I guess you can’t fix stupid!

A comment on one of my recent articles stated; “Come step onto a jiu-jitsu mat and you’ll will be humbled. I guarantee it.” . A great many people are dying to be reassured that their martial art is the best and most effective. They evidently believe that their martial art is superior to all others…

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”

Be passionate about your martial arts training and your martial arts training will improve. . People join martial arts schools for many different reasons, perhaps wanting to learn how to fight, how to protect themselves, get fit, gain confidence or a combination of all those things. Often times those reasons change when there is a…

Common misconceptions in self-defense.

Fighting ability is just one aspect of self-defense. It exists alongside other skills such as situational awareness, verbal de-escalation, escaping, weapons, protecting others, the law, etc. which many people unfortunately overlook. . Also learning to recognize and avoid, or verbally de-escalate potentially hostile situations, these are hugely important skills if your interest in practicing the…

A hands up guard may not be useful in self-defense.

In boxing we were taught the importance of a good, tight guard. When you put up a guard you’ve just consented to a fight. . Self-defense is different. In self-defense if you lift your hands and wait in your perfectly aligned tight guard, you’ve lost the initiative, the ability to surprise, and control the enemy’s…

Your Karate isn’t working!

“Karate doesn’t work”…… I hear this all the time. This is a meaningless statement without a qualifier. . Works for what? You have to define the goal and from there seek the solution. . For you, is it a martial art (culture, health, personal challenge, etc). Is it fighting, competition, tournaments (consensual). Or is it…

Karate is NOT only a striking art.

When karate began to move across the world in the early to mid 1950’s the training emphasis was almost exclusively on striking. Kata was not properly understood. . Even today you can still find karate dojo that teach kata without ‘bunkai’ (analysis/breakdown). Those first generation Western practitioners then went on to perpetuate the bias of…

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…

When and why did people start using these Japanese phrases for techniques?

The Japanese technical terms that we use for our techniques came about a long time after the actual creation of the techniques themselves. . Karate, as we know (or should do), originally came from Okinawa, but in the early days the karate environment was very different compared to the modern day karate environment. The Dojo,…

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 traditional Karate just limited to imitation?

Change is the only constant in life and yet, it is the one thing we tend to resist the most, especially so when this constant is deemed to be traditional. . Okinawa is differentiated from the rest of Japan by its individual history and distinct cultural practices. One of the most recognizable products of Okinawan…