Live Not OnLine

Live Not OnLine

Geoffrey Hinton just resigned from Google, where he was a leader in the development of Artificial Intelligence. He resigned so he could speak freely. One of his concerns is that AI will flood the internet with fake videos, photos, and news, so that people will “not be able to know what is true anymore.” We are already […]

Self-Defense in Fading Light

Self-Defense in Fading Light

People debate the right to self-defense. In some places people can be charged criminally if they use a gun in self-defense, even in their own home, against an armed home invader or robber. Business owners and employees have been charged with felony violations for using deadly force in self-defense, even after they have been attacked […]

Training In the Shadow of Science

Training In the Shadow of Science

Because of the advances in science and technology more people are able to be more ignorant about more things now than at any time in history. This is a stunning achievement.  It is not because of science, which, like guns or butter, has no agency of its own. It is because of what people have […]

Bones

Bones

Everyone is unique. That’s something we all share. Another thing we share is that we all have 206 bones. Most of them are in our hands, feet, spine and ribs.  We might be used to thinking of the big bones in our arms and legs as our bones. And we might think of those big […]

Empty Hand vs. Drugs

Empty Hand vs. Drugs

What we do is the opposite of addiction.  We move forward, like a river. We continue, following our course, with purpose. We change. We meet obstacles, we adapt, we move on. Sometimes our course is smooth and clear, and then maybe with no warning, narrows, cascades, cataract, whitewater. We deal with it. We continue. Our […]

Making History

Making History

They say the modern world is in an advanced stage of decline. We don’t need to decline with it.  We are not helplessly riding an arc of history. History is not a thing. History is what people do.  We can think in accord with accepted norms or contrary to them. Or neither: we can make […]

Why They Did It

Why They Did It

…the essential inner stream of east Asian martial arts culture… When you make something, you change the material you are working with. And you change too.  Anyone can fight. Kids hit. It takes no training, no brains and no skill. Impulsive ones lash out. The other ones learn what to do about it. People cannot […]

The Momentum of Truth

The Momentum of Truth

At first enthusiasm gets you in the door. You imagine yourself as you want to be, with great skill, great confidence, great power. The reality of the first hard steps in training is acceptable. You can overlook not knowing what you are doing, not being able to do as much as you want, lower in […]

The Moment of Truth

The Moment of Truth

If your life is framed by the choice between gain and loss, fame and obscurity, praise and blame, and pleasure and pain then you are done. It is too late. As practitioners we have a better basis for deciding what to do and what to avoid.  By practitioners I do not mean all people who […]

Healing Your Body with Your Mind

Healing Your Body with Your Mind

If you look at people who live under pre modern conditions, embedded in the natural world, doing what they need to do to live, you can see that their bodies are healthy and their faces are calm. They walk, they work, they live together. Maybe they farm, they gather, they hunt. Certainly they protect their […]

Assault

Assault

Our training benefits us every day of our lives, in many ways. Health, stamina, strength, flexibility, confidence and focus are ours, continually. The self-defense model of training is very useful because it gives a sense of immediacy and urgency to the way we move and think, which can be more intense than some games or […]

Bugs and Features

Bugs and Features

Over the course of training people change. Whole new qualities appear. Some start out thinking they are unstoppable. They learn about the limits of talent, and the benefits of training.  Some start out feeling that they are behind the curve, because they are learning something new, and don’t know how to do it yet. There […]

How to Rotate

How to Rotate

“I move, I lose balance. What do I do?” In the beginning you learn new things. As you speed up, even as a good athlete, you’ll lose balance from time to time. You feel it. It is easy to see what is going wrong. There is some deviation of the central axis of the body […]

What Sakiyama Saw

What Sakiyama Saw

In these three articles I tried to convey something of what was exchanged between myself and influential Okinawan Zen priest and karate master Sakiyama Sogen, Roshi: True Karate Do His translation into Japanese, and distribution to the karate community on Okinawa, of my vision of the potential of dojo practice… Sakiyama Sogen’s Last Letter    His […]

How Things Get To Be The Way They Are

How Things Get To Be The Way They Are

The first day of after-school karate at the elementary school was, in the beginning, not quite chaos, but it was not the orderly, focused, respectful atmosphere of the dojo either. The kids there for the first time lined up when I told them to, but they wiggled and talked and did what they do after […]