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Traditional Japanese Martial Arts

Welcome to Blackbird MA!

Our dojo uses traditional training methods to explore fighting arts left to us by generations of martial artists.  The development of these skills is a process that requires time and effort, but it also produces great rewards.  Our group is serious about the arts we study, but we don't take ourselves too seriously.  We're just some people who enjoy a mutual fascination with making our dojo friends say "ow!"  If you're interested in seeing how we train, trying a class, or asking questions, drop me an email or stop by the dojo.  Curiosity and fascination are at the heart of our practice, and if this sounds fascinating to you then I'd love to meet you.

~Ben Couch, Chief Instructor

Shinpi Karasu-Ryu Karate

Our karate style is an arrangement of traditional concepts derived from, primarily, Shotokan Karate.  However, it also draws heavily on Tai Chi body mechanics and an understanding of movement, throws, and joint locks informed by Couch-sensei's extensive study of aikido and jujutsu.

Traditional kata (forms) are the guidebook for the techniques we study.  Although most martial arts schools mimic these movements, there is a general lack of understanding in how to study them properly to inform combat.  They are powerful tools for real world combat, but if you don't know how to understand them, then you might as well be a monkey with the complete works of Shakespeare for all the good they will do you.  It may be hard to imagine how all of that shadowboxing can really help with street fighting -- I get that -- but I'd love the chance to explain in person.  Stop by and ask some questions.  You might find the traditional method compelling.

Koryu Sword and Jo Arts

Blackbird Martial Arts also offers study groups in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu (swordsmanship) and Shindo Muso Ryu jojutsu (50" staff).  These are called koryu (lit. "old school" or "old style") arts and date from the 1500s and 1600s.  They are true samurai art forms.  We are a recognized kenkyukai (study group) of the Kokusai Nippon Budo Kai (KNBK) in these two arts.

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