When I learned my martial arts in the 70’s and 80’s I went to lessons, took a notebook and took notes in my own way. When I went home the notebook went up on the mantelpiece and I worked from there, it was very personal and taught me how to learn. When I went back for my next lesson my instructor expected me to have practised and learned what we did last time. IMO it’s still the best way to progress. Nowadays we produce the notes for the students and videos that can be used on any device, the problem … Continue reading How To Learn
This is an original handmade piece of glass made by Ruth Dathorne for our Dojo and is important to me as it is the only 2 logos I’ve ever used in my 50 years in the Martial Arts. ‘Logo’ means ‘word of god’ and represents the soul and ethos of my path in the Martial Arts. The person in the foreground was hand drawn by me in the 1970’s and is a yin/yang representation of a technique used in both Tai Chi and Karate and was our logo, badge and used on the front of the book we did in … Continue reading The Power Of A Logo
After 50 years in the martial arts and going through various incarnations of successfully teaching various arts, being one of the first professional instructors and starting one of the first full time centres, growing old and having to use others to teach many classes I’ve learned a bit about teaching and running a full time centre. What’s the biggest secret of success? It’s you. The coach. This point is often glossed over with ‘continued professional development’ like gathering certificates, doing courses, seminars and the like, but neglects the most important part. You need depth, the part that can’t be easily … Continue reading A Successful Martial Arts Coach
I’ve started compiling my old interviews and have listed them here: Interviews & People Steve Arneil Kyokushinkai Legend Wado Ryu Training In The ’60’s Toru Takamizawa Julian Dale – Eagle Claw Dave Rubens – Aikido and Security Yoshinobu Ohta Interview 2003 Mick Randall MBE Interview 2003 Mick Billman Interview 2003 Mick Gooch Interview 2003 Peter Spanton Interview 2003 Dave Hazard Interview 2003 Dave Courtney Interview 2010 Doug James Interview 2003 Jim Uglow Interview 2001 – Chap Sau Ray Fuller Interview 2003 Mick Nursey Interview 2003 Talks With Dennis Jones Giri Dennis Jones Interview Continue reading Interviews
They’re Not Your Friends…. Those thousands of voyeurs you have on social media; The people that appear to be friends all the time they get what they want from you; Using you as a stepping stone to climb the social ladder; They’re not your friends; They will stick a knife in your back as soon as it suits them. Your friends are always there; Whether they agree with you or not; Even if being friends with you harms their ‘social standing’; They support you in the hard times; Phone you when there’s no reason; Send you jokes they know you’ll … Continue reading They’re Not Your Friends….
Doorstep Zen This is my Dojo (place of learning the ‘way’) doorstep, as you enter you bow, as you bow you look down and this is what you see. ‘Shi’ means ‘warrior’ but more in the sense of ‘cultivated person’. ‘Kon’ means ‘spirit/heart’. ‘Budo’ means ‘to stop the spear’ or peacemaker. ‘Kan’ means ‘place/clubhouse’. So, ‘the place of the peacemaker with a warrior spirit’…. As you enter the Dojo the doorstep reminds you to leave the past and and future behind and become fully immersed and engaged in the present. The bow is an act of mental cleansing, reminding you … Continue reading Doorstep Zen
I hate the ‘what’s in it for me’ people. I love the people that support their family, club, association, charities and community. I love the students and instructors that support seminars, tournaments and courses and enjoy both the learning and social aspects of the gatherings. I love the Instructors that take all the right qualifications and continue their professional development. Those that register, licence and insure their students and are confident enough and not afraid to let them attend association and other seminars to widen their perspective. So many are happy enough to take their student’s money but are too … Continue reading What’s In It For Me?
‘Empty force’ sounds nebulous and difficult to understand, but it isn’t. The body is a spring, when the posture is correct and the joints unlocked, when the soft tissue carries no unnecessary tension – the compression and release of a combination of the joints, including the spine, bodycore and soft tissue is a skill that can be trained in a multitude of ways. The first level of skill is to unlock the body and keep it unlocked, start with good posture and then unlock the ankles, knees, hips, back and chest with the mantra ‘soften and connect’ when you … Continue reading The ‘Empty Force’ Of Tai Chi
Written in January 2004….. It was a year ago that we last interviewed Dennis – and in Bob Sykes words “2003 has been the Dennis Jones year”. Writing the “Samurai on the Door” columns and working on a book with him has helped me to understand what makes him tick a little bit better. I think the most surprising quality about Dennis is his quiet manner. You only get to know anything about him in bits and pieces over a period of time and need a lot of perseverance and patience to get the whole picture. Dennis is … Continue reading DENNIS JONES 5th Dan
Steve Rowe talks with Doorman and Martial Artist Dennis Jones… Giri: a debt of gratitude, duty, justice, obligation, a sense of honour SR Dennis, we were discussing the concept of “Giri” within the book “Hagakure” by Yanamoto Tsunetomo and the following story….. “Among Takeda Shingen’s retainers there were men of matchless courage, but when Katsuyori was killed in the fight at Tenmokuzan, they all fled. Tsuchiya Sozo, a warrior who had been in disfavour for many years , came out alone, however, and said, “I wonder where all the men are who spoke so bravely every … Continue reading Giri