The wearing of the “Aka Obi”. The Red Belt.

Titles, belts and grades are often discussed in the martial arts, and is usually a topic of contention. . Often it’s people who don’t even know each other personally and decide to head off into a diatribe of hatred and abuse. It’s usually coming from people who are lower grade black belts that have never…

Do you want fries with that?

The martial arts are largely unregulated here in the US. There are seldom background checks carried out on teachers like there are in other countries. Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (UK), you don’t need anything special to open a dojo or school. . You don’t even need to…

Is your art sport, or does it have a deeper meaning for you?

For many people, the status of their martial art is something of great importance. For others, it’s not important at all. Is your art sport, or does it have a deeper meaning for you? . Having success in an arena or being able to break boards, ice, bricks etc., or to fight in a controlled…

“I always say that it is not about grade, but about substance..”

“I always say that it is not about grade, but about substance..” – Yasuhiro Uema 10th dan Shubukan Shorin Ryu . Grades, or belt ranks, are without doubt one the most controversial aspects of the martial arts. They can cause many problems and focussing overly on your belt rank, can become extremely toxic. . A…

Today, many people are thrust into teaching…. Perhaps too soon.

You’ve just earned a black-belt and in an instant you’re teaching children and young students? Today, many people are thrust into teaching…. Perhaps too soon. . If you haven’t been guided through the process, you won’t have a clue as to what it really takes to guide others. No one learns by osmosis, no matter…

“Self-praise and over-confidence is a sickness that corrupts training.”

“Self-praise and over-confidence is a sickness that corrupts training.” – Hohan Sōken (1889-1982) Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū Are you consumed by the desire to want other people’s grade or title? . Comparing yourself to people around you is a trap you can easily fall into. But, trying to get ahead, or measuring your success in karate…