Ikazuchi Dojo is the headquarters of the world-famous aikido master, Matsuoka Haruo Sensei. The dojo’s co-founder, Josh Gold Sensei, invited Dr. Cheng down several months ago to teach a workshop on small blade techniques. The response from that first workshop was so strong that a second workshop was scheduled, building on concepts taught in the first one, reviewing prior concepts & techniques while introducing new ones.
While teaching at such a high-caliber martial arts school can certainly be stressful, Dr. Cheng’s small blade training is primarily from his training with the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto. Covering the fundamentals of footwork, blade strategy, and the Illustrisimo cinco teros response drills, the aikidoka who packed the mat were taught reproducible skills in bite-sized chunks, delivered mostly within the context of game-play. Game play within a set of limited rules allows the participants to learn & develop combat-applicable concepts and practice them on a live partner while minimizing the risk of injury and/or bloodshed.
This second 2 hr workshop covered reverse grip concepts and drills, many of which are highly applicable to the wildly popular karambit. Using Cold Steel polypropylene trainers and polished aluminum PM Training Blades, as well as the traditional Japanese-style wooden tanto, students were able to feel the techniques, positions, and strategies at work.
As participants grew increasingly familiar with the drills and responses, they were able to employ the entrances & counters of Filipino Kali and transition smoothly into the controls, locks, throws, & pins of their mother art.
For those who missed this event, Dr. Cheng is in the process of confirming dates for the next workshop with Josh Gold Sensei and will advise as soon as the dates & times have been finalized.