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This Month

Here’s what the Hombu is teaching this month.

It’s important to remember that the lessons linked to below are only a starting point, and that there is so much more great learning content to explore from all of our instructors.

May and November

Level 1 – Earth

Tai-hodoki Front waist-grasp “cowboy tackle”
Principle: Exploit the “gift to you” of his momentum to move him into unbalance

  1. Aggressor crouches and charges in to tackle you around the waist
  2. Straighten your arms and flex your knees, jump back with his advance – find and keep your stability!
  3. Hammer down on his back and head with descending elbow strikes, shouting the order, “Stop it!”
  4. Strike him in the face with knees and push him away

Te-hodoki 3 Cross-side grab defense (his right to your right)
Principle: Skillfully applied little bones overpower bigger bodies

  1. Recognize aggressor’s jerking right hand grab at your right wrist
  2. Flex your knees and shove down and pull up to free your trapped wrist or straighten his grabbing arm
  3. Hammer down on his forearm or hand to free your wrist, shouting the order, “Stop it!”
  4. Swing toe or shin kicks or heel stamps to leg or torso
  5. Attach your arm to your ribs and pull away with defense-ready posture – “Back off!” – Eyes on attacker!

Level 2 – Fire

“Fire” slip & slap hit outside leading-hand
Principle: Vectoring – glancing blows from angle position – redirects straight forward power

  1. Advance into attacking fighting posture
  2. Slip outside attacker’s leading left hand jab with right cross outside slap
  3. Hit and push through with left backhand strike to triceps as you move forward past his arm
  4. Jam his left arm in place and cross punch with rear right fist to triceps and right knee to hip or thigh.

Shi-ho keri 4-directional kicking; front, side, back, cross
Principle: Intercepting – hit his movements hard as they begin – more easily stops movement
Throw a succession of kicks at assailant targets positioned in front, sides, behind, and across.

Forward takedown – Ganseki-nage
Principle: Fall away with acceleration when pushed

  1. Assailant reaches or pushes straight toward your chest
  2. Deflect his left arm inward with a right push on the outside of his left forearm
  3. Continue your right hand over his left forearm and then up from beneath his left shoulder to lock him up
  4. Turn and face same direction as aggressor, tripping him with your right leg in front of his legs
  5. Twist and project forward to send him forward and down on his chest.

Level 3 – Wind

Wind evasive strike defense outside heavy straight punch

  1. Rock into evasive fighting posture, flexed knees and light on your feet (hira no kamae),
  2. Left smack and slip outside the attacker’s right punch and hit with right palm heel to chin
  3. Your right knee strikes his right knee to knock the attacker to the ground
  4. Pull back with right arm hook inside his right shoulder to pull him to the ground.
  5. Resume guarded evasive fighting posture in preparation to flee or continue to defend.

Mu-sha-dori Reach over elbow and scoop forward shoulder lock

  1. Aggressor grabs you by the arms or sleeves of your jacket
  2. Pull your right side back, straightening his left arm and disrupting his balance
  3. When he pulls you back into position, if your hand is on the inside of his arm…
  4. Step forward with your right foot and press your right palm against the inside of his left elbow
  5. Push down, inward, and up to scoop his arm into a bent elbow lock

Outward swinging spinning backlist strike (or heel hook kick)
Front shoulder drops back and then flies forward with a spinning backhand strike.
OR… Rear foot shifts in back of front foot; front foot swings around and in with back of heel
Back-hooking strike or kick defense

  1. Attacker throws front kick or “heel hook” kick …or big back-swing hammer-fist strike
  2. Slip or drop inside the radius of his swing with elbow to chest or drop down to punch knee …
    or try from hands and knees on ground against aggressor

Level 4

DAN-SHI – “Blink-of-an-eye finger-snap” or “Bullet finger”
Defense against lapel grab and punch attack by going angularly off-line and capturing the adversary’s arm for a strike, kick, and wrist lock take-down. Surprise the aggressor by forcing him to reposition and create his weakness.

  1. Aggressor grabs your right lapel with his left hand and punches with his right.
  2. Cushion his left fist with your right palm and back up angularly into left ichimonji no kamae with a left strike inside his right arm.
  3. Drive a left boshiken thumb strike to his right upper ribs or shoulder.
  4. Kick down to his left knee or up to his left ribs with your right foot.
  5. Twist clockwise (right) with left omote-gyaku wrist lock, forcing him to his back.
  6. Finish with a left stamp kick to the ribs.

DAN-SHU – “Blink-of-an-eye hand move” or “Bullet Hand”
Defense against sleeve grab and punch attack by going angularly off-line and capturing the adversary’s arm for a strike, kick, and wrist-lock take-down. Surprise the aggressor by moving with him to make his positioning his weakness.

  1. The aggressor grabs your right sleeve cuff with his left hand.
    Back up angularly into left ichimonji no kamae, locking your right hand over his left with a counterclockwise wrap

  2. He punches at your face with his right fist.
  3. Strike defensively with your left fist to the inside of his right arm.
  4. Immediately rock forward on your left knee with a left shuto strike to his left temple or neck. Make the defensive counter-strike and shuto one continuous flowing circle while locking his arm with your right hand.
  5. Maintain a wrist lock or arm bar on his left with your right, follow with a right heel stamp kick to his left knee, forcing him to his seat.
  6. Kick his left side with a right kick.

2nd to 3rd Degree

Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu Joryaku Kata Ke-Oh 梟鷗
Win by shocking the aggressor with an attack against his vulnerable hands, which he considers aggressive weapons. Once the adversary is startled, do not let him get the chance to regroup and regain the initiative.

  1. The aggressor grabs your lapels with both hands.
  2. Strike down on the backs of his gripping hands with double shikanken hits.
  3. At the same time, swing your right leg up for a shin kick to his crotch.
  4. He continues with a right lunging punch.
  5. Drop back with a left defensive strike to the inside of his right arm.
  6. Step forward with right urashuto strike to his right temple
  7. Finish with a left heel stamp kick to his midsection.


  1. The aggressor grabs your lapels with both hands.
  2. Apply tearing grabs to the undersides of his triceps or fingertip pressure to the forearm muscles.

Modern Variation of Ke-Oh

  1. The aggressor grabs for your lapels or throws a quick punch.
  2. Strike down on the backs of his moving hands with “doorknocker” shikanken hits.

Downward vertical sword slash cut Ju-ji no kata
Counter horizontal cuts with vertical, and vertical with horizontal. Learn to fit an attack with your positioning and timing so that the aggressor’s strong points suddenly become open weaknesses.

  1. Aggressor cuts across from his left to right with a horizontal sword stroke
  2. Leap back, allowing the sword to miss your body
  3. Step in with your right and push your sword down with a vertical cut
  4. Keep walking to your right, past the aggressor and pull the sword horizontally across his neck.