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Martial Arts Intelligence

Recent Posts on the life and practice of martial arts

The Sharp Edge of History

The Sharp Edge of History

December 4, 2020

A guy walks into the dojo and says: “I just want to learn to fight.” He paused for a second. “I really don’t care about all that other stuff.” He didn’t say what other stuff he meant. We didn’t ask. He wanted to learn to fight.  We teach that. He started that day. What he […]

Having a Practice

Having a Practice

December 2, 2020

Having a practice is not the same as doing an activity or learning a skill set. An ‘activity’ is interesting or pleasant or distracting or edifying or fun. We enjoy it. It might make a lasting impression, but it probably won’t. Go to dinner or a movie, play a game or go for a walk. […]

How to Encourage Mushin or “Flow” in the Dojo

How to Encourage Mushin or “Flow” in the Dojo

November 30, 2020

Researcher Steven Kotler writing in the Harvard Business Review, listed four conditions that produce a flow state – intense concentration, goal clarity, feedback as to how well you are doing, and a properly matched challenge to skills ratio. We use these continually in martial arts training.   If the challenge level is set lower than the […]

型 Kata

型 Kata

November 9, 2020

The Japanese character for the word “kata” shows two hands linked together using an implement, like a knife or a sword, to cut into the earth.  To build a house you might pour a concrete foundation. Before you pour the concrete, you dig into the earth and build a form, out of wood, to hold […]

Senior Karate Training

Senior Karate Training

November 2, 2020

Our Senior class is for people 65 years old and older.  Sometimes classes for this age group are watered-down version of “the real thing.” Older people are sometimes treated as less competent versions of younger people. They sometimes think of themselves that way.   New technology makes old technology seem obsolete, and irrelevant, and sometimes ridiculous. It […]

Just, Not the Same

Just, Not the Same

October 12, 2020

On the first day I received these two belts they looked nearly the same. The same two-inch Shureido black belts, the same gold embroidered kanji, the same five characters on one of the ends of each belt – “from Sakiyama Sogen” – the teacher who presented them to me.  On the other end of the […]

Mountain Karate is Outstanding

Mountain Karate is Outstanding

September 29, 2020

Every student in our program builds fitness and flexibility, with a level of challenge that’s just right for them. We teach a complete, authentic martial art, for practical self-defense. The atmosphere is friendly but serious. What we don’t have: high priced belt tests, big egos, a cult-of-the-founder, or long term contracts. Our instructors are experienced […]

Sakiyama Sogen’s Last Letter

Sakiyama Sogen’s Last Letter

September 18, 2020

“The final hurdle for us is to be free from the limitations of our own ego. The disease of modern people is that they are slaves to money, power, fame, etc. They are enslaved by their own egos, and are unaware of it. You will become a true master when you become aware of it, and become free of it. There is no easy way, but it is the most important task, one worth devoting one’s life to accomplishing. This is the central task for anyone trying to master a true martial art.

Takuan’s Solution for Practical Combatives

Takuan’s Solution for Practical Combatives

September 17, 2020

Combat training simulates conditions of high stress. It works that way now and it worked that way in Tokugawa era Japan. Under hyper arousal we experience changes in sense perception and physical performance that can hinder our effectiveness: Our field of vision contracts to a small circle right in front of our eyes, an effect known […]

The Peak Experience

Our members have different goals and abilities. They all come for a challenge. Here is what they have to say:

Troy Rogers

Morality or our Core beliefs are guarded by training the mind, body, & spirit. I have practiced martial arts since I was a young man and I recommend my home Dojo and teacher Sensei Jeff Brooks at Mountain Karate for this Journey to everyone.

Troy Rogers
Srinivas Jaini

The energy and inspiration from Sensei Brooks teaching is invaluable. I’ve been to 2 summer seminars hosted by Sensei Brooks, and both have been packed with learning, experiences and unforgettable memories for me and my family. We look forward to more training opportunities! 

Srinivas Jaini
Dr. Bonnie Williamson

Karate has numerous health benefits for everyone and all ages.   If anyone in Henderson/Polk County is interested – We have a real gem here in Saluda With Jeff Brooks’ Mountain Karate. I personally love it and is fabulous exercise. 

Dr. Bonnie Williamson
Tarleton Brooks

Karate saved my life when I was confronted – and it has made an incredible difference in every part of life – in ways I could never have imagined when I started training almost 30 years ago. – Sensei Tarleton Brooks, Martial arts instructor, painter, mother.

Tarleton Brooks
Cassandra Nelson

“I’m grateful for the opportunity Sensei Brooks offers, to delve into an art that challenges mind and body, perceptions and self awareness. It will take a lifetime to comprehend but I’m enjoying every step along the way!” – Cassandra Nelson, Martial Arts and Yoga instructor and Builder.

Cassandra Nelson
Michael Lushington

Mountain karate is an exceptional martial arts training environment with clear and effective instruction backed by years of personal, professional and practical experience.  I recommend it highly. – Sensei Michael Lushington, Black Belt Instructor, Dojo Leader

Michael Lushington
Eric P. Bishop

Mountain Karate has helped instill in my son Bruce the long-standing traditions of discipline, perseverance, and a pursuit of excellence. – Eric P. Bishop, Author, “The Body Man”

Eric P. Bishop
Bruce Bishop

Karate is great!

Bruce Bishop
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