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Archive | Warrior Philosophy

To Reply Or Not To Reply

You can’t post anything online these days without someone attacking it. It doesn’t matter what it is. A while ago my wife posted a photo of a smiling family from our dojo putting on white belts for the first time. You’d think that would be immune. A happy family starting a new adventure together. Nope. […]

The Tragedy of the “Wave Person”

There is an American interpretation of a Japanese concept that is totally backwards. Some martial artists love to brag that they are “ronin”, a lone masterless samurai. They even name their (usually small) training halls “Ronin Dojo”. Maybe this comes from a misguided sense of the American pioneer spirit, going it alone to forge a […]

Secret of Focus – Danshari

An-shu Rumiko and I have been exploring the Japanese concept of Danshari for several years now. Dan-sha-ri could be defined as Dan for “Cut (select, refuse)”, Sha is “Discard, let go”, and Ri is “Liberate, lift up.” “Discern, select, liberate”. Danshari is the process of arranging our homes, workspaces, dojos, cars, and relationships to where […]

Beyond Curriculum

In most people’s minds black belt is the end game for martial arts training. This is the product of many social and economic influences. Somehow the uninitiated have the idea that black belt means you’re Spiderman. My sense is that the best way to put this in perspective is through an analogy. Black belt in […]

Kyo-Jitsu Ten-Kan Ho

It is said that the ninja uses the juxtaposition of falsehood and truth (kyo-jitsu ten-kan ho) as one of his options for winning. Ostensibly this is translated as presenting truth as falsehood and falsehood as truth. This seems obvious as a ninjutsu tactic. If you are strong, appear weak to trick an adversary into underestimating […]

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 […]

Five Minds in the Middle of Conflict

Traditional martial arts training, back when martial arts prepared the practitioner for living accurately and safely, offers us a series of five states of mind to explore while training and moving about in the world. 初 心 Sho-shin, the “beginners mind”,a state of awareness that remains fully prepared to enjoy things for the first time. […]