Buzz Durkin is a 10th degree black belt in Okinawan Uechi-ryu Karate. For more than four decades he has led one of the most successful traditional martial arts schools in North America. A member of the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, he has graduated hundreds and hundreds of students to the rank of black belt and beyond. He’s known around the world for the longevity of his students’ practice; on any given day in his dojo, you might find 3 generations of a family – a grandfather, a father and a son – all training in different classes.
But more than any of that, he is still a student of the martial arts – a dedicated proponent of the karate style he began studying over 50 years ago. His deep belief in the power of hard physical training, coupled with the emotional control and mental discipline that are hallmarks of serious martial arts practice, mark him as a true leader and role model. His ability to relate to people and his understanding of human nature are well-known in the martial arts world, and he’s quick to point out that they are at least as important as any physical abilities he may have developed over the years.
In this episode, we discuss his work over the last 50 years: from early martial arts experience in the 1960s, to his tour of duty in Vietnam; the growth of his own karate school and the capability of a good teacher; the beauty and relevance of traditional martial arts; the importance of positive community; not burning out, staying engaged and enjoying the practice.
It is our most sincere honor to be able to spend time in conversation with him.