The name of our club is SOMA-KAI,
and the system that we teach is a FREESTYLE BUDO.
SOMA - School Of Martial Arts, Latin for the body working as one
KAI - Japanese for association, or club.
FREESTYLE - A 'style' free martial art, develop your own 'style'
BU - Japanese for WARRIOR DO - Japanese for WAY
Represents the Japanese warrior culture
SOMA-KAI is a concept of a complete Martial Art. One that teaches all aspects of combat, not relying on one style more than another. Methods of punching, kicking, throwing, restraints, grappling, blocking and counter striking are borrowed from many different styles and integrated into the Soma-Kai system. EVADE and counter, BLOCK and counter, HARMONISE with the attack and redirect are the basic self-defence principles for Soma-Kai. Because we are all built differently there are techniques that will suit some but not all. In this way the Soma-Kai you learn will suit you.
All students are taught falling techniques from the beginning of training. In our class students start 'hitting the ground' from phase two. Students learn a variety of throws and takedowns utilising the attackers energy against them.
When you are on the ground an attack could come from someone standing or someone on the ground with you. Both of these scenarios are covered within the syllabus. Soma-Kai is a member of the Australian Federation of Brazilian Jiujutsu. Methods of controlling and locking are taught as a part of this section of the syllabus. Our philosophy is 'The Mind Controls the Body'.
Understanding how your mind works when under stress is very important in self-defence. Monitoring, Non-resistance and Meditation are some of the tools we use. Traditional weaponry is taught from Phase 2 onwards. The basics of Bo, Jo and Nunchaku are taught and then the student decides which weapon they would like to master in to Black Belt.
SOMA-KAI, rather than being a style of martial art, is a system. It is important to note the difference between a style and a system.
A style is a particular expression and is bound by that expression. A system is comprised of interdependent items forming a unified whole. SOMA-KAI is a system - not a style. Though it is comprised of many original and innovative strategies and tactics, it does contain modified techniques inspired by other styles or martial artists. When asked what styles make up SOMA-KAI, the simple answer is no "styles".
However, from an athletic perspective there have been influences from Western boxing, Thai boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Aikido etc. . . Remember always that styles don't win fights. It's always a fighter's heart, faith, tenacity, audacity and conviction that creates victory.
What we teach at SOMA-KAI is only to be used in times of necessity, assuming that you have done everything possible to defuse the potential situation from becoming violent and escape is no longer an option. All authentic self-defence should be based upon common sense, thus our aim is to teach you how to avoid potential harm in the first place. Awareness for survival is the first principal of the warrior.
The mental edge is far more important than any fighting technique that we can teach you. Your mind can be your ally or your most formidable opponent. Training the mind to assess dangerous situations accurately, to avoid confrontations and to stay alert and positive is an integral part of successful self-defence. This positive mental outlook, combined with knowledge of self-defence techniques, will reduce the risk of being attacked and becoming a victim. Your growth in the martial arts will be more dependent upon yourself than upon us. We can only show you the way, it is up to you to try hard and commit yourself to your learning. What YOU put into it, YOU will get out of it!!!
Having said all of this, we believe that training should be seen as a way in which to enjoy yourself (free from fear) along with your fellow practitioners. A way to develop growth of character as a human being in your day to day relationships with people as well as the development of self defence skills. The ultimate aim of SOMA-KAI is the development of the mind and body as one. The competition at all times is against yourself. The key to this is your own self-improvement. It is never just a matter of physical capabilities. The mental attitude, the frame of mind, is of equal, if not greater, importance. Soma-Kai is a journey of Self Discovery.