Moving Mountains: The Meaning of Kuzushi

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

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Japanese Jujitsu: A Comparison

My main martial arts experience is in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), but I usually attend The Greatest Camp on Earth every summer. The camp is set up primarily for Judo, but it also has instructors for a few classical or Japanese Jujitsu (JJJ) styles. My first exposure to the older systems came at one of the … Continue reading Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Japanese Jujitsu: A Comparison

Why Complicate Teaching?: What I Learned from my Students.

Due to having back surgery, I have had to let a few upper-level students teach my classes. Usually, I hate relinquishing control, but in this case, I didn’t have a choice.  After class one night, one of my assistants messaged me. He had a revelation about teaching while filling in for me, one which is … Continue reading Why Complicate Teaching?: What I Learned from my Students.

You Only Live Once (Chasing the Will-o’-the-Wisp)

Sitting in a political philosophy class in college, my professor noticed many students on their phones, texting or surfing social media. We then took a detour from Plato and Aristotle for the rest of the period. Instead of political theory, we discussed something more permanent, yet forever fleeting. That class was the first time I … Continue reading You Only Live Once (Chasing the Will-o’-the-Wisp)

Crap Happens: Accept It and Keep Going.

Judo and Wrestling phenom, Justin Flores, posted a video on his Instagram recently of female UFC fighter Cat Zingano accidentally elbowing her training partner while drilling a technique. Have you ever done that? Or have you been on the receiving end of a stray knee to the groin while your partner is passing guard? Yeah, … Continue reading Crap Happens: Accept It and Keep Going.

How to Be Happy Despite Fate’s Fickle Ways.

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.