Peter Clarke was a senior instructor of jujutsu and pencak silat at the Jan de Jong Self Defence School. He has since gone on to develop his own style of jujutsu which he calls Tsutsumi Jugo Ryu and which he is teaching nationally and internationally (see www.jujutsu.net). Peter was one of my instructors and is the only instructor other than Jan de Jong who I requested to assist teaching in order to learn from. In my opinion he was the best practitioner of my 20-plus-year era at the school. We later became fellow instructors and I now count myself fortunate that I have the opportunity of being able to discuss my ideas with one of the more thoughtful practitioners in terms of theory and practice.
I sent a first draft of my chapter on stances to Peter for his comments. I did so with some degree of concern as I now fully appreciated Ernest Hemingway's dictum, 'all first drafts are shit.' Peter's comments, when we did discuss the chapter, were (a) well researched, and (b) not sure what I was trying to say. I agree.
This book is evolving. Given my professional background I am very aware of the benefits of planning. The courses I've undertaken and the research I've done on writing any book reinforces the benefits of planning when writing a book. A former pupil of mine who did regular private lessons with me for more than half a decade, now friend, marketing professional, former journalist, and published author also discussed and advised on having a plan when writing this book. I now understand; how can I plan when I don't know what I don't know? My research on the subject matter often reveals so much which has hitherto never before been considered in the context of the martial arts let alone in the context of any discipline interested in the practical aspects of interpersonal violence. Each chapter evolves, and with each chapter my book evolves.
I had an answer for Peter when he provided his comments. When researching my chapter on the difference between throwing techniques and takedown techniques I'd come across the work of Attilio Sacripanti. He is, among other things, the Chair of Biomechanics of Sports at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and author of the 2010 published Advances in Judo Biomechanics Research. When providing a very interesting analysis of the different classifications of judo nage waza which have been proposed by various individuals over the past 130 years, he explains that the classification of these techniques is 'for an easier understanding and useful systematic study.' This has become the guiding principle in the writing of my book:
Guiding principle of my book: To facilitate the understanding and study of the tactics and techniques of the martial arts.
If what I'm writing is interesting but does not facilitate the understanding and study of the tactics and techniques of the martial arts - I lose it. Peter was the one who 'motivated' me to find out why classification is important. When discussing the ideas I had on the differences between throwing techniques and takedown techniques, he'd sceptically ask, 'why? Who cares? What does classification do to help the average punter who is only interested in learning how to do the technique?' Obviously not verbatim. I intuitively knew it was important, but Peter's comment caused me to go in search of an answer to why classification facilitates the understanding and study of the tactics and techniques of the martial arts. And an answer I did find. An answer which goes beyond my wildest dreams of facilitating an understanding and study of the tactics and techniques of the martial arts.
I am acutely aware that the blogs todate which have been posted do not contain information which facilitates your understanding and study of the tactics and techniques of the marital arts. Ok, 'Wax On Wax Off' does. I am currently trying to juggle the imperatives of encouraging interest in my work and not revealing too much until my book is actually published. I subscribe to the emotional contract I am attempting to establish with the readers and followers of my blog, so, the next blog will contain information that will be aimed at facilitating your understanding and study of the tactics and techniques of the martial arts. I think I'll publish a post on the relatively new science, Injury Science, and how it facilitates the understanding and study of the martial arts. And how it blows away all previous attempts at explaining striking and kicking techniques in terms of physics.
Until next time.