Our Classes

At Mountain Karate we build a foundation of fitness and practical self defense - in a positive, focused atmosphere. Adult members get a challenging workout. Kids have a great time. Each member gets stronger and more skillful at every class.   At every class: Flexibility, Strength, Focus, Precision, Energy, Coordination, and Balance. Self-Defense: We introduce practical self-defense techniques right away. You... Continue Reading →

Featured post

An Ecstasy of Sweat

It's good to get together with a few or a few hundred of your closest friends and train real hard for a long time, together, everyone doing the same thing, in their own way, at the same time, of their own free will. And together, in an ecstasy of sweat, burn out all the junk... Continue Reading →

"Random" criminal activity is not random.  There are lots of things you can do to keep your self, your home and your family safe. This two hour workshop will give you practical, real world skills you can use to do it.   9am-11am, Saturday, August 25 Saluda Senior Center 64 Greenville Street, Saluda   Taught... Continue Reading →

Fearless Asymmetry

  Your body is biased. One side of you is stronger than the other. That is not a defect.   We become more effective fighters when we see that our “one-side stronger” design – our “asymmetry” – is not a weakness. It is a key feature of our design. It is a survival advantage.  ... Continue Reading →

A Rope in the Ocean

  In the fifth month of the year on Okinawa the typhoons begin. The Okinawans found it wise to stay off the water. There was plenty to do at home. They made new ropes for the rigging on their ships. They repaired their fishing nets.  They celebrated. Their year was full of festivals. Everyone got... Continue Reading →

Two To The Head

The brain, they say, is the most complex object in the universe. So when you punch it, it’s a big deal. It’s not made for that. We need to protect it. We need to be aware of what our opponents may attempt, and what we can do about it.   The skull can take a... Continue Reading →

Arches of Energy

  What if you could use your body as a perfectly tuned antenna? What if you could sense your opponent’s intention and respond instantly?       At first we learn techniques. We mature as practitioners by changing the deep structure of our mind and body and bringing those techniques to life. Whether you are... Continue Reading →

Summer Weekend Training

  Mountain Karate members and visitors, friends and family got together for a weekend of training and promotion for new ranks. People with a few months to a several decades of of karate experience participated. Everyone got a challenge, learned some new skills, and had a chance to meet and train with excellent and sincere... Continue Reading →

The Ancient Way

Martial arts offers us a path we can follow for a lifetime.  We have good examples of it.   The path we take through life is not set ahead of time.  We take our steps this way: we want things. We act to get them, and we act to avoid what we do not want.... Continue Reading →

The Moving Target

Some folks think there was a golden age, a better time, long ago, before the fall, when people lived sincere lives, worked hard, did things right.  In East Asia in the past, where our martial arts came from, people venerated their ancestors, homes had a family shrine, people looked back for guidance. Some folks put... Continue Reading →

Kata and the Knockout Game

It is easy to hurt people. It is hard to protect them. Standing on the corner on a bright sunny day waiting for the bus – this guy never saw it coming. For fun someone snuck up and punched this guy as hard as he could in the side of his head. It landed just... Continue Reading →

Gratitude

This calligraphy says Gratitude. It is pronounced "Kansha" in Japanese. The beautiful calligraphy was done by Chie Nakata and given to our dojo by her and her husband Jeremy Blaustein, an accomplished karate practitioner, who trained with us for many years. He says this is an expression of his philosophy of life. The message is... Continue Reading →

Zanshin is Your Friend

It's better to be strong than to be weak.  If you can help a friend or family member who needs you it is good to be able to do it. To be strong is an advantage. Our environment tolerates a lot of weakness. That is good for the aged and infirm but not so good... Continue Reading →

Beginning Today

    In the beginning we have the idea we will learn some tricks, some inside information, strike points, joint locks, secrets of ki, ways to punch or kick, that other people just don’t know. We might think that that is what martial arts training is, and that these things will give us an advantage... Continue Reading →

Prepare to Win

You will fight like you train.   If we train well, we respond well. We cannot expect that we will rise to the demands of the moment just because we want to, or because our cause is just, or because we are courageous.   It’s good when we can all get along.   Over the... Continue Reading →

Maintaining Perfect Balance

"According to Confucius: The well-trained person keeps to the center in action; the poorly trained person moves away from the center in action. The center, for the well-trained person, is such that he is always exact in his timeliness; the departure from the center for the poorly trained person is such that he will notice... Continue Reading →

Having a Practice

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.... Continue Reading →

The Three Powers of White Crane Karate

  There are mysteries all around us.  This one we can solve.  While we will all make discoveries over a lifetime of training there is nothing mystical or mysterious about the three kinds of martial power - ‘jins’ or energy-flows - that are used in Chinese, Japanese and Okinawan martial arts.  All three are useful... Continue Reading →

Fuel for Love

On the beach, in ceremony and celebration, the men showed their skill, power and courage. They were fierce.  The girls and women moved to the music of the surf and the strings, graceful, elegant and free. They admired one another. Times have changed. But still there's time to wonder, What happens when we fall in... Continue Reading →

Too Big To Fail

Most of those in the top 1%, of anything, won't be there for long. The ancient Romans were quite sure their empire was eternal. It shared something with other world-conquering empires - Athens and Britain, Persia and Babylon, the Mongols and the Ottomans, the Nazis, Soviets, the French: it ended. What do we learn from... Continue Reading →

The Crossing

  Two parts to being an accomplished martial artist: You have to know what to do. And you have to do it. Lets take the example of Odysseus, a fighter with proven skill, proven attitude, a winner. He was a king and a warrior. He was done fighting. It had been a long war. Now... Continue Reading →

Where We Are Coming From

It was a world of luxuriant decline. The old mills where people used to work were abandoned, transformed by bankruptcy and neglect into gutted and glorious hulks.  They seemed to us like the last few dinosaurs, standing still, silhouetted against the evening sky. But, like lights switching on in the darkness, some were coming back... Continue Reading →

The Okinawan Secret

Okinawans live longer than any other people in the world. Why? A team of medical researchers collected data for twenty-five years on the island to find out. The average life expectancy on Okinawa at the time of the study was over 90 years old. Finding their secret would be helpful.   Karate comes from the island... Continue Reading →

Every One

The massive Northern army is moving across the land. Town after town, province after province collapses in the onslaught. The power of the Northern army is irresistible. They arrive on the banks of the Yangtze River, and make camp. The Yangtze is the last barrier between them and the kingdoms of the South. Between the... Continue Reading →

Threats to Life

Get ready. If you are going into hostile territory you will risk capture or death.  You will need special training. In the US Air Force Survival - Evasion - Resistance - Escape Manual, section 4.9.2. "Threats to Maintaining Life” it says: “Two of the gravest threats to maintaining life are concessions to comfort and apathy. Both threats... Continue Reading →

Any Time Any Where

If you are a practitioner you can practice wherever you are, whenever you want to. It takes a while to learn how to do that. Because not every environment is as good for training as a dojo. But you can always do something to condition the body and mind. If you understand this and use... Continue Reading →

The Evolving Tradition

  Long ago, in another age, somewhere far from here, people found a way to keep themselves strong and alert. As they practiced and refined and used their art to good effect, it spread. It was referred to by many names over the years. The names changed. The technique evolved. In China, in the mountains... Continue Reading →

Hold Your Head High

It is human to have a long and vertical spine.  It is human to walk on two feet, with your head high, your breath free to move and your gaze flexible and alive. This is not the posture of mind or body we assume at a computer or a desk, in a car or on... Continue Reading →

Refuge from the Realm of Desire

  In times of peace and plenty people turn towards the things of this world. Prestige, comfort and safety become the ultimate refuge in the time before the fall, in every empire as it declines.  The pleasures, the values, the culture, the corruption, the errors and the collapse all flow from there. It happened in... Continue Reading →

The Moment of Freedom

    We bring many things into the dojo. Goals. Ambitions. Desire. Talent. We leave with empty hands. What we do creates our life. We can’t go back. But we can act. Right now. The opportunity is greater than we can ever imagine. Use the time wisely. This is the moment of freedom.   Post... Continue Reading →

A Precious Human Life

Practitioners of traditional Okinawan martial arts protect some of the most visible public figures in the world. This is not well-known because most of the people who do this work don’t talk much about it. It is useful to know - because the reciprocation between dojo life and practical application is the foundation of traditional... Continue Reading →

All Perfect

  A samurai stood at the head of his troops, on the edge of the field of battle. He was at the height of his power, a master of the arts of the sword and strategy, a general, a poet. It was April. The cherry blossoms fell from the trees, and with every breeze, clouds... Continue Reading →

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