Toru Takamizawa

Toru Takamizawa was the best Karateka I ever met, physically he was incredibly fast, dynamic and for a small man powerful. Technically he was a genius. He structured Wado Ryu Karate in a way that I still use to this day in all my methods of training. He failed me on my second Dan grading and from then on I travelled from Kent to Birmingham every Wednesday for many years for private lessons. Financially he was terrible because money embarrassed him and that led him to trusting all the wrong people and he needed rescuing from financial ruin. To do … Continue reading Toru Takamizawa

Pain…

PainWhen I was young I taught myself to like pain, it made me train harder, made me focus and never give up. When I was hit, I tasted blood and fought harder. I constantly found myself joyously saying “is that all you’ve got?” There was a perverse pleasure in pain. As a matter of principle I would never, ever give up and you would have to kill me to stop me. Now at 72yrs old I’m in constant pain, with an amputation and phantom leg pain, painful arthritis in both shoulders and remaining leg, prostate cancer and radiation treatment inflammation … Continue reading Pain…

Podcast My 50 Years In Martial Arts

Key quotes and takeaways from the show: Never practice struggle! “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” – Aristotle. Balance!… Martial arts (and life) are holistic. Develop your mind, body and emotions. A good coach teaches on all of these levels. A good coach sees the kind of person their student is (type of learner, physical, mental and emotional state, etc.) and gives them what they need in that very moment. The same goes for a class. A good coach forgets about themselves and provides students what they need most at the time. Use meditation to … Continue reading Podcast My 50 Years In Martial Arts

Paper Tgers

I’m constantly unsubscribing to martial art pages, people and groups that ridicule others. Often someone will post a video of karate ‘bunkai’ application to a kata from up to 40 years ago and then ridicule it. I was practising Karate (that’s me in the photo with Takimazawa Sensei) and working security in the 70’s and knew that the kata had to be studied and what was demonstrated was not practical and only a demonstration for shows. Pairs work was to drill practical skills safely and was not exactly how it would be applied in the street. We practised the ‘art’ … Continue reading Paper Tgers

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