Finding Control

When I’m with a partner that I’m not sure about, or that might be a little bit bigger than me, or younger than me, I always begin with inside control. That’s my primary strategy, the principle that I start with when paired with anybody I don’t know well. It’s a strategy that puts control first, … [Read more…]

Going Uphill

We have to go uphill every day, at least a little bit. We may have flat days where our equilibrium is never upset and we’re right in balance, or we may have downhill days where everything goes easily. In either case, we still have to find a challenge to engage with, in order to build … [Read more…]

Musashi’s Middle Mind

In the “The Book of 5 Rings”, Musashi encourages the reader, the sword-master, to stay in the middle mind. His recommendation is not to let the mind move too far in any one direction, but to make decisions from a central place. And that place in combat is where all discoveries are made. It’s a … [Read more…]

Burning Out

“Sustainability” is a word that we use to describe optimal martial arts practice.  It has to do both with the external environment that we’re a part as well as the internal terrain that we navigate for ourselves. And a lot of this internal work has to do with the stories that we tell ourselves.  There’s … [Read more…]

Correcting the Senior

There is a power that comes with staying mentally engaged in what we’re doing. In the dojo, when the class works together in this frame of mind, the distance we can go together is really something. When we stay present it gives us much more sensitivity moment by moment. This is critical because life typically … [Read more…]


In the classroom, we encourage all students to embrace the notion of maximum output. It’s the only real way to derive maximum benefit from the lessons. But a word of warning: don’t make the mistake of thinking that maximum output must always be physical output. It could be output of focus, of attention, of respect. … [Read more…]

Podcast Episode 22: Rock Steady (w/Anthony “Q-Unique” Quiles)

Anthony “Q-Unique” Quiles is the perfect guest to start off the podcast for 2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he’s a member of New York’s legendary breakdancing group the Rock Steady Crew and co-founder of the iconic underground hip-hop group the Arsonists. He’s traveled the world as frontman for his own rock groups StillWell (with … [Read more…]