Because I must.

“Obligation” has been the word on my mind this week. We seem to increasingly be living in a world that promises us personal choice and relegates obligation to the dustbin of history. A television ad for an online university brought this to my attention recently. The actor/student in the ad states, “I want classes I … Read more

Wake up.

Litchfield Beach, South Carolina, Saturday morning. I woke up for no reason I can recall. The house was quiet and there was only the faintest gray light coming through the blinds to suggest it was anything but still nighttime. The calls of birds and the dull rolling thunder of the waves were all soothing, sleep-inducing … Read more

Stepping Out

One of my favorite martial arts blogs, Ikigai Way, is currently hosting a Readers Week in which a different author is published on the site each day. I submitted an article, titled “Freedom from Choice”, and am very pleased to announce that it is the featured piece today. I hope you can find time to … Read more

Watching Movies: video training part 2

Lights, camera, action! It is time to take another look at technology and how it can help the independent martial artist. A few months ago, in video training part 1,  I discussed some of the strategies for filtering through and learning from the mountain of martial arts videos on youtube. The goal was to improve … Read more

Dear Santa…

Christmas: a time for good will, for family, for giving, and for making lists of all the cool stuff you really, really want. After watching the video below, I found myself looking up the exchange rate of the Japanese yen to the dollar. I really wanted to know how much 1,500,000 yen was. The answer: … Read more

Slow it down

I was a little under the weather last week and, for a moment, considered not training. Instead I slowed things down, way down. In the process I was reminded that, whether you are sick or not, slowing the pace of training has a lot to offer the serious martial artist. And by slow I mean, … Read more

Reflect on this

A big aspect of successfully training alone is getting use to doing without; without equipment, without mats, without sparring partners, without a sensei.  Since these are all very useful, we often work hard to replace them in one manner or another. But, there is one training tool that I do not recommend replacing at all … Read more

Come on Feel the Noise (updated)

Music get’s a bad rap (no pun intended) in traditional martial arts circles. And, let’s face it, training to defend your life is a serious business and not a place for distractions. With the advent of musical kata competitions, and the mixing of breakdance moves with martial arts, it is no wonder that traditionalists get … Read more

A little continuing education.

It’s time to hit the road. In a few days I will be traveling to an annual training seminar that is always one of the highlights of my year. The three-day event will be more somber this year due to the recent passing of our organization’s founder, Taika Seiyu Oyata. But I also know it … Read more

Simply react, simply.

What if someone attacked you right now, while you were reading this post? Are you sitting in front of your computer? Are you at home or in the office? You might be walking down the street, reading this on your phone. Watch out for traffic. Regardless of your circumstances, if you had to react to … Read more