Missing The Mark?

This week in our classroom we’ve been discussing the concept of “forgiveness”. Heavy concept, I know : ) But let me share why I consider it a “black belt trait” and why it applies to our martial arts practice. Forgiveness is sometimes seen as this very intense, demanding , even religious concept. I prefer to … [Read more…]

What Are Your 3 Magic (Jiu-Jitsu) Wishes?

Jiu-Jitsu is often idiosyncratic. It has its own culture, its own language. We can endlessly debate the values of different approaches to training, to teaching, to “art versus sport”. But I think there are a few things we as practitioners can do to elevate the practice for everyone, regardless of where they’re from. So with … [Read more…]

Why Jigoro Kano Wants You To Be a “Good Citizen”

Growing up in the martial arts during the 1980s, one of the primary tenets of practice was something they called “good citizenship”. The concept dates back to at least the 1800s, to Mr. Jigoro Kano‘s belief that a practitioner needed to be a useful citizen to society. But today it sounds very outdated, even antiquated.  Even though I was surrounded by the … [Read more…]

Are You OK?

dunn-gene-dojo-axed

When I was seventeen I had a job laying tile floors and carpet. There was a subcontractor by the name of Robert who used to come and work with us. He was a hardened ex-Marine, a non-nonsense fellow and an overall fascinating guy. Now on this job, we used these tools with razor-sharp blades to slice the tiles. I … [Read more…]

One (Very Unexpected) Tool For Better Living

There’s something called the “uchi deshi” in Japanese martial arts. This is the live-in student, the one that takes care of the dojo. And at an early point in my martial arts training, I became the uchi deshi at Mr. Miyazaki‘s dojo. I would clean and straighten up around the dojo, making sure it was ready for classes and to receive … [Read more…]

Listen To These Four Words

There’s a really powerful saying that we’d like for you to consider today. It’s a strategy that martial artists have used for centuries, but it’s also more than that. This reminder has been a resource for those of us who want to address the obstacles in our lives directly, even in moments when we’re fearful … [Read more…]

Do Traditional Martial Arts Matter?

Every week I work in Jiu-Jitsu with Professor Danaher on Saturday afternoons. Before training this week, we spoke about Garry St. Leger, an amazing judoka and true friend of this program. So Mr. Danaher had a lot of great things to say about him, but the one thing that stuck out was when he said, … [Read more…]