April 2019 Tokyo and Okinawa Bujutsu Tour

JKA and Ryu Kon Kai Training Tour

From the 19th of April 2019 until the 27th of April 2019, I led a tour of Tokyo, Japan and Naha, Okinawa. The tour party consisted of Jessica Graydon, Zac Carl, Glen Carl, Amanda Morgan and Ray Morgan.

This tour was my 10th training trip to Japan.

We began the tour with a 3 night stop over in Tokyo where we attended the JKA Sohonbu for karate training.



We stayed at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel and visited numerous tourist sites. Shibuya Crossing (the world’s busiest intersection), Tokyo Tower and several shrines, as well as Takeshita Street.

I also introduced the team to raw horse meat.



We then flew across to Naha, Okinawa where we spent 5 nights in a AirBnB house near the Ryu Kon Kai Karate and Kobudo honbu in Uruma, Okinawa. We had a fantastic time training karate and kobudo each night.


On the trip I graded Amanda Morgan to 5th Ky in Ryu Kon Kai. Whilst Iha Kotaro Sensei (10th Dan) graded Zac Carl to Shodan in Ryu Kon Kai.



Of course we also visited numerous historical sites on this visit.





2019 Bujutsu Annual Presentation Day

This years Annual Presentation Day will be held at our dojo.

Unfortunately, Mount Annan Australian Botanic Gardens have informed us that our presentation days have grown too big for them to be able to accomodate. The only affordable option for families is to hold the Presentation Day at our dojo.



Don’t miss out on this event. You can book your spot now!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday 15th of December 2019


Cost $23 per student. Family members are FREE.


We will be adopting a new format for this years presentation day.


This year we will be using our carpark to set up our presentation day. We have booked Hyper Foods who will be selling Popcorn, Fairy Floss and Snow Cones. We have also booked Gregory Hills Rotary Club, who will be selling sausage sandwiches and drinks.

For the kids we have booked a  large jumping castle. We are currently looking into further entertainment for them.


This year we will be awarding trophies by surname.

If your surname commences with an A to K,  you will need to be at the dojo between 9am and 10.30am.

At 9am we will start to award trophies for these members.


If your surname commences with an L to Z, you will need to be at the dojo between 10.30am and 12pm.

at 10.30am we will start to award trophies for these members.


You are welcome to come and collect your trophy and head off. But we are hopeful that you will hang around for a little while and spend some time with friends.

Chairs, esky’s, picnic’s and alochol are welcome.


It is your choice whether you bring a picnic or simply purchase from Hyper Foods and Gregory Hills Rotary, or do both.


Every student who attends will receive a trophy.
Additionally, 16 major awards will be presented.

The $23 per student will be used to purchase trophies.

In order to assist with paying for the major trophies, jumping castle and other costs that come up, we will run a Cadbury Chocolate Fundraiser.
Please support this fundraiser if you can. Boxes of chocolates will be available in the near future.


R.S.V.P: Close of Business – Friday 22nd November 2019

If you miss the R.S.V.P date you miss the event.



Please note:

No refunds.

Remember if you can’t be there on the day we do understand. We hope that you will also understand that we do not award trophies unless you attend the Presentation Day.

If you don’t turn up on the day, we will not issue you a trophy.




Grading Dates and Disruptions for 2019

December Quarter Grading Dates:

JKA Shotokan:

Tuesday 26th November 2019 – Yellow/White Belt 9th Kyu to Green Belt 6th Kyu 5pm-6.30pm
Tuesday 26th November 2019 – Blue Belt 5th Kyu to Brown Belt 1st Kyu 6pm-7.30pm

Ryu Kon Kai Kobudo:

Saturday 7th December 2019 @ 11am

Kids Karate:

Monday 16th December 2019 @ 4pm

Tuesday 17th December 2019 @ 5pm
Wednesday 18th December 2019 @ 4pm and 5pm

Saturday 21st December 2019 @12pm

(Please note that spots are limited. If you need a particular day, please book your spot quickly before you miss out).

Kids Muay Thai

Tuesday 17th December 2019 @ 4pm

Muay Thai

Tuesday 17th December 2019 @ 6.15pm


Monday 9th December 2019 @ 7pm to 8.30pm

Kids BJJ:

Monday 9th December 2019 @ 5pm


Please note that these dates are subject to change in order to meet operational requirements.


December 2018 Quarter Gradings and Disruptions

Grading Dates:

JKA Shotokan:

Tuesday the 27th November 2018 @ 7pm

Ryu Kon Kai Kobudo:

Saturday 15th December 2018 @ 11am


Wednesday 19th December 2018 – Yellow/White Belt 9th Kyu to Green Belt 6th Kyu – 5.15pm – 7pm
Wednesday 19th December 2018 – Blue Belt 5th Kyu to Brown Belt 1st Kyu 7pm to 9pm

Black Belts: Saturday 15th December 2018 @12.15pm

Kids Karate:

Monday 17th December 2018 @ 4pm

Tuesday 18th December 2018 @ 5pm
Wednesday 19th December 2018 @ 4pm

Saturday 22nd December 2018 @12pm

(Please note that spots are limited. If you need a particular day, please book your spot quickly before you miss out).

Kids Muay Thai

Tuesday 18th December 2018 @ 4pm

Muay Thai

Tuesday 18th December 2018 @ 6.15pm


Monday 10th December 2018 @ 7pm to 8.30pm

Kids BJJ:

Monday 10th December 2018 @ 5pm

Class Disruptions to facilitate gradings:

The following Classes are cancelled in order to facilitate our gradings:

Monday 17th December 2018

4pm Kids Karate
4.30pm Kids Muay Thai

Tuesday 18th December 2018

3.30pm Kids Karate
4pm Kids Karate
4.30pm Kids Muay Thai
6pm Kids Karate
6.30pm Kids Muay Thai
5pm Karate Self Defence
6pm Muay Thai
7pm JKA Karate

Wednesday 19th December 2018

3.30pm Kids Muay Thai Kick Boxing
4pm Kids Muay Thai Kick Boxing
4.30pm Kids Karate
6pm Kids Muay Thai
6.30pm Kids Karate
5pm Karate/Self Defence
7pm Muay Thai

Remember that you are welcome to do make up lessons before or after these disruptions.

The 20 Precepts of Karate according to Gichin Funakoshi


Niju kun or the twenty precepts of karate where formulated by the father of modern karate Gichin Funakoshi before he and his students founded the Nihon Karate Koyokai, or Japanese Karate Association in May of 1949.


Over the years there have been many attempts to translate the twenty precepts of karate into English, with many variations put forward as to what the literal translation actually is.


However, I like the translation put forward below which I obtained from the Japanese Karate Association, who after all, are the ones in the best position to speak on these principles.


I won’t go into any great detail on the precepts in this post as I could literally write a seperate post on each precept which is my intention in the future.




The 20 Precepts of Karate

  1. Karate begins and ends with courtesy
  2. There is no first attack in karate
  3. Karate supports righteousness
  4. First understand yourself, then understand others
  5. The art of developing the mind is more important than the art of applying technique
  6. The mind needs to be freed
  7. Trouble is born of negligence
  8. Do not think karate belongs only in the dojo
  9. Karate training requires a lifetime
  10. Transform everything into karate; therein lies its exquisiteness
  11. Genuine karate is like hot water; it cools down if you do not keep on heating it
  12. Do not think of winning; you must think of not losing
  13. Transform yourself according to the opponent
  14. The outcome of the fight depends on one’s control
  15. Imagine one’s arms and legs as swords
  16. Once you leave the shelter of home, there are a million enemies
  17. Postures are for the beginner; later they are natural positions
  18. Do the kata correctly; the real fight is a different matter
  19. Do not forget control of the dynamics of power, the elasticity of the body and the speed of the technique
  20. Always be good at the application of everything you have learned


Renshi Mark Szalajko
Bujutsu Martial Arts and Fitness Centre

Bushido – Way of the Warrior

Bushido is a word that is widely used in the martial arts world. However, it is also a word that is not really understood by most.

I have provided a very basic summary of the word Bushido.

Bushido was the code of honour followed by samurai warriors throughout Japan. It is believed that the Bushido code of honour has been in existence since around the 8th century.

If we break down the word “Bushido”, “bushi” means warrior. While “do” means path or way. Hence, the literal translation of Bushido is “way of the warrior”.

In short, Bushido was a code of moral principles by which the samurai were required to live their lives by.

Bushido is based on seven principles:

  1. Seigi: The right decision and rectitude
  2. Yuki: Bravery and heroism
  3. Jin: Compasion and benevolence to all
  4. Reign: Courtesy and right action
  5. Makoto: Truthfulness and utter sincerity
  6. Meiyo: Honor and glory
  7. Chugi: Devotion and loyalty

I won’t go into depth about the 7 principles in this paper. I will leave that for another time.

Renshi Mark Szalajko





It is with great pleasure to have the opportunity to write about the significance of the seiza position in Karate-do. I have given my utmost effort and scrutiny of every word in the hope of transmitting the art as accurately as I could base on my limited knowledge. I hope this can help to clarify some misconceptions regarding seiza for whomever is interested. Hopefully, a person of greater skill and knowledge will come along someday and make the necessary amendments to further our Karate-do knowledge.


Historic Origins of Seiza (正坐)

Sieza (正坐) literally translate to mean sitting correctly and it has become a practice

that represents the Japanese cultural. As a result, the practice of sitting in the seiza position has also become a fundamental posture in Japanese Budo (武道) that reflects a practitioner’s

respect, alertness and competence in their chosen art. Budo is a term that includes a diverse range of traditional Japanese martial arts and so it is not surprising to find different disciplines having their own unique way of performing seiza. However, the spirit and essence of seiza remains constant although the performance of seiza may vary across disciplines. Due to the limited scope of this paper, we will only concentrate on the practice of seiza in Karate- do. The importance of seiza cannot be over emphasized because one can infer a karate-ka’s(practitioner of Karate-do) level of ability just by observing the way he or she moves in seiza.

One needs to understand the origins of seiza to fully appreciate its significance in the Japanese culture and ultimately in the dojo. Hence, the practice of seiza is not merely a fancy way of sitting but conveys mannerism and a conduit to improvement in Budo and one’s self- development.

The floor culture can trace its origins in ancient China from the Shang dynasty (1744- 1046 B.C) to the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D). This cultural influence eventually spread to Japan where the practise had further developed into a more refined manner in modern times. The ideogram for sitting (坐) consist of two people sitting on the earth and there were many methods of sitting on the floor. The floor culture eventually disappeared from mainstream Chinese culture by the end of the Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D) due to increase contact with other Eurasian continental cultures. However, the floor culture presisted in Japan and the current seiza position has been in existence in for a long time but it was not given its name until much later in the Meiji period (1868-1912 A.D).

Painting of Confucius teaching his students who are sitting in seiza. (Zhou dynasty, China, 1046 – 256 B.C).



Figurines of two people sitting in seiza in front of a table. (Han dynasty, China, 206 B.C -220 A.D).


Figurines of musicians performing in the seiza position. (Tang dynasty, China, 618-907 A.D



There are many sitting positions and one of these sitting styles is known as “Agura” (胡坐) where a person sits with their legs crossed and relaxed. The agura position was normally used during informal situations or by someone of higher authority. Consequently, subordinates were required to sit in the seiza position because it demonstrated respect and allowed the subordinate to stand up quickly to perform tasks ordered by their superior. Thus, the seiza position is not intended to be relaxed. It was a position of alertness and readiness.



Emperor Saga Teno of Japan sitting at agura. (Yamoto, Japan, 786-842 A.D)




French illustration depicting the Shogun sitting in agura while his ministers sit in seiza denoting their difference in rank. (Meiji period, Japan, 1868-1912 A.D).


The seiza position was also commonly used in ritual situations such as Buddhist ceremonies where participants convey their respect and manners. The development of the tea ceremony in Japan also required participants to sit in the seiza position which further its popularity. This is due to the recognition that the tea ceremony is a ritual itself and demanded respect from its participants.