We could address the question above by attempting to define what we consider a martial arts master, but that is a rabbit hole into which I am not prepared to climb. Instead, let's ask a simpler question. What do you call your head instructor or person leading the class? In some cases, it might be … Continue reading What is a Martial Arts Master Called?
If you ever spend much time training in Japanese-based martial arts, you might hear the word “Kuzushi.” I recently had a revelation about this interesting term. On a coaches’ forum, longtime Judo coach Richard Riehle posted that one of his favorite kanji in Judo was 崩し or “kuzushi.” He noted that these are the characters … Continue reading Moving Mountains: The Meaning of Kuzushi
I had a newer student who tried to submit me any time we rolled. It’s fairly typical behavior when someone comes in with little or no previous training. The name of the game is to submit your opponent, right? In Wrestling, the new kid rushes in like a bull and in Judo, the new guy … Continue reading Survive. Then Thrive.
I received some pretty rough news. I have a herniated disc and a possible fractured vertebra. The degenerated discs in my lower back are likely due to years of training, competing, and rough-housing with big boys on the mat. The fractured vertebra came from a recent “Hey, y’all, watch this,” moments. I don’t know how … Continue reading How to Be Happy Despite Fate’s Fickle Ways.
In many ways, Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning” is a memoir and a treatise on human tenacity. In one way, it tells of Frankl’s hardships in the Nazi imprisonment camps, Auschwitz being the worst. In another manner, the book gives us insight into how we can endure in the hardest of times and the … Continue reading Readings #5: Man’s Search For Meaning (Suffering and Success)
It finally came. The day we had all waited for. The studio has reopened for us to get back on the mat. Now we can all take a deep sigh of relief… cautiously. As we reopen and resume our martial arts training, what does it look like? Is it perfectly identical to the way it … Continue reading Resume and Remain: Fighting Back After the Pandemic
If you haven't picked up Old School Jiu Jitsu founder Brian Jones's book, Manifesto, you are missing out on a gem. Jiu Jitsu is about fun, fellowship, and food for thought, but the core principle of Jiu Jitsu is fighting. An excerpt from the first few pages lays out the thesis: "Jiu Jitsu training provides … Continue reading Readings #1: Old School Jiu Jitsu – Manifesto
“Pressure is persuasion,” I yelled to one of my students as he tried to pass his opponent’s guard. The tournament official next to me looked at me funny and smiled. “I like that,” he said. Afterward, the official and I had a conversation about persuasion and martial arts. Part of my professional background is in … Continue reading Passing Guard: Pressure is Persuasion
We were just kids who wanted to wrestle. It’s hard to believe where we all are today. It seems like a different world. As we progress through our journey in martial arts, we face many obstacles such as learning curves, harder techniques, and tougher opponents. The young men in this picture faced obstacles over the … Continue reading Keep your head up.
I know it's been a few months since my last post, so I wanted to touch base. I haven't given up opining—quite the contrary. I have had numerous things on my mind lately, much of which I am eager to share with you in the coming months. In my last post, I mentioned that I … Continue reading Building a Legacy