update on Training

Due to some hand injuries, I bought ten pairs of lacrosse gloves from ebay. ($80 gloves for about $15 apiece after taxes and shipping) Very well made, great padding with kevlar as well. We've also found that the pvc swords don't stand up to hard sparring. I've made a couple of wood wasters that we slide a piece of pool noodle onto. These take the abuse and we can still hit fairly hard, (with the gloves and head gear). Still not where we want to be but we're taking the cheap route for now.

Update on the Joust

Lot's of fun. Two teams with "Knights" from around the world. Jousting, poleaxe fighting, sword fighting, demos, etc.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Jousting Tournement

Tomorrow, some of us are going down to Poway for the "World Joust Tournement". This is an international event sanctioned by the Royal Armories of England. This is full contact and should be a lot of fun to watch. I'll post pictures when I get back!

After the ride

It's time to update. Well, I did the MS Bay to Bay ride and it was great! I didn't make the full 150 miles but I should be ready by next year! The first leg on the 10th was 58.82 miles and on the 11th it was 43.39 miles. A little over 102 miles all together. With the help of friends and family I was able to raise $1,100.00. Our team, "Team Sheriff", raised $23,175.oo and overall over 2 million has been raised this year! This is a great cause and I plan on doing every year possible.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

As time goes by....

I guess I'm just not as talkative as I thought I'd be when I first started this blog. We continue to have class every Saturday morning with few exceptions. We spend the first hour going over technique, drills, etc. The second hour we spar. Long swords, short swords, espada y daga, dagger vs dagger, etc. It's all still with padded weapons and head gear as we figure out armor to wear. We're all cheap and don't want to spend the big bucks yet so we're working on homemade armor. We'll see how that works out, we have some pretty creative people in the group.

I may be missing a few Saturdays coming up because of cycling. Yes, I've taken up yet another hobby. It's keeping me in shape and I'm training for a long ride to help out Muscular Distrophy. Please help out if you can! The ride is Oct 11 &12 and I plan riding the full 150 miles.

I'll try to be more prolific and put more pictures. Practice!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Latest class..with padded armour

Yes, it has been awhile since I last posted. Lots of work, on the job and at home has kept me busy. We've continued to have classes but most of the club are busy as well so new people come and go. Wanting to liven things up, I brought home a "FIST" suit from work. ( We use them in training the recruits with dynamic scenario training where they can strike the person in the suit with plastic batons. (Which still hurt a lot if hit on a non padded spot!) Since we're still using padded swords I thought it would work well. I also brought some padded headgear with eye protection. Dave, Brown, Butterfield and I tried it out. It was a perfect day for wearing the suit. Crisp and windy. It gets hot very quickly in the suit. The FIST suit will take full power punches and kicks but is bulky. I would like to try the "High Gear" ( developed by Tony Blauer. It's lighter and more manuverable but won't take as hard a strike. Thats okay if both people are wearing them as it gives just enough protection. Both suits are expensive though. We're still working on making our own armour to train with wasters and steel swords. We'll get there eventually.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Warrior TV Shows

There are some new shows out that are pretty interesting. History Channel is showing "Warriors" on Thursday night. ( It follows a Green Beret who participates in the study of a particular warrior culture. He finds modern experts in that culture who teach him the weapons and tactics of those warriors. Very interesting.
Tuesday night on Spike TV we have "Deadliest Warriors". ( It matches up two different warrior cultures and using modern technology, decides which warrior would win. All very subjective of course but fun to watch none the less.
Pitting ancient warriors or even "super heroes" against each other has been an hobby of many. Even video games are into it and the possabilities are endless. My youngest son would grill me constantly over who would win between the Hulk and Spiderman, the Preditor and a Ninja, etc. After each discussion, I would explain that despite the powers of each, it's the individual skill of the fighter that usually wins the fight. Fun to talk about. I'm still waiting for the holo deck to actually try it out!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reclaiming the Blade

As you can see, I've put in a link to a DVD called "Reclaiming the Blade"
Reclaiming the Blade celebrates the culture and craft of swords and the Hollywood legends and academic warriors who wield them. The film explores the Medieval and Renaissance blade; a profound and beautiful object handcrafted by master artisans of old. Today, much of the history of the sword remains cloaked under a shadow of legend. Reclaiming the Blade highlights today’s cinematic tribute to the beauty and necessity of the sword through films such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Chronicles of Narnia and The Pirates of the Caribbean. If you pre-order, you can get a free T-shirt! I've ordered mine - you should too!

Miles Spiritium

A friend of mine from the dojo has started an interesting blog that is martial arts related. I would highly recommend checking it out and reading his posts. Kerry is a godan (5th Dan) in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu and is very skilled with a wonderful understanding of taijutsu. Check it out at

Monday, February 2, 2009

Why I study the martial path.

I was talking with Mark, one of the group, and he was telling me about when he first started making knives. He was working with an experienced knife maker who asked Mark why he was getting into the art. Mark expalained that it was something he'd always felt drawn to - as if it was a calling. I feel that way about the martial arts. When I first saw Karate, I was a geeky 12 year old who was more into reading than anything else. The movement fascinated me and I started training with Mr. Kanahele. From then on, wherever I moved, I found someone to train with. It is a calling and a way of life. It can be difficult to weave training into the real world of family, work, church and all the other responsabilities that are part of life. I just can't imagine not training. I train and I teach. I feel everyone should be able to defend themselves and others who need their help. I like the quote by Robert Humphrey and used by many in the Bujinkan:
Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there.
Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there.

Why do you do what you do? My wifes calling is to be a doctor. She knew this from childhood. Are you doing what you are called to do? If not, why not?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Three Days after Surgery

The weather was nice and as long as I kept the sling on, my shoulder didn't hurt, so I figured why not have class?

We had a good turn out although they came at different times. Aaron Miller shows up early so he can get some practice in before he goes to work. A visiting missionary, Elder Huntbach, was his workout partner.

I use the padded swords especially for beginners so they can learn proper form and if they hit too hard, no damage to their partner. We're working on getting protective headgear and even armor. While we're working on getting the appropiate fencing gear, I've been looking at using moto-cross helmets and armor. My neighbor is a welder and we're going to make a wire mesh to fit where a visor would be on a normal helmet. If that works, we can strengthen the helmet with ABS strips and even make a neck apron. One of our group is looking at making suits of armor from ABS.

One of our regulars, Scott Hathaway and a visiting friend were working with bokens (wood samurai swords) and got a little sidetracked on what I was teaching the rest of the class. Here you see the results of no headgear. Just a little ding on the forehead but it could have been worse. Proper protection and good control are very important! One step at a time, next class I think we'll review the pell and controlled strikes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Today I had surgery on my left shoulder, consequences of an injury five years ago. I tore the labrum where the biceps tendon connects. The county (LA County-my employer) finally approved the repair since it wasn't getting better. Luckily, the injury was on the job so I'm taking two weeks to recover. Maybe tomorrow I'll type with two hands! While waiting for approval, I was trying to build up my shoulders with Clubbells and circular strenght training. I even entered the first RMAX fitness challenge. The exercises were helping a lot but I still had trouble with pushing out or in. Shortly after I finished the fitness challenge, I was injured at work again. This time with a sternoclavicular dislocation. My right clavicle came off my sternum! I felt like my warrenty had expired! After two surgeries, that was repaired. When I'm done with rehab for the latest surgery, I'll start up with the clubbells again. A lot of the movements are great for sword work training.
I won't be using a sword for a few weeks but I can still supervise the training.