Lessons From My Students

There’s a lot to be said for the wise Sensei motif, but any teacher worth their classroom will tell you that the exchange of knowledge goes both ways. I have heard wisdom from the mouths of toddlers, and utter tedium from boring-ass grown-ups. This list is open to future edits as my teaching career continues….

The Launch of Martial Heart

It is with this in mind that I finally started an initiative that I have been thinking about for a long time. It is a small start, but I hope it will grow over time.

Courage in Karate: The Role of Vulnerability

“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from…

Shu-Ha-Ri – The Martial Recipe

In studying, practising and teaching karate, I have come across the concept of Shu Ha Ri a few times. Of course my mind latched right on to it, because it is a neat way to explain vast concepts. Anything that offers an elegant shorthand is basically catnip to the instructor-in-training. Of course, Karate by Jesse…

3 Fun Ideas for Teaching Kids Karate

In my journey as a deshi, I have been given some great opportunities to come up with clever ways to get complex concepts across to kids ranging from the age of 5 to 15. I’d love to share these ideas, and hear back from other deshi students and instructors if they have had success, and…

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

My favourite pre-training song is Belt by Say Anything. It has the right tempo, it literally expresses a training montage, and also has the most important phrase I’ve ever had to apply to my training: This is something I have to do for myself. Martial arts is one of the most solipsistic things in the…

Beloved Dojo

It is with great sadness that I announce the closure of a dojo very, very dear to my heart. Goju Ryu at Rhodes University is where I met my dearest friends and learned a great deal about who I am, and what it is that I’m capable of. We travelled together, we partied together, and…

Something I wrote a while ago…

Here’s a piece I wrote after a particularly rough training session at Aikido. I thought it might be a good start to the blog. *** Of course its not fucking easy. Of course there’s pain. Your arm gets wrenched like a stubborn anchor from rocks, your head snaps back too fast, you hit the ground…