Subject: Bunkai Jutsu Newsletter June 2011

Hi Friend

Today we have a good issue for you.  Along with the usual course roundup, Featured Martial Artists and guest article, I'll also be telling your where you can get a free download from Russell Stutelly (Europe's No 1 Pressure Point expert) and where you can listen to a podcast by Iain Abernethy (leading bunkai expert).

You also have the chance to acquire a very rare book that has been out of print for a long time.

If you have any courses or information that you would like to share through this newsletter, please feel free to contact me.

iTune App:  Bassai Dai

As mentioned in my last newsletter, my 10 Kicking Tips DVD had been made into an iTune App.  Now my other DVD, Inside Bassai Dai has also been been made into an iTune App. 

These Apps are a shorter version of the DVD's, but are much cheaper.  Apple give away 10 promotional codes with a new App in order to get things moving.  These codes can be used to obtain the App completely FREE.  If anybody is interested in the Kicking App, you can find out more about it by CLICKING HERE (there are still some codes left).

If you want a code to get a free Bassai Dai Bunkai App, then CLICK HERE for details.

As many readers of this Newsletter already have the DVD's and will not need the App's, please pass on the information to anybody who you think might be interested.

I would like to say a big thank you to my friend Vincent Ho from Martial Access for setting this up for me.

Course Roundup

John Johnston's Adaptive Karate Course's

Adaptive Karate is effective street defence techniques mainly taken from Kata. It also uses techniques from other Martial Arts. Subjects covered are suitable for anyone serious about their Martial Arts.  For more information about John, see the Featured Martial Artist section below.  He is running 2 courses as follows:-

First course:   Sunday July 10th, 2pm Onwards

Second course:  Sunday November 6th, 2pm Onwards

For both courses:-
     Where:    Dev Barretts Dojo, 11 Longfellow Road, Coventry, CV2 5HD
     Price:        £15.00
     Contact: or Elaine on 07791 635958
Or visit their website:

New Geoff Thompson MasterClass

Taken from Geoff Thompson's website:

The Dates:

  • August 7th 2011
  • September 4th 2011
  • October 2nd 2011
  • November 6th 2011
  • December 4th 2011
  • January 8th 2012

The Content:

The specialty here is self protection and motivation. This is not a fighting class. Topics covered will be

  • Impact development
  • Line ups (the Fence)
  • Fear control
  • Pre-emptive strikes
  • Throws and take-downs
  • Ground work
  • Close range power punching
  • Managing conflict performance under stress, and a range of combat concepts
  • There will also be a large content of motivation & personal development

Venue:    Centre AT7, Bell Green Road, Coventry, CV6 7GP.

Cost:    £150 deposit secures your place, followed by six monthly payments of £175, total price £1200 (includes VAT).

Full details are available here at Geof's website:

Iain Abernethy Seminars

Iain is running seminars in the UK, USA, Sweden and Germany.  What can I say, the guy gets around :)
For a full listing of his seminars, visit his website seminar page at:

Terry Barnett Seminar:  Filipino Arts & Jeet Kune Do

The following is taken from Al Peaslands Complete Self Protection website:

The 4 hours will be a masterclass in Filipino Martial Arts and Jun Fan Gung Fu (the art and philosophy of Jeet Kune Do).
The seminar will include Boxing, Panantukan (Filipino 'dirty' boxing), Muay Thai and Kali - if time permits.
As one of only a handful of Full instructors under Guro Dan in the UK, I cannot emphasise enough how exceptional this seminar is going to be.

Full details are available here at the CSP website:

Spirit Of The Empty Hand by Stan Schmidt

Many in the karate world will at least have heard of Sensei Stan Schmidt, the (now retired) chief instructor of the JKA in South Africa. However, his importance in the international development of karate is often missed. Many westerners had trained in Japan before Stan, so he was by no means the first to do that. But until he arrived, the Japanese instructors, Nakayama Sensei included, did not believe that westerners could understand karate well enough to reach the lofty heights of 3rd Dan! Stan first went to Japan as a beginner, having studied some judo, and read books on karate. In three months, he was awarded brown belt. A year later, back in South Africa, he was awarded his black belt. He went on to become the first non-Japanese to be awarded 3rd Dan in the JKA, and later the same for higher grades, including 7th Dan. He opened doors for the rest of us to follow. He has been on the Shihan-Kai of the JKA for more than 20 years – the only non-Japanese to date on that council of masters.

Stan’s book, “Spirit of the Empty Hand” was written in the early 1980’s, as part of his studies for a Masters Degree in Communications. The book was published in 1984. It tells the story of a student’s journey through karate, from their first lesson all the way to achieving 3rd Dan. The story is based on Stan’s own experiences as both teacher and student, and gives a great insight into some of the things he went through, as well as giving glimpses of how he teaches and thinks about karate.

In many dojo’s this book is on the “required reading” list, along with books like “Moving Zen”.

Having been out of print for several years, it is exciting that a special new edition is being published. This will be a limited (individually numbered) collector’s item, in hardback with a protective slip-on case, certificate of authentication and signed by Stan himself. The book is now available to pre-order from

Featured Martial Artist

This month's featured martial artist is John Johnston, 6th Dan Shotokan Karate.  John started Karate when he was 20, training with Rick Jackson who had just come back from Japan at that time.  He has since been training for about 40 years and has been teaching since he was just a green belt.  This may seem strange today, but back then there was not nearly as many clubs about (of any style) and it was sometimes necessary.

He has always been progressive, using focus mitts and bags for impact training well before it became common practice to do so.

John, who is very agile for a large man, teaches Adaptive Karate.  This is mainly based on traditional Shotokan Karate and is geared very much for real combat rather than for scoring points.  It includes the pre-fight psychology and tailors the teaching to the individuals requirements. 

One of his more well know students is author, BAFTA winner and founder of the British Combat Associaton, Geoff Thompson, who said of John:

“John was and still remains probably the greatest influence to my development in martial arts, taking me through all those vital fundamental lessons, offering me (free) private lessons when he saw my potential; he even brought my suit and belt for me when I didn’t have enough money. He is a great influence and great friend and a powerful presence in British martial arts. Without John I would not in any way be doing what I am doing today and I am very grateful to him for that, and I highly recommend him and his instruction to anyone looking to fast track their martial arts”.

Another student, Tony Terranova, 3rd Dan also says:

"He bought me my first Gi and makiwara board.  John never let money stand in the way of a student wanting to learn Shotokan, he would let us train for free if we were broke, his passion is to teach and pass on his knowledge".

In an age where many people seek only profit, it shows a remarkably generous spirit that this man not only teaches for free, but even brought Gi's (Karate suits) for students in financial difficulties.

As well as being interested in practical street self defence, John has also had a successful tournament career, competing at regional and national level and training with the British squad.  He was also captain of the Central Regional Squad for 14 years.  The people that he trained with at that time reads like a who's who of British Shotokan Karate, including the team which beat the Japanese and won the World championship in 1975.

John has also done door work in Coventry night clubs, progressing to Head Doorman.  This lead to further security work as bodyguard to various well know business men, TV personalities and recording artists.

However, despite the rigours of competition and the brutality of door work, John maintains that Karate has an underlying spiritual essence which empowers the mind as well as the body.  He believes that training should build character, inner strength and spirituality.  Although he is about 60, an age when many would be taking it easy, he still trains regularly with top British and Japanese masters to keep up his high standards.

To find out more about John, check out his website at:, or visit his Facebook page at:  I have included some of courses in the Course Roundup section above.  If you want to keep abreast of John's seminars then checkout his events page at:

Russell Stutely Giveaway

Russell Stutely (a previous featured martial artist) is giving away a free download of his book "How To Hit Really Hard (usually sold for $9.95.  With it, you can also download a DVD on Russell's system.  Yes it is a promotional DVD, but Russell has some excellent stuff to teach, so it is still wort watching.  I don't know how long it will be available for (Russell says a "few days"), so if you are interested, then I suggest you go over there quickly.

To get the free download, CLICK HERE

Iain Abernethy Podcast

Iain Abernethy has recently released a podcast on visualisation.  This is a technique recommended by many self development and life style coaches.  Not only can it be a useful tool for improvement your martial arts training and results, but it can be used for almost any area of you life, be it career, relationships, anything.  It can help to prepare you for a task, improve confidence and improve performance. 

I have a lot of respect for Iain, so as soon as I've finished this newsletter, I'm of to listen to it.  You can find it here on Iain's website.

Do vs Jutsu by John Burke

This month's guest article is by John Burke who is becoming more and more widely known for his incredible work in the analysis of Kata and its true meaning. He has written several book, produced over 15 DVD's and written for a number of top martial arts magazines in the UK.  Based in quiet Devon (a long way from the major cities) he is still very busy with many people attending his regular seminars.

I haven't yet had the pleasure of attending one of his seminars, but it's definitely on my "to do" list.  To see this and other articles on John's website, CLICK HERE.  So over to John:-

It’s an old argument, which is better, the do – or Way – or the jutsu – or skills? This
article isn’t about that.

Normally, when we see these terms bandied about, it is the proponent of one of the
terms decrying the other and its followers.

Those who practice do arts (Judo, Aikido, Karate-do, Kendo etc) are said to be using
watered down techniques. They are accused of only being interested in sport, or only
in the spiritual side of the martial arts. As if those two things are the same. They are
accused of being far removed from the practice of real self defence and the original
barbaric techniques contained within the techniques of their chosen arts.

Those who practice jutsu arts (ju-jutsu, Aiki-jutsu, Karate-jutsu, Batto-jutsu, etc) are
said to be missing the character developing aims of their arts, concentrating in a
paranoid fashion upon an assault which (for most of us) will never happen.
Not wishing to get involved in their arguments, my question is whether the two terms
are really mutually exclusive at all?

One of my students told me of a Japanese black belt instructor who berated a student
in front of her because the fellow was interested in sport Karate. The instructor
declared that sport sparring was “just jutsu. Only technique, no do involved”. The
instructor (who is still alive) took the position that his Karate was all about the Way,
and that this did not involve sport. He also seemed to think that it was about reality.
This would seem to be contrary to the way that most people see the separation of do
and jutsu. Apart from any discussion about the merits of sport and the spirit of the
sport’s participants, we must see that practice just for sport is the practice of only
those skills that will enable one to win any particular contest. This, then, makes
redundant all of the skills that are not applicable to contests, and therefore pares down
the art.

Some would say that this streamlined art is all that is necessary, and that it is better to
have one formidable, “always count on it” technique than it is to have a hundred
techniques and suffer from “log-jam”. And indeed, it does take some commitment
and drive to attain the skill levels necessary for winning in competitions.
So what’s your point, then? I can hear murmurs from the back.
Do isn’t sport. Jutsu isn’t self defence.

The practitioner who bashes away with their best intent at trying to discover the heart
of his art may or may not be wearing a white gi. They might practice hour upon hour
of dynamic basic techniques in a long front stance, but it isn’t even this practice that
will decide whether they are do or jutsu practitioners. The practice of those basics to
produce a winning technique would be a jutsu; the practice of those basics to produce
drive from the hips for powerful self defence would be a jutsu. Those same basics,
practiced in order to hone the body and concentrate the mind, might be considered a
do; as might the training those techniques in order to “lose yourself” in moving
meditation be considered a do art.

But what of the person who takes part in sport in order to better themselves – seeking
the challenge, but unaware of the glory of winning or the ignominy of defeat – merely
looking for the information on how they can do better and testing their assumptions?
Do or jutsu?

What of those of us who practice those pressure tested methods of defence – making
sure that our techniques work in terrible conditions – who maintain that we practice
for the sake of practice; and try to be better human beings. Sometimes we are so
scared by the ease with which human beings can be hurt that we are forced to
carefully consider our position on matters of self defence.

Do or jutsu?

I practice Karate-do. The Way of the Empty Hand. I practice harsh applications to
the techniques I do, and I have little interest in sport. Colleagues who train the same
way I do have called their arts after all sorts of Jutsu lineages, and they ask me why I
don’t say I do Karate-jutsu. The answer is “because it’s Karate-do”.

The “way” in question is constant training because I enjoy it, but the effectiveness is a
built in part of that training. It’s something to think about, something to test the mind,
the body, and the spirit, and with a depth matched only by my interest in the subject.
The point, then, is that it isn’t the name of the art or the uniform that you wear; it isn’t
whether you say “oss” or bow that makes what you do a do or a jutsu. You do that.
Your outlook, your drive, your determination, the results that you crave, and the
physical and psychological tests that you put yourself through in order to become
what you want to be. That’s what decides whether you are taking part in a do or a

John Burke is available for courses and seminars on Kata applications internationally.
Call 01626 360999 to arrange a seminar at your dojo. John’s book “Fortress
Storming” is available from monabooks, Amazon, and all
good bookshops. He teaches full-time at his 4 schools in Devon, and can be contacted

Well that's it for another month.  I hope you've enjoyed the read, and don't forget to contact me if have anything that I you would like me share with other readers through this newsletter.

Keep training hard and take care.