Martial art, sport, self-defense, tradition – or neither?

As schools, styles, traditions – ryu – got bigger, and evolved into different streams, and since every keyboard champ/chump can start a school and join an “international federation”, easily measured qualities become frowned upon. They all want to be the best kept secret, to not have to prove themselves, but still followed by the masses […]

Black Belt thoughts

This Saturday I had the honor of receiving my 3rd Dan. First a Throwback an entire Decade. In April of 2008 I did my original black belt testing. I was more nervous than ever before, but I think I made it quite well for the time. Just one year later I was asked to do […]

Schroedinger’s black belt

I suppose you have heard of Schroedinger, and the cat that might be both alive and dead. I thought about it the other day, since I recently came across a bunch of people that (for two different reasons) both were and were not black belts. How is this possible? Unlike the cat, they are not […]

You can only fight the way you practice

This was supposedly said by the great Musashi. For a person whose life depended on winning each battle/fight/duel, the practice was obviously of great importance, but even so – How many people could Musashi actually have killed in practice? I always thought this was a great proverb, until seeing the backside of it. In many […]

Practise makes perfect?

In some Facebook martial arts group, someone wrote that “Practise makes perfect” is actually wrong! That the truth is that “Practise makes permanent”, good or bad. I didn’t think about it before I saw that post, and even though I totally agree, why am I making a post about it? Because I already had thoughts […]

Rei

In Martial Arts we are bowing a lot, to everybody, everywhere – all the time. I wanted to give an insight in my view on the Rei towards the Dojo/Shomen/whatever. In a room full of people, where most might be punching each other in the face, rolling or the ground, or something else that require […]

Two mistakes with black belt graduations

For me, there are two problems with black belt graduations in general, and specifically in Ju Jutsu. “It must be equal for everybody” might be a good standard for boxers! If you want to be a good boxer, you can’t avoid practicing your jab, hook, and so on. In Taekwondo it’s the same. You can’t […]

Being The Master vs being A Master

Over the years I have seen way too many “senior grandmasters” with 10 Dan belts of red/gold/black in various forms. I am not saying that these red/gold/black belts are all bad, or that they have nothing to teach us. Martial Arts is just such a personal experience and such a journey that nobody can walk […]