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Archive | Teacher Insights

Who is Your Teacher?

Best advice ever given to me as a martial artist? “Know yourself and exactly why you are training in the martial arts, and then carefully select the best role model teacher who directly addresses your motivating passion.” For me, that meant looking all across America for a teacher who inspired me with his skill, ability […]

The Worst Advice I Ever Got

Worst advice I ever got? “Shut up and train. Don’t bother me with silly questions about people or techniques. Just do what I say. Practice the martial arts in their unchanging classical form and you can easily adapt them to modern 21st century self protection; it will be simple.” Wrong on all points. I studied […]

The Harsh Reality Of Self-Defense Training

Self-defense is a big topic. In fact, if you’re honest about wanting to practice self-defense, the training encompasses most every aspect of your life. That’s the hard part. Maybe you read the title and were already thinking of brutal knife attacks, group fight dynamics or what happens to the brain under stress. We practice all […]

Same Conclusion, Different Endeavor

I read this recently, from an interview with Olympic fencer Daryl Homer by Clay Skipper, July 13, 2021, and it absolutely paralleled what we do in advanced To-Shin Do combat. He puts it precisely on the nose! “…with our sport, we really have to understand the opponent’s psychology. Like, you might be a really strong […]

Balancing Perseverance with Walking Away

Growing up we’ve probably all heard the words of wisdom, “A quitter never wins, and winners never quit.” “Never give up.” “A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.” And of course, the contradictory wisdom, “You have to know when to cut your losses.” “Don’t throw good money and time after bad.” […]

Force of the Killer

I used to teach this a long time ago. But then I sensed that people could not really understand or grasp it. Anyway, here it is again, the three variations to applying sak-ki “force of the killer” as taught to me in the ninja dojo back in the 1970s: Sak-ki – Experiencing and projecting a […]

Codes in Martial Arts Training?

A friend wrote critically of codes and creeds in martial arts schools. He feels people just want fitness and self-defense and do not sign up for what he calls “Boy Scouts or Sunday School”. He has a valid point. But what of people who want more than fitness and fighting from their martial arts study? […]

Training In Five Dimensions

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to humans. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of human fears and the summit of human knowledge. This is […]

Hard-Wired

Recently I took on a new life coach client. At our first meeting he got very emotional and asked me why he felt he was always struggling with a sense of negativity. He said he had looked into whether he was clinically depressed and felt that this was not the case. “I’m not really depressed […]

Doing Your Best

We are all trying to do our best. What does that really mean though? If we are not clear on what the definition of our “best” is, we are very likely to seriously reduce our ability to our best. If our perspective is not based on clarity and realistic expectations, we are setting ourselves up […]