The Gurukul Archives
The Immersion Labs Foundation, in association with Mountain View Aiki Kai, welcome you to this digital collection designed to support research and understanding of culture through healing and martial arts.
It is well understood that the cultural beliefs and social mores of the time directly influenced the nature of martial arts that evolved in a given geographical area. For instance, the usage of agricultural implements were reflected in the Filipino martial arts and the strict social protocols of Japan were echoed in the way their armies were organized.
Owing to many factors, the practice of martial arts in the classical sense (i.e. for combat) has been on the wane for decades now in modern civilian life. As a consequence, many classical martial arts are seeing the last generation of their true masters.
Secondly, much of classical martial art education happens behind closed doors, with teachers sharing secrets and myths of their art only to their dedicated private students of many years. This deprives hoplological pursuits of insights into these rich traditions.
Finally, most of hoplological research is carried out ethnographically. While this approach provides deep insights into specific cultures, concepts and ideas that are common across many martial arts lose their significance. Memes that evolved separately many times over or survived across many art forms are especially important as they point us to the principles of Human movement and thought, independent of topical or cultural practices.
At the Immersion Labs Foundation, the dissemination of the scholarly aspect of martial arts is just as important to us as the warrior perspective. We strive to contribute towards solving the aforementioned challenges.
The Immersion Labs Foundation facilitates collaboration between masters and masterful students. Regardless of individual approaches and philosophies, we explore traditions and methodologies across a wide cultural spectrum. In addition to martial pedagogy of their lineage, teachers at the Immersion Labs share their own methods and discoveries in intimate gatherings of dedicated martial artists. Teachers often never repeat these condensed teachings elsewhere, except to their private students who have invested decades in learning the art.
The Gurukul Archives document these talks, presentations and sessions at various labs organized by the Immersion Labs Foundation. The objective of this documentation is twofold:
Provide avant-garde reference material for hoplological research.
Archive for posterity, martial art wisdom passed from teachers to students without any official documentation, sometimes over centuries.
The Gurukul Archives are available free of charge to qualified organizations and individuals. Some examples include:
Universities actively engaged in hoplological research.
Museums that wish to exhibit the said material as cultural artifacts.
Independent researchers who strive to contribute towards the understanding of Human behavior.
We sincerely hope that these archives help in the preservation of rich martial traditions. Apply for access to this material below.
T. J. Obi
Caribbean Expedition, November 2018
Documentary on the hopological expedition to Barbados covering arts such as Bajan stick-fighting, Kalinda, Jab Jab, Grima, Garrote and more from the Caribbean islands.
Capa Capa, presented by Mark Mikita.
Karambit, presented by Burton Richardson.
Japanese Tantojustsu, presented by Henri-Robert Vilaire.
Visayan sword, presented by Maija Soderholm.
Italian blades, presented by Marco Quarta.
Polynesian blade techniques, presented by Robert Stines Jr.
Knife techniques from South African gangs, presented by Lloyd De Jongh.
Eclectic Mexican knife techniques, presented by Ed Calderon.
Copyright and Permissions
The Immersion Labs Foundation holds all intellectual rights for this collection. Please contact the us to publish, reproduce, distribute or transmit in any form.