The Minaputa Dojo

The Minaputa dojo, which is managed by John Collett Shihan has been operational in one location or other since 1975. For most of that time it was known as The Hoitsugan'yukan 抱 壱 含 有 壱 館 which we interpreted as “the Hall (dojo) where many come together for a single purpose, the study of Hyou-ha Bankoku Jujutsu.”

Collett Shihan will be moving to Lyndoch South Australia which is on the edge of the Barossa Valley wine district north of Adelaide in the second half of 2013.

As part of the move he decided to make a break with the past and rename his dojo.

The name chosen is the “Minaputa Dojo" 南 風 歌 道 場 or the “Southern Wind Song Dojo.”

The plan for this dojo is to build it at Collett Shihan's new residence. There is no doubt that there will be a set of wind chimes somewhere nearby and as it will be in the South, those wind chimes will be coaxed into singing by the “Southern Wind,” hence the name “Southern Wind Song.”

Training at the Minaput Dojo

The new dojo will be, as it always has been, a small one with a focus on the training and celebrating the legacy of both Soshi and Master Lea, rather than on gaining rank and promotions.

The jujutsu that came to us from Professor KAM Hock Hoe (Soshi) is a traditional Japanese art that is centred upon kaeshi-waza and nage-waza as natural responses to an attack. In addition a number of other sub-arts are practiced.

The Minaputa Dojo's curriculum includes but is not limited to:

Nage-houshiki Throwing Methods
  Nage-waza Throwing techniques
  Ukemi-waza Safe falling and tumbling
  Kazushi-waza Controlling an assailant's balance
  Aiki Entering to control an assailant
Uke-houshiki Methods of receiving an attack, deflecting and blending
Tenshin-houshiki Footwork Methods
  Kamae Postures and stances
  Ashi-sabaki Footwork
  Tai-sabaki Body shifting
Hazushi-houshiki Methods of Avoidance (Reversing Holds)
  Kaeshi-waza Reversal and release techniques
Shime-houshiki Methods of Constriction
  Kejime Constricting blood flow
  Kokyu-yokuatsu Closing the throat
  Taikou-gakuen Squeezing & cavity pressing
Osaekomi-houshiki Methods of Control
  Katame-waza Joint locks and holds
  Garami-waza Joint and limb twists and folds
Kuatsu-houshiki Resuscitation Methods
  Oukyuteate First Aide
  Hakuda-kempo Lethal atemi or striking
  Kuatsu-ho Resuscitation
Goju-ryu Kenpo Standard IGK Goju-ryu Kenpo Syllabus, but influenced by jujutsu

What a Typical Jujutsu Training Session Looks Like

A normal class will begin with a series of rolls, tumbles and break falls. Starting slowly to loosen up then gradually building up to a vigorous set of hand-spring back break falls or “bridge falls,” once learnt these are the mainstay of Hyou-ha Bankoku Jujutsu breakfalling.

Students will then move on to practicing nage-waza or throws, this will usually be a mix of previously learnt throws along with an introduction to a small number of new throws. The emphasis here is on understanding the mechanics of the techniques working toward smooth, least effort control and execution.

Occasionally students will be given time to practice execution of a series of throws at speed. This exercise builds on the concept of using smooth execution rather than brute force in order to execute at speed.

Time is also set aside for kaeshi-waza or “reversals.” Students are taught releases from common holds, for example, kosa-dori or “cross-wrist grab,” along with the concepts that support the release and are encouraged to explore variations to the releases to give them a deeper understanding of the technique.

What will I Learn as a Beginner

Most people are a little hesitant about beginning jujutsu as they quite rightly worry about being injured when falling. Safety is a critically important aspect of training at the Maniputa Dojo, students are encouraged to care for their training partners. An injured partner equals no one to train with so students learn how to execute the potentially dangerous techniques so that their partner is uninjured.

A new student is taught a set of techniques that they will be able to use during their first lesson. They will throw and be safely thrown! Typically a beginner will be “up to speed” after two or three lessons.

In the beginning jujutsu is more about coming to understand how uncoordinated we are in relation to what we need to do on the training mat and in overcoming the inherent clumsiness that we all have when we start learning something new. The atmosphere at the Maniputa Dojo is casual and friendly, we have all been through the clumsy stage, and we all try and help the novice get over it, in the end it’s OK!

How long will it take for me to grade in Jujutsu?

At the Minaputa Dojo our focus is on developing technique, not on awarding ranks. When a student is ready for promotion it will happen, the learning is more important.

Once a beginning student is able to fall comfortably and has learnt the first five or six throws they will learn and practice exactly the same techniques as the more experienced members. To graduate to shodan, the first level of black belt, a student needs to be able to demonstrate proficiency in something more than one hundred throws; escapes from a number of holds and other threats and a number of other associated requirements.

The amount of time this takes varies from one student to the next based on age, experience and a number of other factors. The key ingredients are desire and persistence!

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