Philosophy

DefiningBudoConnectionToZen

Defining Budo: Connection to Zen

Definition of Budo Billy Parker did an excellent job last year of explaining what budo was using some explanations by Gichin Funakoshi and by explaining the kanji. The biggest takeaway, if you do not have the time to read the full…
Three Wise Monkeys

Three Wise Monkeys

Trip to Annapolis I know the post have been rather scarce lately and I want to apologize for that. I was recently staying in Annapolis, MD and then marched in the 53rd Presidential Inauguration. While I was there I managed to…
Charging for a Lesson

Charging for Lessons

Your Full Time Job I have discussed a few times on why you shouldn’t make teaching martial arts your full time job. Chosin Chibana talked extensively on how you would become a worse teacher when your livelihood depended on keeping students. It…
The Importance of Passion in Martial Arts

The Importance of Passion in Martial Arts

The Importance of Passion in Martial Arts There are many reasons why someone decides to take up martial arts as a hobby and no two people are ever alike. Some decide to learn karate purely to learn how to defend…
No Style

No Style

The Example Gichin Funakoshi never had the intention of beginning his own style (ryu) of Karate. He taught the twenty guiding principals of Karate in which he describes the aims of Karate as a whole. He has taught eclecticism, blending…
enso

Enso

Buddhist Influence I have often talked about the influence of Buddhist philosophy on Karate-do’s beliefs on ethics. Someone recently made the point that philosophy is an ever ending and ever changing idea that moves between cultures. To say that Buddhism…
sensei

Sensei

The Title Sensei When I was learning Karate, this word had a lot of significance. I remember for my 10th birthday my instructor took a good friend of mine, Maiko, and I out to get lunch at Pizza Hut. Sitting…
The Karate Tree

The Karate Tree

The Analogy Karate training can be very much like a pine tree in many ways–it starts as a seed and develops roots that form a solid foundation for it to grow from, and as it grows it branches out, far…
misosoup

Defining Budo: Where We Go Wrong

Defining Budo In Budo, as we believe we understand it in American culture is literally defined, as the martial way, but what do we know about the martial way? It’s often lectured on in various martial arts publications, it’s taught…
A Modern Samurai's 20 Articles

A Modern Samurai’s 20 Articles

This is a modernized version of Soun Hojo’s 21 Articles for everyone who wants to feel like a present day samurai.
Organized Instruction

Organized Instruction

Special Treat Tonight I have a special treat (hopefully) for everyone. I have been working on organizing my teaching into a more formal manual for quite some time and would like some feedback on an idea I had. The reason…
Self-Exploration and Self-Promotion

Self-Exploration and Self-Promotion

With my three year mark as 3rd Dan quickly approaching, the possibility of promotion to 4th Dan is now a possibility. How does this work for someone who isn't part of a large organization? I want to explore this and…
What is Good Karate

What is Good Karate

This article is a discussion about the definition of "Good Karate". The sections include: 1) Comments 2) Reaction 3) Fundamental Kata 4) What is Good Karate 5) Constructive Criticism
The Way of Walking Alone

The Way of Walking Alone

Dokkodo 1. Accept everything just the way it is. 2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake. 3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling. 4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world. 5.…
Ranks and Promotions

Ranks and Promotions

Ranks and promotions in martial arts are a bit of a touchy subject–many people find that they dilute the arts or do nothing but generate money, while others find that the more ranks you have in your art the better…
Replenish your Karate

Replenishing your Karate

Continuing my recent trend of talking about the philosophies of Chosin Chibana, I want to talk about another concept he mentioned – the changing of Karate. Sensei Chibana said that: “Karate, as it is transmitted, changes every few years. This is…
Dan Certificate

Karate-Do and Money

In my last post there was a collection of thoughts on various topics in Karate-Do by Chosin Chibana. One of these topics was his feelings on Karate-Do and money: “A true Okinawan martial artist makes his living away from the…
Proving A Point

Proving A Point

Sometimes people are just out to prove a point. These people tend to be arrogant and confident, and due to the nature of martial arts they can be very, very dangerous. I would like to share a story with you…
School Loyalty - Part II

School Loyalty – Part II

This is my follow-up article to Sensei Kruczek’s “School Loyalty” article, and it comes only from the point-of-view of a mudansha (under black belt) student.  Loyalty is a common concept within the martial arts and is generally expected, but how…
School Loyalty - Part I

School Loyalty – Part I

It is currently finals week for many colleges in the country, including mine, so my apologizes for the lack of updates the last few days. Today I want to offer my opinion on school loyalty. Over the last decade, my…
Commercialization

Commercialization

While looking up information on the Pinan Series, I stumbled upon another Martial Arts blog who had some very insightful information on the matter. The thing that concerned me was a very nicely worked in line about, to sum it…
Misconceptions

Misconceptions

I was recently reading around a blog when I cam across the remnants of a poster who was banned and had all his posts deleted. Luckily a handful of people had quoted him. I am going to paraphrase some of…
Respect

Karate-Do Begins and Ends with Rei

Respect in Karate This stems off the idea that Bu makes a nation prosperous. Karate-Do is as much philosophical, if not more so, than it is combative. One of the first things all students are taught in the majority of…
Karate Prohibits Violence

Karate Prohibits Violence

Defining Violence Continuing from our topic of mutual respect, Karate-do also prohibits violence. It is often confusing to someone new to karate-do to understand why so many people who know how to fight and take life are constantly telling their…
Bu Makes People and a Nation Prosperous

Bu Makes People and a Nation Prosperous

Roots in Bu The essence of Karate-do, which draws its roots from Bu, will always make people and their communities prosperous. Over the past twelve years I have seen hundreds of people sign up for karate classes and then eventually…
Blood Sport

Mentality Over Technique

Karate vs Karate-Do This final concept is the embodiment of the first half of this paper. Karate-Do and Karate are two different things. While the contemporary use of Karate is synonymous with Karate-do, it is important to know which of…
Discipline - Part II

Discipline – Part II

My intent was to give purpose to kata immediately. I wanted students to use it as a tool to remember the application, rather than to learn it.
Discipline – Part I

Discipline – Part I

The decline of discipline in the dojo over the last 15 years has been dramatic and widespread throughout American culture.
Ethical and Mental Aspects

Ethical and Mental Aspects

The Way It is a common misconception that Karate is something that you do only with your hands and feet. This is true, but few schools teach Karate. Almost all “Karate” schools are teaching Karate-Do. “Karate-Do” translates to “The way…