Late Bloomers Welcome

I got an email from a possible student the other day, asking if we offered adult classes, or if we would be willing to accommodate a 45 year old. I get messages like this all the time – parents and grandparents who want to either join their kid on the mat, or find something to…

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…

Martial Heart Series: The Concept of Giri

Whether it is the federation that supports its instructors with consistent training by bringing in instructors from around the world, the sempai that took the time to train you on a Sunday morning on a rugby field when the dojo was closed, the junior that asks the questions that you hadn’t considered, or the Sensei who works tirelessly to keep the dojo open so that you can train with others – no one becomes a martial artist alone.

Hojo Undo 101: Chishi

A number of people look at martial artists and think, ‘do you even lift, bro?’ Actually, yes, we do lift, bro. We lift asymmetrical weights and grip things and punch objects of high resistance (ie: planks of wood). Hoju undo is supplementary training, designed to improve the physique through simple, repetitive weight and resistance training. Correct…

Fifty Fights, Two Hours and Ten Lessons

After a lesson covering some of the basic principles, gumguards were shoved into mouths and half-gloves pulled on. We lined up, the timers began, and so went 150 minutes of fighting. Here are ten things I learned while getting the shit kicked, punched and thrown out of me. Take them as dojo advice, or life lessons – I think the two are inseparable.

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…