Reflections on Building a Dojo

By Daniel Linden Sensei

The circumstances of a martial artists life are often fluid. I know I certainly floated around long enough; going from job to job; town to town, and always looking for that right place to drop anchor. I found it one day fourteen years ago after an unhappy divorce. I found the place to build a dojo.

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Real Self-defence

By Geoff Thompson

Punch ups, muggings and even fatalities are frighteningly common in a society that is bulging at the waist with unsolicited assaults. Due to astonishing growth-rate of violent crime in Britain, skills in self-defence are almost a pre-requisite if you want to get from the pub to the Indian and home again in one piece.

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Which is the 'Deadliest' Martial Art Style?

By Matthew McKernan

It seems you can't get into a discussion about martial arts without someone claiming that the style they practice is the best. Of course this isn't possible, because at least someone else in the group either practices the best martial arts style or knows someone who does. If you go online you will find thousands of opinions on the subject. Each person claims they can prove that their style is the best. Like religion, martial arts practitioners defend their style vehemently and aggressively. This can be pretty confusing especially if you don't know anything about the martial arts. But no matter what your level of experience, it always comes down to one question: Which martial arts style is the deadliest?

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The Kiai

All the martial arts have their own cry or “kiai”, which is often quite terrifying.

This is apparently the expression of the sudden release of energy from the body. A romantic interpretation of the kiai has made it famous in the West under the name “cry that kills”. In actual fact the kiai is a setting up of wave lengths’ between two contestants. He who has the greatest amount of subtle energy “ki” makes it known by the kiai.

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Calligraphy or the Seventh Martial Art

Most of the masters of the martial arts practise the art of calligraphy which is in itself considered to be the seventh martial art. For is not the ability to make the stroke flow naturally, to let the brush move freely across a thin piece of paper, also a superior struggle of the most testing kind? The spontaneous stroke of the brush is reminiscent of the quick free thrust of the sword or the freedom of the arrow fired effortlessly. Wherever there is distress, worry or swiftness of action.

Calligraphy which is the art of drawing characters with the tip of a brush dipped in ink and requires a profound serenity. Here again, harmony comes from control over breathing and movement. Introduced into Japan from China about 1300 years ago, calligraphy was then the art of transcribing Chinese ideographs (kanji in Japanese). Nowadays both kanji and kana (Chinese ideographs transcribed phonetically) are used.

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