Bujinkan Buyu Lander

News and Thoughts

Learn Parkour!

Parkour Basics Seminar coming to Lander!

with Talal Cockar

in Lander, WY

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Parkour will make you step up to conquer a challenge and feel the joy of success as you gain body control for more agility, balance, and power.  Have fun while you learn to overcome self-imposed limitations and real world obstacles.  With sessions for Children and Adults, Talal Cockar will teach the fundamentals of Parkour movement, creating a foundation of good movement that you can expand with practice.

What is Parkour?  http://americanparkour.com/getting-started/

Talal has been training in the discipline known as L’ Art Du Deplacement or Parkour since 2008 and has made it one of his goals to pass on some of the knowledge and understanding of the discipline to others so they may also have the joy of training in this art. As well as training in the discipline, he has also done lots of research into different methods and the philosophy behind ‘the jump.’ Talal has traveled in the US and to Europe to train with and learn from others who have been training longer than he has, including some of the founders of the discipline itself. This has been a great asset to his training and he is able to pass on some of this knowledge and spirit of the discipline to others. He also trains in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu and practices yoga regularly.


Ages 7-11      9:00am to 10:00am.
Ages 12-14   10:00 to 12:00pm
Ages 15+      1:00pm to 3:30+pm

The classes will be open to the general public.
$10 per person

To enroll, please fill out the information below:


Themes for the new year.

This link is for the annual theme message from my teacher,  Jack Hoban.  It is important that we follow what he is working on.


If you are going to train with us this year,  the book “Verbal Judo” is mandatory reading.  Have it done soon so that we can start applying it.   I am thinking that the end of January is not unreasonable.

When I (hopefully we) train with Jack later this year we will learn more if we have a head start.  Even if you can’t make it to his seminar, you can bet that we will be working on what I gain there for months.

I have some pet projects for the beginning of this year,  but training should be in full swing by the end of February. There will be training opportunities this month and next.  I’ll be in touch.

For now, plan on working on your sword skills for a month or two, and we will see where things go from there.  Bring a boken and iaito to class for a while.


Katana Basics Class

masamune01We are pleased to announce a 3 session beginner class (February on the basic handling, cutting and moving with a katana.

Sessions will be on Tuesdays, February 11th, 18th and 25th, 2014.  From 7:00pm to 8:30pm

  • Strength and coordination drills for sword work.
  • Proper movement technique for cutting.
  • The difference between cutting practice (tameshigiri) and fighting (budo).
  • Sword fighting scenarios (waza) for beginning budo.  This is not to be confused with sparring.  A waza is a non-competitive 2 person training form that has been handed down through our martial tradition.
  • We will supply the opportunity to try tameshigiri using live blades on paper sheet targets.

Students will be expected to practice skills for a minimum of 20 minutes each day between class sessions.

Cost is $10 per session.  Students will need to purchase a boken (practice sword) before the first session.

If you are interested or have questions, please provide your contact information in the form below.

Toughness & The fire of the mind.

I really want to share this video.  Watch it before reading my comment, please.

Believing that you will fail because you are tired, hurt, weak or inferior is almost a guarantee that it will happen.  In fact believing that you are tired, hurt, etcetera may actually create that condition where it did not exist.  Your subconscious controls your actions to prevent you from pushing yourself too hard, or as a tool to heal you by faith, which is a good thing.  It can also be used to destroy you if you hand it over to your doubts, worries and fears. To take some liberty with a quote from George Washington (pun intended):

Your subconscious, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Being tough is really about not believing that you are hurting or suffering even if you think you should be.  Since I am already abusing quotes today, consider the following:

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.” The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?” The grandfather answered: “The one I feed.”


A new Women’s Defense opportunity.


So, you have taken a women’s self defense class, and you have hit the guy in the padded suit. You probably left that class feeling empowered and more confident in your abilities than you have in a long time, but as time goes on that has faded a bit. You probably learned in your class that self defense skills are perishable, but have not been able to keep those skills fresh. Well don’t feel bad, you are not alone. Many people who have taken defense classes in the past would like to do more, but just don’t have the time.

To help with this, we have organized a womens defense club. We will meet for 1 or 2 evenings every 3 months in order to refresh some of the skills that you have learned, share some experiences, and generally offer each other help in maintaining a defensive mindset.

It doesn’t matter where you learned your previous skills.   Ladies who have attended women’s defense classes or other martial arts are welcome to learn and share their experience as they see fit.

The class will be guided by subject matter experts, and the occasional guest instructor as available.  The club will be an ideal venue to ask those “what if” questions and work through scenarios to that you might personally find challenging or scary.

There will be a suggested reading list that will not be mandatory, but will be discussed periodically.  The book list will almost certainly expand based upon the recommendations of members.

Finally, the club will also act as a mentoring opportunity for the young ladies in our lives. Members will be encouraged to bring their teenage or older daughters for the chance to realize that mom is not the only one who is saying that they need to be aware and empowered.

The cost of membership will go toward the purchase of supplies such as practice pepper spray, better equipment for the physical training and to generally improve the quality of future meetings of the club.

Meetings will cost $25 per night, and there will be a discounted rate of $10 per night for daughters of club members. The first meeting of the club will be at the Lander Fire Hall on Tuesday February 4th, 2014 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. After that we will meet every 3 months if there is enough interest.

An RSVP would be appreciated so we can plan, but drop ins will be welcome as well. Please fill out the contact form below if you are interested in attending or if you want to be on our email list to be informed of upcoming events.

The Grizzly Bear Mindset

I am pleased to present a guest post to my blog.  The author wished to remain anonymous.

” I am not interested in the credit.  I only want to make known the true issue and I don’t care to be “known” by strangers.  Who I am is not significant to the issue at all, but only the issue itself is important.

If you wish to have a signature assigned to it, say it’s from a “Marine Combat Veteran”.
That should be enough.”

Let’s start with the back story

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Twenty-one years after he was attacked by a grizzly bear sow while hunting bighorn sheep in northwestern Wyoming, Terry Everard still recalls the incident clearly and still carries the now-hidden scars as reminders.

“When it happens to you, all you wish is that it will stop,” he said.

Now 58 and retired in Sundance, Wyo., Everard still hunts and still has a great respect for grizzly bears and their power. He preaches safety in the backcountry, including suggesting that hunters and hikers carry bear spray and have it ready for use.

“I have no animosity against bears,” he said. “I still bowhunt today, I’m just very careful.”

Everard grew up in Cody, Wyo., and was hunting with two friends in the Sunlight Basin when he startled a sow grizzly with cubs that had been snoozing after raiding squirrel middens to feed on whitebark pine seeds.

The sow was only about 40 yards away when it stood up on its hind legs from behind a log, saw Everard and charged. Because he was attempting to fill his bighorn ram tag, he was carrying a .270 rifle, but he didn’t have a bullet in the chamber and doubts if he would have had time to shoot anyway, since the sow closed the distance between them so quickly.

All he had time to do was drop to a squatting position with his head down and cover his neck with his hands. With a backpack on, the bear concentrated its attack at his upper body. Down feathers from his torn coat flew into the air as the bear clawed his arm.

“It just goes on and on, it just seemed like an eternity,” he told the Billings Gazette in a telephone interview. “And you just feel helpless.”

The bear gave him a black eye from pushing down on his head so hard.

In an attempt to end the attack, Everard reached for his rifle with his left hand, loaded a round and fired into the air. The bear stopped its attack and backed away, blood smeared on its fur. Loading another round, Everard prepared to shoot if the bear charged again. It turned and ran.

The bear had bitten at his head, shoulder and arm in the 40-second attack, causing injuries that would require more than three and a half hours of surgery and 250 stitches to close up. Because of the long time it took him to first walk, then ride a horse and finally travel in a pickup truck to the Cody hospital, Everard lost an estimated four units of blood.

“If I had lost another pint, I would’ve been in trouble,” he said.

Although the attack was traumatic, Everard said, it hasn’t affected him much.

“Everything that happened to me was superficial,” he said.

Most of the blood loss came from lacerations to his scalp, which bled profusely. The injury to his shoulder was bad enough to keep him from bowhunting that fall, but no bones were broken.

“The worst thing that happened to me was I couldn’t bowhunt that year,” he said. “I love to bowhunt. I still bowhunt today.”

Sure, he’s had a few bad dreams about bears. But he wasted no time returning to the site of the attack to try to make sense of what happened and to retrieve his backpack, which he had discarded as he fled quickly downhill to the hunting camp.

Although tracks of a grizzly with cubs were found in the area, there was no blood near the tracks, convincing Everard that the blood he saw on the bear was his own.

And he returned to the region to fill his bighorn sheep tag, eventually bagging a three-quarter curl ram on the second-to-last day of the season.

His experience is a cautionary tale that anyone who ventures into grizzly bear territory should heed.

“People just have to be more prepared,” Everard said. “Don’t hunt alone. Carry pepper spray, and not in your backpack.”

To start  my line of comments here…

I will state first off that I was not there.  I have never been attacked by a bear. 

I have however been attacked by men, armed and unarmed, and I have once been attacked by a Doberman Pinscher when I was a teen.  I have been hurt in fights a few times, but never very badly.  But enough to know what it’s like to fight when it was for all the chips, and when I was already hurt.
So in respect to the man who was attacked I wish to state right out front that I am only trying to add additional perspective to his, and take nothing away.
I have been criticized by others in my presentation of classes, and in general conversation , and I know what it feels like to have someone tell me all about what I did wrong,  when those people not only were not there, but also have never been in a deadly confrontation in their lives, so it is with some reservation that I offer my comments here.

 Nevertheless I will however offer my thoughts to my loved ones and dear friends because this is a subject I am quite familiar with. 

In all the text above, the one thing I see from end to end that was “done wrong” (for lack of a better term) is carrying the wrong mindset.  This poor man was not ready, by his own admission.

 He didn’t believe it would ever happen to him.


He did have a way to defend himself and his mind was jarred into reality when the bear charged.  A bear can outrun a racehorse in the first 300 yards, so from 40 yards away he indeed had very little time, but I open the thought process by asking “did he have enough time”?

Yes, I would submit he did, but he didn’t prepare himself mentally,  so he didn’t use it.

He had time to get a backpack up over his head.
He had time to drop to a squat.
He had time to recover a rifle from the ground, bolt a round into the chamber, and fire—  AFTER the bear had done some damage.


But even when he did get the rifle into action his mind was on defense, not offense.  Fights are not won in defense!  Defense may keep you from loosing ground, but it will never take ground.  It can keep the enemy from winning that time, but it won’t cause you to win either.

The bear quit, so the man lived, but ONLY because the “enemy” allowed it.  The bear dictated ever aspect of the engagement and every moment of the fight and even the time after the fight.

The Reality

In deadly combat, the one aspect that fighters learn that makes them a “vet” and separates them from the status of an FNGs or Greenies, is the mindset that it WILL happen, and it probably WILL HAPPEN TO ME.

 All Marines in my day got the same amount of basic training and the same amount of Advanced Combat Training before they ever went of to a school to learn an additional MOS (Military Occupational Specialty).  In most cases, Marines who went to combat had the same amount of TRAINING even if they were cooks or clerks.   But what made the real warriors stand apart from the rest was the idea that the fight was real, it was personal and it was GOING to happen to them. 

When you have that mindset, you do not let your guard down.  If you are blessed, you get to be wrong and it doesn’t happen to you.

But you never ever ever let yourself believe that “it’s going to happen, but to someone else.

The Warrior Mindset vs the “Sheeple” Mindset

It takes about 1 to 3 seconds for the average man to force his/her  mindset through these 3 stages and get into the fight.
Stage one—-  Denial of reality.
Stage two—-  Mental ascent to the probability of violence.
Stage three— Action,  forced by deadly conflict.

In most cases you will not have 3 seconds, which is why most people get hurt or killed even if they are “armed’ and “trained”.    They are not training themselves in the warrior mindset.    No amount of training in the arts or techniques of fighting is going to help if you don’t fight in time.

The “libs” of our communities will criticize that we are “cultivating paranoia”.  Don’t let them turn you!

That idea is based in a totally illogical overview.  The “libs would have everyone disarm, and never dwell on any possibility of real or deadly violence.  Sheep would have the wolves do the same, but wolves will not listen. 

In their twisted and incomplete way of thinking  (thinking?  ….Well… maybe I should write “feeling”) avoidance of the subject matter is insurance against the act.

It’s no different than removing seat belts from your car so it won’t crash.

Obviously someone with seat belts is looking for a crash—– in the same way someone with a gun is looking for a fight.  If this line of logic seems silly or foolish to you it’s only because it is.

I have been carrying handguns on my person since I was a mid-teen.  I have carried a pocket knife since I was 9.  I have had to use guns and my hands and feet to fight several times in my life. 

 And yet most people who know me say I am one of the nice guys.

 I love to help people and I love to cultivate friendships.  I am not predatory against my fellow man, and despite the “libs” feelings on the matter, when I am with others they are never less safe,  always at lest as safe as they would be without me, and usually more safe.
Even if they don’t know it.
Even if they don’t care about it.
And even if they hate the fact that I can protect myself and them.

Social Interaction

It is possible to teach some “libs” the truth.

Some are very difficult, but I have been able to teach some libs because not all are stupid.  Many are sincere, and those that are more sincere about a quest for betterment than they are about winning an argument can and have been educated.  

The facts don’t support their side, so feelings are all they have to fall back on, and insults against their opponents.

Those that do not sink to those levels are very often worth your efforts. Those that are honest and want to know truth (even if they don’t like it) will learn and are worth the effort to teach. 

If some will not learn, and are 100% unwilling to listen to any facts or truth, it’s best to allow for the fact that their opinion is unworthy of your time, and let them live in their world of feelings.

Do not bend in your convictions, or in your mindset to be prepared for combat at any time. Simply go on with your life as safely and as confidently as possible. Let the libs be the sheep they insist on being.

Let them take the seat belts out of their own cars too if they want, but not out of yours yours, (so to speak)  Let them go on with their lives until the crash,  thinking they are now safer right up until their last second. 

If you have the warrior mindset you are never unarmed.  Your mind IS the weapon.

Things that you use in your hands are only tools.  Tools don’t do the work.  Tools are only worked with by the worker.  Just as a saw and wood plane will not make a table, a gun will not defend you and your loved ones. That task is up to the worker.

In Summary

In the article above the one deficit the man had was the lack of proper mindset.

He knew that the area had grizzly bears, but he didn’t believe he was truly going to have to defend himself against one.  If that belief had been genuine and sincere he would have done exactly that.

The tools he had would have been in the condition of readiness and in position to have instant access.

This is not an ethical or moral judgment in any way.  It is simply a fact that this poor man didn’t believe this kind of thing would happen to HIM.  He was wrong.  I am thankful to God that he is not DEAD WRONG!

I am sure marksmanship and quality of the tool (the rifle) were not problems with this man.  He went on to kill a good Bighorn Sheep a bit later on, so that’s proof enough that he knows how to use a rifle well.

He had the rifle on his person as I said before.  He might even have had pepper spray in his pack. He had the time it takes for the bear to come 40 yards to get into action.

None of those advantages were used because of the one problem I am focused on here, to the point of sounding like a broken record about it. He didn’t believe it would really happen.

Correct mind set would have caused him to change ALL these factor before he was 20 yards away from his truck. He would have been ready for a real fight, and I am sure he would have done well.  Ability never trumps willingness.  Without willingness ability is wasted.

Balancing Martial and Art

Street-fight-1You begin knowing almost nothing when you start to train.  Maybe you have been in a fight, maybe you just love the idea of the martial arts.  Either way, you show up to gain something that you don’t have.

If you train in classical martial arts, you will begin to ask yourself, “Does this stuff really work?” after you reach a certain level of proficiency.

Martial arts takematsuIf you pursue a nitty-gritty, street fight winning combatives system, you will ask yourself, “Is there a more efficient way to do this?” or, “How do those old guys make it look so easy?”.

The good news is that those two questions can be a fantastic tool for ratcheting up your abilities quickly if you let them.



Having read several books by Rory Miller, and having trained with him in person at BuYu camp last year, I have pushed our training in a direction that emphasizes using what we already know to prevail in a fight.  It really cleaned up my knowledge of classical martial arts and weeded out some bad habits that I have picked up over the years.  We will pursue this path in the future, but I couldn’t help but notice that I ended up in situations that I handled badly, even though I prevailed.  At that point, I began to wonder if there isn’t a better way…  You see where this is going, right?

Silhouette illustration of two figures doing martial art stanceSo, now it is time to go full circle and study the classical techniques slowly and methodically while trying to understand why these training methods have prevailed for hundreds of years.

I believe that it is important for any student of conflict to steer away from the extremes of martial art zealotry (blind faith) and brute force combative methods (experience based knowledge).  When the balance shifts too far one way or another it is time to re-center yourself between what you already know and what you can be taught.

The old “Kitten in the Grill” ruse.

The following was in our local news:

Police received a call of suspicious activity in the drive through lane at McDonald’s Restaurant Tuesday morning at 7:04 a.m. A woman called police that a man walked up to her vehicle and told her there was a kitten stuck in her grill. He had a tiny tuft of hair that he produced. When calling police later, the woman said she did not look in the grill for a kitten, or get out of her vehicle, but instead drove away to her place of employment so someone there could check. The woman said she did not know if there was a kitten there or not.

1)  She did exactly the right thing!  Even though she was in a low crime area and despite that this is a very public place, this could have been a setup for some sort of criminal action. (I would place my bet on car theft)  By getting out of the car and looking intently at the grill, she would have given a would-be attacker a variety of opportunities.

2)  A kitten in the grill?!?!  Really?  And how would it have gotten there exactly?  So you are driving down the road at 50+ MPH and a winged kitten flies across the road…

This was almost certainly a prank, but in a more isolated location it could have been the setup for something more sinister.

Be Safe.  Trust your instincts.

On Courage and Convictions

I live a few miles outside of a small town in Wyoming, and the other day I was flagged down by someone standing in the middle of the road while driving into town just before sunrise.  Out here people hit deer or swerve off the road because of animals, so I stopped in case help was needed.

It turns out that he was about 17 or 18, walking in the middle of nowhere at dawn, drunk or stoned (probably both) and had no idea where he was.

I embrace the idea of making the world a better place and protecting life (even the bad guy), and if he kept getting out into the road, he was going to get himself killed.  As we talked, I listened carefully to my instincts and intuition, and decided that although he was a risk, he was not a big risk.  To make a long story short, I put him in a tactically acceptable location in the car (no, not the trunk) and gave him a ride into town.  I dropped him off in town without incident, and we each went our separate  ways.  I’ll never know if I made much of a difference or saved his life or whatever, but what the heck, it seemed like the only thing to do.

The story is of interest because a friend of mine who is much stronger and generally physically superior to me stopped for this young man earlier, but declined giving him a ride.  Other friends that later heard the story expressed their concern with my sanity.  They are justified with their actions and opinions because it would not have been safe for them to help.  These friends and I all believe in the ideas of charity and helping our fellow man very devoutly as part of our religious faith, and statistically, they were all better examples of going the extra mile to help others than I am, but this time they were unprepared physically and mentally.  They had not “run the scenarios and done the math” mentally for a potentially hostile situation. They couldn’t improvise weapons they may have needed, and probably don’t carry a dedicated weapon; in essence, they were the wrong piece to this part of the puzzle.  I was the right piece of the puzzle because I had, I could and I do.

I am not writing this to tell everybody what a great guy I am.  I want to inspire my fellow sheepdogs that there are holes in the puzzle-fabric of the world where we are the only fit.  Most people view our need to study the fighting arts with caution or worse, but in spite of that it is important that we keep up our training and mindset.  We want to help those that really need it, and there are people in dangerous situations who need our help.  Sometimes we are the only ones that can help them.

Stay strong, train hard and maintain the courage of your convictions.


Back to the beginning.

Due to the much needed and appreciated rain this week, the “Danger Room” flooded.  Didn’t appreciate that quite so much.  Once the equipment dries out, it is going into storage, and we are going back to the park.

Four years ago, this spring, I started the school in the park, and now we are going back again.   I’m looking forward to the simplicity, quite frankly.

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