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Natural Movement

We talk a lot about having ‘natural movement’ in our martial art. As important as it is, it can be just as hard to describe what that means. Sure, we want natural speed, relying less on fast ‘muscle’ speed. We want to use gravity and not rely solely on strength. We want to take away […]

Focus

The ability to stay focussed in a violent situation on the presesent moment is often the determining factor in surviving. The development of this focus is the main point of all of our training. The problem is that we have three attention/focus systems in us that are constantly vying for control of our focus. The […]

Order and Chaos

What if martial arts training is really an interactive experience of order and chaos? When there is an imbalance, there is less than effective training. You need to have order — the discipline, respect, and intelligently paced learning. You also need the chaos — free testing, the “try it outs”, and “what ifs”. When you […]

Verbal Taijutsu – Fire

In this third article on verbal taijutsu I will focus on the energy of the fire element. First let’s start with energy itself. The fire element is about connection, but also energy. An intense level of positive energy is always contagious. Enthusiasm is inspiring. This is what a lot of motivational speakers survive on. By […]

Mindful Action and Self-Defense

The To-Shin Do Mindful Action Code is a powerful self-defense tool and one I’ve grown to appreciate more and more over the years. I’ve seen as a teacher how many youth and adults find it such a meaningful part of their lives. That, by itself, is enough for me to make sure it is a […]

Above the Fray

I am 70, and have seen so many cultural fads come and go over the decades. WWII vets got parades; Viet Nam vets got spat on; Iraq vets got applauded in airports. Black and white were segregated in the 1930s; black and white were integrated in the 1970s; blacks demanded black-only spaces on college campuses […]

Because I Love It!

“So you’ve been doing this for a very long time, why do you keep doing it? I mean, when do you think you’ll give it up?” This question came from an acquaintance that I have been bumping into for many years at my local Starbucks (those of you who know me are aware that I […]

Mindful Training

One thing to watch out for in your training is repetition without awareness. The more mindful you can make each movement of your training the better. Mindful in this case doesn’t mean up in your word brain. But rather, avoid doing lots of repetitions of something just for the sake of doing repetitions. Years ago […]