Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Only 4 more days to vote!

The IGAGI Awards are fast coming to a close, folks--vote on the poll in the left margin to eliminate the tie and name the best-worst Stage Combat debacle of this year's awards! Don't be shy--make your vote count!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Random Movement Pic

Well, it's not exactly random. I post this especially for you MSCD lurkers, to inspire you to sign up for the Fall 2009 Fundamentals of Stage Combat class (THE 421C). The image you see here is from last year (Fall 2008). Nate and Mandy as wrestler and senorita. Guess who wins.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fight Clip Club

I tried my best to find this one particular fight scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but couldn't. Well, got sick of searching. So I've posted this clip from Raiders here instead for you, as it's one of the most classic fight scenes in the films. Short, sweet, and funny.

The scene I wanted to point out is in Temple of Doom, though, and it's Indy vs. two thugee scimitar-men (that are dressed a lot like the dude in the above clip, actually). What's great about it is that Indy is unarmed. To see how he evades, disrupts the attacks, and even uses one guy's sword against his buddy while he's still holding it is delightful. Go pop in the movie and see what I mean.
Thanks to www.joblo.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2904438 for the Raiders image.

Random Latin

status quo
- the state in which, or existing conditions.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Event Highlights

Friday was another test nite at the BQC. As a brown belt, I'm required to test at every test, whether I get a new belt or no. For some reason, this particular test made me ridiculously sore. What, martial arts makes you sore?? I don't understand....

Here are some of the highlights from the 3/27 belt test:
  • lots of free response
  • Jeff needs to stop sharpening his knees--I have a dark purple bruise
  • Keegan gets his sword kihon
  • being thrown by Thomas is always a pleasure
  • the insanely spicy rice Jas made for the potluck! Thomas calls it the "weapons grade" rice

Good job, and congrats on the new belts, everyone! ~Jenn

Thanks to Robbie for the pics! Images are: Jenn beating up children again, sword action with Keegan and Thomas, Jenn hitting Keegan's glasses off. Good times...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ninja Sketch

My sketches have been (surprisingly to me) pretty popular here on the blog, so here's another one. This is my interpretation of "Ongyoki," the "hidden demon," a legendary ninja figure from Japanese myth. Enjoy. ~Jenn

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Everyone Needs a Ninja

I forgot about this! Thanks to Ken for reminding me! ~Jenn

Image from http://ny-image1.etsy.com/il_430xN.26139289.jpg. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Friday Night at the BQC

It's time again for an exciting belt test at the Boulder Quest Center! This Friday the 27th, teensy kids will test at 5pm and Youth/Adult students will test at 6pm. There are always fun demos and all Brown and Black belts have to be there for each one, regardless of rank promotion, so if you go, you'll see Jenn there.

More info here.
Image is from 2/27's belt test. Jenn throwing Keegan.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ain't it the Truth?

Thanks Richard Sears!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

D & D Gaming Day 2009

March 21st was World Dungeons & Dragons Gaming Day. Yep. The MSCD Stage Combat club had a meeting that day anyway, so what do you get when you mix geeks and D&D celebration, and add a dash of Stage Combat?


Here's our disclaimer. ~Jenn

Random Latin

non sequitur
- it does not follow. A remark having nothing to do with the conversation taking place.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


More than one person reported soreness or injury today in Stage Movement when we learned how to roll. Be careful, everyone. MSCD folks, have a safe and happy Spring Break.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The IGAGI Awards

Note the poll in the left margin--the "I've Got a Great Idea" award nominations are here and ready for your vote! Here are links to the explanations of each:
  1. Idiot from Home Shopping

  2. Et tu, Brutal Injury?

  3. Vienna Slice

  4. Dracula Stabbing

  5. Jackie Chan

Vote in the poll and see who is the worst victim of Stage Combat natural selection.

Thanks to waynewhitecoop.com for image.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Podcast Beginnings

The MSCD Stage Combat club will be hosting a launch party for their upcoming Stage Combat instructional podcast on April 11th in the Tivoli on Auraria campus.

In the meantime, I have posted our very first video to YouTube--our safety warning and disclaimer. It's there now before any of the dangerous stuff goes up. ~Jenn


School for Falling

All you slope-addicts are probably thinking about Natasha Richardson right now, or at least you should be. There's a Colorado school (besides Bonzuko's courses) that specializes in training folks how to fall safely. It's called Camp Woodward, and Team Bonzuko found them first on channel 2 news. What they are is a giant barn that trains gymnasts, BMX-ers, skiiers and snowboarders (and I'd imagine anyone else) how to fly and fall. Their giant barn facility (ooo I'm so jealous) has Olympic-grade trampolines and huge foam pits for landing in, as well as indoor slopes and rails. Check out their photo slideshow and enjoy.

As we continuously say, being able to fall is singly the most important aspect of movement arts one can learn. Especially we who are involved in martial arts, stage combat, and stunts. We at Bonzuko can teach you, but will also celebrate anyone else who does good work in this area.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gearing up for Summer class

You've heard Team Bonzuko praise these to the skies. Here's one place to get them.

Thanks to ThinkGeek.com for the ad image.

Read this!

Read Mr. Inouye's post from Friday March 13th, here. I'm not a MySpace person, so I didn't comment there on his site, but I really dug this post. It refers to a lot of the stuff I've been blogging and sorting through on the Bonzuko blog, and it's well put, written by other professionals. Dig it. And then come back here and tell me what you think. ~Jenn


Monday, March 16, 2009

Multicultural Fairy Tales

My Children's Lit students at MSCD usually think that the Disney versions of fairy tales are the originals. They often even think that Disney made up the stories--wrote them himself, as it were. As much as this makes me sigh, roll up my sleeves, and get to the serious educatin,' there's not a whole lot I can do about it unfortunately. Except teach about fairy tales whenever I can.

So good for Disney--it's 2009 and they have finally animated a Black princess. Why it took them so long? Who knows. But she's coming soon, her name is Maddy, and she's from New Orleans, and the film will be the Frog Prince fairy tale. I think the film itself is called the Frog Princess. ~Jenn

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fight Clip Club

J!nx.com has produced most of Bonzuko's favorite geek-themed T-shirts. Their sense of humor is much like ours as well. And like us, they began with two dudes in an apartment, and have now grown to epic proportions (Bonzuko's epic proportions are forthcoming, and J!nx is inspirational).

Here is a video from their "glog" about the merry band of rogues' foray into paintball. Looks like fun and pain.


Random Latin

- ever upward; sustained aspiration


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fightin' Irish

Denver was teeming with green-clothed drunkards today, and I was busy teaching all kinds of people about all kinds of movement. Here's a sample of some of the podcast footage we took today at the MSCD Stage Combat club. Beware: Nate almost says a bad word. He doesn't quite, but it is kinda NSFW or kids. It's a fragment of Scott & Nate's pushingchokinggrapplingheadslamming demo for the end of our Podcast #1:


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pirate Sketches

I got some positive reactions from the last sketch I put up, so here are two more. These are a cast of characters and "extras" from a piece of pirate fiction I worked on in graduate school. I'll try to keep the sketches I put up here at least vaguely connected to the movement arts. Which of us actor-combatants doesn't want to be a pirate, eh?

The "I've Got a Great Idea Awards"

We have five nominations for the IGAGI awards so far. Voting will take place here during Spring Break (March 23-28) and then the results will be posted after that. If you have any nominations, post them to any of the entries here that mention IGAGI, and it'll be put up for consideration.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fight Clip Club

Here's some of what we did in MSCD Stage Combat Club today. Jenn & Nick B.:

And Roberto and Nate:

Move it!

"Being still is how one clay clod

sticks to another in sleep,

While movement wakes us up
and unlocks new blessings."
- Rumi

Monday, March 9, 2009



"How come you're always such a fussy young man? Don't want no Captain Crunch, don't want no Raisin Bran." - Weird Al Yankovic, Eat It



"Experience is evident in confident marksmanship."


I don't even know what to say. Should I nominate this for our IGAGI awards, or should we all just shake our heads and sigh for a bit?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Random Latin

in camera

- in private


Stage Combat to Martial Arts

When one gets to a certain level as a stage-combatant in the SAFD (I think also especially when one is looking to teach), one's stage combat instructors urge one to take a real martial art in tandem with one's continued stage combat training. I assume the reasons for this are something like the following: it's important to know how fights can go down in real time and speed for one to be able to create an effective staged illusion; one should always be in fighting trim; there are many film fights that require a martial-arty style to them and it behooves an actor-combatant to be versed in said style; it's a good idea to know what a real punch/kick/etc. feels like, again so one can create an effective illusion.

I have had a few SAFD-tied friends ask me for advice when they are told to embark on the martial arts journey. They ask me which martial art I'd recommend. I've answered them with the following, and I thought you lovely lurkers would benefit from hearing this question and answer as well.

First of all, I could never tell you what martial art to study. Beginning martial arts training is the start of a lifelong endeavor (or at least it should be), and is perforce a very personal choice. So I'd urge you to take a bunch of introductory free classes, talk to a bunch of teachers, and especially interview students to see what their experience at a school is like. Look to see what the credentials of the teacher are and what the tenure of the students is (do students study for a couple months, get a black belt and leave, or are there people that have been around for years?) and most importantly, listen to your instinct, young Padawan, and see if you dig the vibe.

That's advice for anyone. For actor-combatants in particular, I would add:

Find an art that will ameliorate your training, and challenge you. Find one that will add to your skills, not allow you to continue doing what you're already doing. Find what they call a "hard" martial art.

Why? Because by practicing stage combat, you are constantly going for safety, throwing punches and weapon strikes outside the body, and (we would hope!) never taking a hit full force, or really at all. If you go from this to a soft art like Aikido or T'ai Ch'i, you're just continuing the softness, the avoids, etc. Choose a hard martial art: one that will have you actually landing punches on bags and pads, one that has you defend against free-response attackers so you can experience speed, one that will teach you how to punch and kick (and/or cut, stab, and staff-smack) correctly when the strike is landing. This way, you know what happens in real life (at least, a school's close approximation) and can bring this new knowledge to your creation of illusions of violence. Having said that, make sure nobody's really getting hurt or you're not going to want to study there very long. There's a delicate balance between martial arts safety and combat realism that many schools have mastered, which will help you immensely in your theatrical combat pursuits. Don't take the easy path of just allowing yourself to continue to look cool. Choose something that will improve what you do.

I also personally feel that knowing how to fall and roll is the most important stunt/stage combat skill you can master. If the martial art you choose doesn't include ukemi, find something you can study along with it that does.

Finally, if you didn't get a chance to read this way back whenever I posted it earlier, I hereby assign it to you again: Tony Wolf's excellent article called "Ne'er the Twain," about the "martial arts/performing arts dichotomy." And read this post from August again.

~Jenn Images from the most recent two test nights at the Boulder Quest Center (2009).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

l33t Speak

Since I am just as much a language arts geek as a movement arts geek, every so often I'll post something literary or language-arts oriented here on the Bonzuko blog. The other day I was innocently looking up the defninition for a piece of cyber-slang (O how the innocent are slain by Google), and found this article on "leet-speak" on wikipedia. Some of you lurkers may know even more about this, but my knowledge was slim. I found this fascinating from a lingustics standpoint. Enjoy. ~Jenn

Friday, March 6, 2009

Random Movement Pic

Time for a random drawing from the Bonzuko Movement Arts archives. Drumroll please:

Ah, it's from not too long ago--2007, I believe. Me teaching PiYo at the BQC. This pose is called the reverse, or dancing, warrior. As you can see, I have a small medicine ball in my hand, which is conditioning my arm even more than the pose alone. Mary is in the background.

This is an opportunity for me to invite all my local lurkers to take a class called NinjaFit at the BQC. Every Friday but test nights, NinjaFit meets to get as fit as a ninja. Class curriculum includes yoga, Pilates, meditation, strength training, Linklater and Lessac systems, dance, martial arts and shiatsu to improve strength, flexibility, posture, and breath. It's way cool.

NinjaFit: Fridays 5:45-6:45
Boulder Quest Center


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ninja Myth Comic Sample

A while back, I made a little sketch-comic illustrating the mythical history of the ninja. I herewith post it for you, lovely lurkers. If you want more sketches, let me know. ~Jenn

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Act Like You Can Use a Sword

Swords are awe-soooome.

There are lots of sword-geeks out there. Some unknown place inside the soul yearns for a solid piece of steel at the side, in the hands. It's not a matter of violent intentions or control issues. In fact, sword-geeks are often the most pacifist in a given group. Practicing swordplay for stage or martial technique is just plain fun. It's a noble pursuit.

I am one of those sword-geeks. But there are degrees of geekitude, and it is easy to get all caught up in how beautiful a well-made sword can be. It is easy to forget that we are dealing with instruments of death: these are razor blades ranging from 3 inches to 4 feet long! Is a stage blade with no edge safe? Anyone who has to ask that has no business getting near one. Though a sword may be dressed in a beautiful way, if you think about it for what it is ... it's about as cute as a stomach pump. And likewise should only be handled by a trained professional.

But really - swords can be so pretty! With passionate and talented people such as Denny Graves making high-end handmade quality functional pieces of art, it is easy to appreciate what a true sword should be.

A sword is like a car; using either carries mortal responsibility. It might look really cool or it might be a beater - its function is up to the user. No matter how great it looks, any time it is put into use, it poses a very high likelihood that someone will be hurt or killed. Even in controlled situations.

We need scholarly research to help us respect and understand the sword. It's all well and good to know the proper historical period for using a particular sword, to know its evolutionary history, to know its construction. It's important to know how to move and strike and parry with a sword. But are the true consequences of drawing a blade fully comprehended?

Most anybody can learn how to fight with a sword. Many more can learn to act like they can fight with a sword. Rare is the one who goes beyond cutting and bashing and the whole ego ride to discover the true depths of sword technique.

My question and challenge to all other sword-geeks out there:
Using a sword, are you able to restrain an unarmed opponent without cutting or killing them?
If not, please put down the books and go find a good teacher who can.

Peace, and stay healthy. ~Jason

Images: the other MSCD swept hilt from Denny's; an ornate cup hilt, also made by Denny


"It's boring, but it's part of my life." - Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

Weight training is good for my body. People who don't lift usually have good reason. Injuries, egos and boredom are the top three reasons. I'm not here to judge your motivations. But if you feel less than superheroic, I highly suggest checking in with your doctor to see if you can handle a weight training program. Even light lifting has too many benefits for me to bore you with here.

Since youth I've always kept playfully active and in pretty excellent shape. Last year was mostly business ... lots of time in the office chair. Out of serious conditioning for about 8 months and disillusioned with some truly crappy gyms around the area, I finally found 24 Hour Fitness last November. Since then I've kept up with an outstanding regimen created by Coach Glenn A. Morris at MSCD, and it has really taken effect.

It's easy to stay motivated when your health club has a good atmosphere and you see results from your work. Otherwise it can be really tough.

Have you had a lame experience at a workout facility? Tell us about it! Let it out. Was your last place owned by a "White Tyra Banks" with a catty gossip fetish and a husband with a professional title of "Gym Bitch" ... a gym with no HDTV and outdated cardio equipment? Did some roid-freak trainer physically hurt you through an intimidation workout? Did you get sore one day after training and just couldn't handle it anymore? Bonzuko wants to know.

Safe & Happy training to ya! ~Jason

images courtesy oneinchpunch.net

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


VoWoD of the Day:

"I subscribe to Obscure Sports Quarterly."
- Gordon, Dodgeball

Swords for Metro!

I went over to Denny's yesterday (that's Denny Graves, not the restaurant), and he showed me the pile of SWORDS he's been working on for the MSCD theatre program and stage combat club. Of course, he being Denny, they looked and felt fantastic, and I was happy to hear about his process and what he was planning with the rest. He had two complete when I went, and some parts of others ready. I'm not sure I can express my excitement through this bland font!

There will be several swept hilts, and several shell (or "transitional") hilts--he also said he'd make a few matched pairs and a couple ambidextrous ones for my lefties. I liked hearing about how he was going to play with and experiment with some of the fixtures. When you are able to commission a great artist like this, it's a really good idea to let them have some freedom with what they're doing for you. Like going to a good sushi restaurant: if you ask a skilled chef to make you something from his own choice, it can be an amazing experience.
All in all, I (again) can't wait for these. You MSCD folks that are taking the class in the Fall are a privileged few--you get to be the first ones to use these works of useful art. ~Jenn
Images: a complete swept hilt sword, full-length and hilt close-up; just a swept hilt waiting for its blade. Thanks to Denny for allowing photos!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

To celebrate the great Dr. Seuss' birthday, I have posted the wonderful old animated Green Eggs and Ham, which it's said was the book that still made him laugh when he lived.

Sorry, having trouble with my "embed" function. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdR0LXOiEB8

Stage Combat Club February

The main thing we got done in the first two months of the year was to get officers elected and to get official. Now that we're official, a lot of cool things can happen. Like:
  • Getting space all our own in the Tivoli for our meetings and events
  • Getting food for above
  • Getting our very own podcast started
  • Getting a filmographer/editor paid for for above
  • Getting out there in cyber-space
  • Getting together with other groups for events
  • Getting a table for Spring Fling
  • Getting travel fundage in case we need it (a moment of silence for RMTA)
  • And stuff!

The other main thing we have begun is work on the podcast. We have an outline set for the first two (the safety warning and the first technique one); it's even cast etc. Jenn is writing a couple blurbs for it, and we should be able to start rehearsing/filming this coming Saturday!

See you then. I'll also have seen the swords Denny is making for us, so I'll have news there too. ~Jenn Image is Jenn head-slamming our now-club-president, Advanced class summer 2008. Nick, why are you smiling?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fight Clip Club

I found it!!! It's on YouTube! (yeah, well what isn't, right?)
It's Robin Hood Daffy! One of my favorite staff fights that isn't a fight at all! ~Jenn