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Martial Arts Intelligence

Recent Posts on the life and practice of martial arts

Karate Koan from 把握不能心

Karate Koan from 把握不能心

June 21, 2022

We practice karate, 空手, empty hands. Hands empty of what? “A weapon,” people say. A hand can take many forms. It can punch or grab. It can release or withdraw. It can tear flesh from bone, build a house, play the piano, caress a loved one. A hand has no fixed form. We can learn to use […]

手 Hands

手 Hands

June 16, 2022

Karate is an anti-grappling art. Of course we learn to strike – with hands and feet, elbows and knees and other parts of the body – as our go-to way to stop a threat. But at the initial contact point much of what we are learning to do is to stop a grappling attack. People […]

Fifth Annual Yamabayashi Seminar in Saluda

Fifth Annual Yamabayashi Seminar in Saluda

June 7, 2022

Mountain Karate hosted the Fifth Annual Yamabayashi Seminar in Saluda this week. Intensive training, black belt testing, special tactics and techniques, new bunkai applications and insights deepened and challenged the skills of all the visitors and members. It was great.

Training at Sunset

Training at Sunset

May 27, 2022

As civilization sheds its skin, or drops its mask, our karate training is a treasure that we need to protect. Unlock the door. Open the windows. People enter and bow. We create a zone of order and beauty. My teacher began the day by lighting a stick of incense in the alcove at the front […]

Three Instructor Stages

Three Instructor Stages

May 5, 2022

There are three levels of instructor in our style. There are many different styles of martial arts. Within them are many different approaches. Our approach is what we use. The first stage instructor demonstrates technical competence and the interest and ability to share what they know with others. The second stage instructor combines that with […]

念Advanced Training Page

April 26, 2022

Our 念Advanced Training page has info relevant to members and practitioners with ten years of training or more, but everyone is invited to take a look and use it.  Yambayashi training is built on a foundation of self-defense skill: strength, speed, flexibility, endurance, experience and precision tactics. The pressure and risk required to develop these is as […]

The Benevolence of the Butcher

The Benevolence of the Butcher

April 5, 2022

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”    -Adam Smith, 1776, An Inquiry into the Nature and Sources of the Wealth of Nations Adam Smith was describing how free markets work. No one knows everything. […]

Naihanchi’s Strange Omission

Naihanchi’s Strange Omission

March 31, 2022

In “te”, the indigenous Okinawa fighting art which evolved into karate, for the first three years some students practiced only naihanchi kata. Why?  We may also observe that there are no high blocks or head strikes in naihanchi. Why? The answers are closely related. Naihanchi does not present a full spectrum fighting system. It is […]

Karate and Nuclear War

Karate and Nuclear War

March 13, 2022

Shoshin Nagamine, founder of Matsubayashi Ryu Karate, was a Police Chief and an Okinawan political official for much of his life. In 1996 he was also recognized for his spiritual achievements. In his address “Karate and World Peace” he reflected on the spiritual heritage of Okinawan culture, as embodied in karate, and its role in […]

The Peak Experience

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

Sensei Brooks provides an amazing place to train and learn the martial art that he has dedicated most of his life to studying. Mountain Karate has changed my life, and that is not an understatement. His training has significantly improved my physical and mental health, and has also come into play in several real-world situations due to my line of work. Sensei Brooks takes training very seriously and the results are shown through his students. This martial art is not just about learning self defense, it is also about discovering your inner warrior and working through any psychological barriers that you may have. I am beyond grateful for Sensei Brooks’ training. 

Alan B.

“Our middle daughter was very interested in karate. We decided to enroll her to help teach her some valuable lessons and skills that she could use within her young life however, we’ve quickly become a karate family with all five of us now attending! The lessons that we learn together as a family at the dojo make our family bond imperishable. Not only are we healthier, we are much happier and a lot stronger! We are forever grateful to Sensei Brooks for his skillful teachings!” 

Holly O.

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 R.

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 J.

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.


“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 N.

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.

Michael L.

After a long search for a dojo I joined Mountain Karate and I’m glad I did. It has become a huge part of my life, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn from Sensei Brooks. The benefits I receive from karate are invaluable, and I would encourage anyone interested to try it.

Bruce B.
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