Jeff Brooks is a unique and influential voice in the martial arts.  His new book "The Good Fight" is Powerful – an unconventional look at the traditons, values, techniques and fundamental principles that give form and purpose to our martial arts. It looks at what it means to use martial arts to fight The Good Fight... Continue Reading →

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Master as Servant

A sesame seed is permeated with oil. The oil in the seed is not located in a place within the seed, or separate from it. Our minds are permeated with a working impression – accurate or not – of how things work. This determines how we interpret the world, how we frame our experience and... Continue Reading →

Yoi for Bunkai

A “ready stance” has an important place in practice. But in bunkai it can yield good results when it is understood as a pass-through point in ongoing movement. Not as a static position. People sometimes try to interpret the first move of their kata as if they were standing still in their “yoi” position when... 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 him as hard as he could in the side of his head, just under his ear... Continue Reading →

Perfect Balance

  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 nothing.” –... Continue Reading →

June 2019 Seminar

Mountain Karate and friends on the trail for mountain training - Day Three. Day Two - technique seminar Dojo training and testing Day One - Congratulations to all!    

Karate and Subject Control

Many grappling arts are designed for subject control: the opponent’s ability to threaten you ceases when he is under your control. That means your objective in the encounter is to restrain his ability to move, and you do it by using a pin or lock. Wrestling, east Asian grappling arts, as well as defensive tactics'... Continue Reading →

War and Peace

“The civil is the inner principal and the martial arts is the outer principle. Outer technique without inner principle is simply the brute courage of physical strength. However, when one is no longer in his prime, bullying an opponent will not work. Those who possess inner principle without outer technique, who think only of the... 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 →

The Place of Honor

For about a million years people used only one tool.  A rock, chipped into a long oval, with sharp edges and a point. A hand ax. It was handy.    If you lost it, broke it or gave it as a gift you could make a new one. You could find plenty of blanks in the... Continue Reading →

Strength Stone

Today we made some chishi. Chishi are training tools. The name translates as ‘strength stone.’ They are used in Okinawan karate to develop our arms and shoulders. They pour concrete into a mold and make the handle from a dowel. We use them the same way and we make them the same way. It's simple... Continue Reading →

The Point of Contact

One skill we do not usually train in the dojo is self-defense decision-making: When does an encounter become a conflict, and when does a conflict become a fight?   Discretion and Valor Under some circumstances we want to avoid threat situations. Tactical trainer John Farnam describes basic self-defense this way: "Don't go stupid places. Don't... Continue Reading →

First Kata

In our  first kata we learn to project power in eight directions. This kata, Shoshin Nagamine's "Fukyugata Ichi", has some very advanced elements.   “Blocking” in Two Dimensions If you look at the s-curve at the center of the yin yang symbol you will see a map of our blocking system. Follow the progression of... Continue Reading →

Personal Safety Seminars

Personal safety and self-defense are everyone's responsibility. Our seminars for families, individuals, government departments and professional organizations are custom-designed to empower participants to be more aware, more effective and to stay safe - at work, at home and on the road.   "Random" criminal activity is not random.  There are lots of things we all... 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 →

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