What The Prophets Knew

If someone’s never eaten a banana, how could you describe the taste to them? If you meditate regularly and discover the immortal within yourself and the person you’re talking to doesn’t, how could you describe it to them? The first lines in the Tao Te Ching say “The way that can be spoken of is not the eternal way”. This is why Jesus told parables;The Buddha told sutras;Zen uses koans. In Karate the title ‘sensei’ means one who’s gone before and therefore points the way. A ‘Guru’ is one who sheds light into darkness. All we can do is provide … Continue reading What The Prophets Knew

Deeper Understanding & Insight

Maybe too much information has also been killing off the deeper understandings and insights to be gained in martial arts. There’s a lot to be said for mindful repetition of skilled movement and too much ‘thinking’ and information overload blocks these insights. Because of the structure of our society we confuse the more we know about something with actually knowing it. There’s a big difference between accumulating knowledge with the simplicity of doing it with a few basic principles that encompass the knowledge to be gained through repetitious practice rather than tripping over mental information that couldn’t possibly be accomplished … Continue reading Deeper Understanding & Insight

Training For Life

When you finally find what’s absolutely right for you in your martial arts training and meditation and you internalise it you don’t need to rationalise why you do it. I practice every day religiously, like saying my prayers and have practiced in my hospital bed laying, sitting, in a wheelchair (my current location for training) in my garden, in parks in my Dojo and every other location you can think of. I train for me. Not to fight anymore, not for how it looks and not for what others might think of me or what I do. It’s deeply personal, … Continue reading Training For Life

Sitting At The Feet Of A Master

Sitting At The Feet Of A Master I feel I need to document this as it’s rapidly deteriorating knowledge. Our world turns on ‘easy access’, ‘easy to learn’, ‘learn quickly’, ‘learn in your own home’ and ‘get results fast’ and there are many businesses and franchises around to fill these needs, it’s not a bad thing, just the way that our culture has indoctrinated us and most people want to fill their ‘needs’ in this way’, often through books videos, online learning and/or from instructors that only have the basic knowledge themselves. Beyond that there is a rapidly disappearing way … Continue reading Sitting At The Feet Of A Master

How To Learn

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

The Power Of A Logo

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

A Successful Martial Arts Coach

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

Interviews

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….

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

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