Trust but verify.

When Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify”, he was quoting a Russian proverb right back to the Russians, about whom he was speaking during the cold war. The expression was certainly catchy, suggesting a tough, cautious form of diplomacy. Recently I have been using these words in the entirely different context of my martial arts. … Read more

Mind… set; body… go.

Ah the good old days. Back in my twenties, my personal energy was always at a surplus and good thing too. You needed a lot of energy to practice spinning hook kicks, jumping side kicks, and other feats of physical prowess. My martial arts style at that time encouraged these techniques and every class began … Read more

The Power of the Mind: Visualization I

In solo martial arts training, visualization can be a very powerful tool. This is not some new revelation. In almost all forms of sport, dance, combat or other physical challenges, visualization is used to focus the participant’s mind on an idea or outcome. However, this type of mental exercise is particularly important when you are … Read more

Do what I Think

I spent an hour this morning training two movements that were discussed at length during a seminar a couple of weekends ago with Taika Seiyu Oyata. I hope it is the first of many such hours. You would think that both ideas were brand new to me but, in fact, neither were revelations. One was … Read more

Summer inspiration.

I am losing count. Was this morning three or four? You know you are on vacation when the days start to blend together. I am currently at one of my favorite places on the planet, Litchfield Beach, South Carolina. We are enjoying a full week here this Summer and I have been up and training … Read more


To achieve sustained success in perfecting martial technique, possibly the most important skill needed is that of being alone. An idea like this may seem self-evident, especially in the context of this blog, but I think it deserves further exploration. Much of what I have written is about finding ways to fight that “alone” feeling when … Read more

Taking stock

For personal reasons, this seems a good time to take stock. I have not written as much as I have wanted so far this year. Being busy in other aspects of my life has been part of the issue. The other part has been an increased sense of self-importance. Rather than simply writing what is … Read more

Snap out of it.

Sometimes an idea enters your head, takes hold, and won’t let go. When the idea is a good one, there is no better feeling. I want to share one such idea today and hope it helps to inspire your solo training. But first, we have to give up some other ideas that, for many of … Read more