Shikin haramitsu daikomyo

We are all different people living different lives, but we share the enjoyment of training in our art. Whatever each of us gets from our training, we all share in the process of learning, experiencing, discovering, and developing. This is what being a student is all about. For some, training…

Ukemi – beyond the mat

To the novice, ukemi or breakfalls are seen as little more than floor slapping exercises to help us reduce the impact of falling. This idea often continues way into our training and the benefits to be gained from a better understanding of ukemi remain unexplored and undeveloped. As a beginner,…

A good question

One of my students asked me the other day ‘What can I do to become a better student?’ This is a most important question we should ask ourselves and our instructors. It is up to the student to take a personal interest in studying their art, both in theory and…

Square peg, round hole

There is more than one way to skin a rabbit and there is more than one way to defeat an opponent. In the matter of life and death, doing whatever works is what counts. On a good day, your opponent may fall onto his own sword, while on a bad…

Commitment to training

The student’s commitment to training is very important. If the student works in harmony with the dojo, the student’s training will be effective and the dojo will thrive. Every dojo is different, each offering their own unique program of training. Dojos are naturally geared towards students that are suitable for…

Mushin – learning to forget

As a martial artist, we train to face a combat situation that will require us to engage on both a conscious and subconscious level, and so we should focus our practice with this in mind. The conscious mind is a great tool, providing us with our sensory input, the capacity…

Natural ability

We all possess amazing powers. We each have the ability to process information at speeds equivalent to 100 million million instructions per second, and we have a memory capacity equivalent to 100 million megabytes of data. It is important that we recognise these abilities and know that they operate on…

Keeping it real

We need to be clear about our training. We need to know how to train and how our training translates to real life situations, otherwise we can easily become confused and lose our way. There is training in the ‘application’ of taijutsu, and there is the practice of taijutsu ‘exercises’…

Refinement

Like a tree our growth depends on our foundation. In the martial arts we begin by learning the basic form and slowly begin to internalise the fundamentals which builds the basis of our skill. We continue to grow by copying the form and experiencing the feeling of movement, and as…