Friday, November 13, 2009

What's in Store for My 33rd Year

Today is my birthday. I am now 33 years old. I have now been doing martial arts for more than half my life. And this year has great expectations for me as such.

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with my Sensei, Ed Hiscoe Shihan, head of the style of Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu. He gave me my assignment for my Yondan (4th degree black belt) test. I've essentially been asked to write a thesis about knife defense, covering the history of knives as weapons, different types of edged weapons that are used, how they are carried by civilians, the attack & concealment methods used by the military, criminals, prisoners, and police officers. In addition, I am to describe how I would teach knife defense, as well as the reasoning behind my teaching methods. After my thesis has been submitted I'm also expected to teach a seminar on knife defense, drawing from my thesis, during which I'll be evaluated as an instructor.

I've decided that since I'm putting in all this research time anyway, I will structure my research for the purposes of writing a book. Who knows? I might even be able to get it published.

The second big thing for me in the martial arts world is that I've been asked to review the ground defense portion of the Can-ryu curriculum with the goal of putting ideas forward to help bring it up to date with the key tenets of our style. I'm to compile all my information and ideas in time for the next black belt seminar in January in Western Canada at which I'll be presenting them.

I am honoured to be asked to do this. Having spent a few years training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and MMA, I have been combining it with my Can-ryu training to create an effective system of ground defense that I have been passing along to my own students. I am excited to share this with other instructors in the hopes that even more people can benefit.

When I look back at when I started training in Jiu-jitsu about 13 years ago at the age of 16, it's amazing to think about how far I've come, while simultaneously seeing how much more I have to learn. That's why I recently decided that I want to work toward an early retirement from the 9 to 5 working world (ideally by the age of 40) so I'll have more time to focus on martial arts and writing. That would be an amazing gift to myself when I turn 40. Here's hoping...


Duncan Seward said...

Good luck with your thesis Lori.

I am sure you easy meet the challenge.

Antipodean Charm said...

Happy birthday my friend, mentor and sensei. I am soooooooo glad that you are reviewing the ground defence part of CanRyu. It needs it, and I know you will do a top-scale job of it.

I wish you all of the bestest,

Lotsa love,

Georgette said...

Happy birthday and congratulations :)

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Steve said...

HAppy birthday and congratulations.

Elias said...

Happy Birthday and good luck with your thesis :)

If you publish a book I'd be most interested in reading it.

john said...

I enjoy reading your commentary and look forward to reading your final results from your research.

Hope you don't mind but here's a link (it is harsh) simulating a "real" knife fight.

now compare to a "traditional" approach...

i think it would be interesting to know what are the most common ways people are attacked with a knife. my understanding is the most common domestic attack is overhand.

but the "real" attack linked above...severely limits ones options.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, both on your birthday and the responsibility you've been given. Break a leg.


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!

I hope you'll be sharing some of the info you gather on your blog as you work... I loooooove knife work and am always interested to hear about it. -SavageKitsune

Mark L said...

A very Happy Birthday to you, Lori.

And may we all be able to retire by 40. said...

Sorry for the late one, but happy birthday.

And im sure your writings, if anything like your blog artciles, should get published. Good luck to you.

Ice said...

Happy B-Day

Lori O'Connell said...

Thanks for all the birthday well-wishing in the blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

So your birthday really is on friday the 13th? Is that the reason why you took up martial-arts in the first place: to avoid things falling onto you or dealing with other unpleasantness?

It makes sense they chose you for the task of evaluating the ground-curriculum, alot of people these days take up MMA and not always for the right reasons. I think streetfighting today has actually become even more dangerous thanks to the worldwide popularity of the UFC and the like: before if you were attacked by someone with a MA-background usually it would have been boxing or some type of kickboxing (ethics and spirituality are usually absent in their practice and I found most boxers/kickboxers I know to be slightly less than intellectually apt), nowadays there are so many aggressive idiots being taught potentially devastating fighting techniques without any regard for public safety or the moral & spiritual education that usually accompanies training in oriental or traditional arts. It seems alot of instructors in boxing, kickboxing or MMA are merely in it for monetary gain or fame through producing champions and they couldn't care less about their fighters' behaviour outside the gym.

Luckily there are exceptions: the gym where our dojo is located offers MMA and thaiboxing classes (both recreational and competition-orientated) but all the instructors are decent guys and while their training is tough (as it should be) the atmosphere is friendly and the people that participate don't strike me as the violent type. I know the headinstructor fairly well and he's a good guy: he's responsible aswell as very knowledgeable and at least he touches upon the morality of fighting and is of the opinion it's better to avoid it if you can. Besides his job as an instructor he also works in security & used to be a bouncer so you know he has firsthand knowledge of violence and its ugly consequences. Plus he allows me to train at his facility when it's open-mat time eventhough I'm not formally part of his gym so he ranks pretty high on my respect-list.


Wade B said...

Wow, although I just started I hope to keep up the same pace as you. Your blog is a great read.


Lori O'Connell said...

Thanks Wade! Good luck with your training and blogging. :)