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Thread: The Dojo and the Range

  1. #1
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    May 2005
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    Sep 2015
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    Default Reishiki

    Since you started off by quoting Ellis, I will respectively add to this topic by indication to another article he has published:
    The Real Importance of Reishiki in Koryu.

    Reishiki, based on my learning, is first and foremost about weapons handling.

    Holding doors, walking dogs on the left side, mounting horses (with conflicting and same reasons for both sides) you hold your fork and knife at the "kings table"......These are all about weapons handling and safety.

    I have trained with people wound too tight, and not tight enough. Resihiki as a basis for managing the training hall or ground establishes a parameter and perimeter around, during, and after training. Training with real and practice weapons allows for good practice. One without the other is incomplete - not every time, no matter what, but simply in any ongoing practice for application. Without an application, it is just a game. Without fun, it is doomed to being counterproductive and unsustainable. We all know people who are in a situation "red:, or "dark yellow" alert all the time. They die young, one way or another. Martial training is for survival.... as in, "first things first". Hypersensitive and insensitive are both problems.

    So, set up some etiquette, recognizing it as purpose driven. Relax and smile, because tense fascia and muscles inhibit combative productivity. Create/foment/allow safe, rewarding, and enjoyable (in the context of achieving purpose) mindset or demeanor to training environments. Gun, knife, castle dogs, and the sword can kill. Being careful should be less about rules, and more about principles. People who lack principles can learn, or be "weeded out". The idea and application of dojo, or firing line, should be one where there is direct communication, consistent and clear guidelines, and safety....because, that's the point. In my line of work, we always talk about and judge safety culture.

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  5. #3
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    May 2005
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    Absolutely, Jim, my blog post was based on conversations over that article. And thanks for your input.

    Working with weapons - especially live weapons, such as a shinken or live firearm - demands a higher order of comportment. Especially if one ever considers using them, at speed, and with intent, in the world. I don't think we should ever forget that this was the original purpose.

    Without a meaningful practice that allows us to inculcate these ideas in ourselves, we are going to be far behind the curve. In firearms training now we are using the concept of the "Safe Shooter." It's the shooter, the person with the gun, who determines the safe handling of the weapon. This must be the case if the weapon is ever to be carried, drawn, and perhaps even used, again, out in the world. In and amongst people. Range Safety restrictions don't exist outside of a range, so its the shooter that has to be safe.

    Range Safety rules are certainly a necessity. When I do shoot on public ranges, I sometimes see a level of firearms handling and manipulations that is concerning, especially when I may be in the lane next to them. Keeping in mind these are people who ARE following the rules of the range! So rules like not being able to bring an uncased firearm to the line, not being able to draw and shoot from the holster, not being able to move forward and backward, etc. make a lot of sense.

    And looking at their targets, too often I see why those rules must be so strictly enforced.

    This of course doesn't mean we dispense with the Four Firearms Safety Rules. It makes them all the more important. But they have to become second nature in the shooter, and those around know when they are not.

    "Safe Swordsman" equally makes sense.

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