War And Peace

Why do we take such a black and white view on dealing with violence? You can’t view violence without looking at peace and conversely you can’t view peace without looking at violence. One only exists because of the other. Martial Arts traditionally understood why this balance is important and for those of us that have taught peace and law officers at the sharp end of violence we have had to teach this balance. You all know my mantra of ‘a soft front and strong back’ because good manners, politeness, kindness and gentleness, patience, tolerance and compassion are the mark of … Continue reading War And Peace

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

Cognitive Dissonance In The Martial Arts

I posted recently on Facebook about Firemen who rescued some piglets from a fire and how the grateful farmer then slaughtered them and rewarded the firemen with sausages made from their carcasses. As a meditation I suggested that if that made the readers uncomfortable it might be because they were experiencing ‘cognitive dissonance’ because they might hold two opposing views about the piglets, one because they are cute and cuddly and the other because they like them as food. This then made me think that it might be a good idea to draw some of my teachings together under this … Continue reading Cognitive Dissonance In The Martial Arts

Keep Your Child Safe!

VERY IMPORTANT! This is the time of the year that children are going up a school, from Infants to Junior and importantly from Junior to Senior and Senior to University. Parents in their infinite wisdom decide that their children will have more homework and often drop their martial arts training and teenagers going to university often move away from the area of their club and don’t bother to find a new one. THIS IS A BIG MISTAKE! Why? The children going from Junior to Senior school will need to move up in their martial arts club to the adult training; … Continue reading Keep Your Child Safe!

Rules Of Self Defence and Bullying

Rules Of Self Defence And Bullying YOUR BODY BELONGS TO YOU! No-one can touch it unless you give consent. YOUR PERSONAL SPACE BELONGS TO YOU! No-one can enter it without your consent. The perimeter of your personal space is the point that you must react, reactions can range from “get out my face” with a polite hand to their chest to raising your hand to meet theirs with a redirection and maybe joint lock as it crosses that line to a pre-emptive strike in a dangerous situation. BEYOND PERSONAL SPACE IS YOUR SPHERE OF INFLUENCE! Stand tall, breathe deep and … Continue reading Rules Of Self Defence and Bullying

Tai Chi – The Ultimate Skirmish Art

Tai Chi – The Ultimate Skirmish Art “I would consider tai chi to be the ultimate skirmish art” said a night club doorman of 28 years and lifelong martial artist.  “This is exactly what happens on the doors and it gives us the skills to deal with being pushed, pulled grabbed and hit from all directions at the same time, we’re often in a melee and the ability to cope with simultaneous multi directional attacks is essential. The mental image that most have of Tai Chi is that of the ‘hippy’ or ‘health’ version and of old age pensioners creaking … Continue reading Tai Chi – The Ultimate Skirmish Art

How To Stop Bullying

How To Stop Bullying Simon was 13 years old and usually an enthusiastic and happy member of the adult class.  Tonight he really did seem ‘off his game’ – he was quiet and messing up his timing and distance by blinking and seemingly scared of being hit.  Sensei noticed this and followed him down to the changing rooms.  Simon was sitting staring into space. “You alright Simon?” asked Sensei “Yeah… sure…” said Simon in an uncertain tone. “What’s up mate, it’s unlike you to be off your game like this?” pressed Sensei. “Just an off day I guess,” said Simon. … Continue reading How To Stop Bullying