To Live and Die

 

After a hiatus I am once again teaching martial arts. It has been a while since I put my thoughts, philosophies and insights into a blog. I am once again in that period of limbo when in between jobs I have some time on my hands. At times like this my mind starts to wander as a deluge of memories and nostalgia comes pouring in.

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The Budo Code Isn't Dead

The Budo Code Isn't Dead

In today's martial art world, it seems the type of arts that get the most attention are the sports schools like MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), Tae Kwon Do and JuJitsu schools. I have found that although many of these schools have students (and instructors) that are technically and athletically quite good, it saddens me to see some of them have lost the essence of the martial way. I realize this isn't all martial arts schools, but I have seen a trend that has lead many martial artists away from the true meaning of karate do.

The Martial Way, also called Budo, means "knowledge as a way to improve ones life and the life of others." Budo is a way of living and a way of dying.

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Magazines: Paying to be featured, recognised???

Magazines: Paying to be featured, recognised???I fully realise that Martial Arts Magazines have to rely on a certain amount of commercialism and adverts etc to stay afloat. Such is today's world and there's nothing wrong with that. The costs of producing a magazine must be phenomenal! But I'm not too sure about the following? What are your thoughts on this? Is it "Cheque Book Journalism?" Paying for recognition ... surely not? What does it say about those who may be "featured?" What happened to being "featured" because you had something valid, interesting, of value to say to the wider community??? Your thoughts??? Quote:Subject: Blitz Instructors Special Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:35:15 +1000 Hi, Thanks for your email and interest. Our expressions of interest last week was towards Masters here and abroad who are interested in our Blitz Instructors Special - Masters Edition 'Collector’s Edition' (Nov 2012). Blitz magazine’s annual special edition Instructors’ Fighting Techniques is all about giving readers the opportunity to expand their horizons. Through the insights offered by masters of many different martial arts, we hope to not only educate readers on the key elements of successful self-protection, but also on the broader benefits of martial arts training. Each year, we publish up to 40k copies of this collector’s edition which is sold over three months (Nov, Dec, Jan) and always gets SOLD OUT! The costs associated in securing your spot amongst the most practiced martial artists on the planet is below. Two Page spread– Silver Package - $1,295 1/3 – Your details, Q/A 1/3 – Up to 8x photos of your technique workshop 1/3 – Advertisement of your dojo, club or organisation Four Page spread– Gold Package - $1,995 1x Full page – Your details and Q/A 2x Full pages - Up to 8x photos of your technique workshop (per page) 1x Full page - Advertisement of your dojo, club or organisation If you are willing to commit before end of June 2012, I’ll be happy to give you the early bird prices. Two Page spread– Silver Package - $990 ( See attached 2 page-2) Four Page spread– Gold Package - $1,495 (See attached 4 page-1 and 2) Please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. Kind RegardsWould you pay to be featured?

Neighbourhood Broach

The name Trayvon echoes around social networking, the world’s media and on the streets of New Zealand. As a martial artist and former bouncer I think is a sad state of affairs when a 28 year old security guard is unable to whoop a 15 year old youth, unable to take a beating and has to rely on a firearm for protection from an unarmed youth. What is even sadder is that a hoodie wearing African youth buying a can of pop and a bag of skittles instantly comes under scrutiny. This can only be attributed to the aberrant conditioning of a kooky and gung-ho community of a fenced off Florida enclave. To me it looks like a first step down a slippery slope of white only areas and locally sanctioned apartheid.

At times like this I am grateful that our good friend, the USA, has an African American president. Our perception of African and an indigenous people through no fault of our own as Europeans of is conditioned to some extent with an outdated knowledge of colonial times. I see historical articles online of Nazi doctors in Namibia examining African tribes to bring their “science” to human matters. However Nazi science could never replace trained sensibility and human insight. No matter how proud of my ethnicity I have never been able to fully incorporate the fortress of high mindedness of the third Reich and the Afrikaner governments. I have always believed that physical mastery and education are the great engines of personal development and emancipation.

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Fighting Style

Teaching children’s martial arts class today I had one youngster ask me whether I had hurt anyone in sparring or in competition. Two instances that spring to mind are when my axe kick popped my opponent's shoulder and another time when someone fractured their wrist trying to block my roundhouse. I have also suffered injuries with the most serious being a broken arm in a state tournament. Injuries I guess are inevitable, however Taekwondo is a fairly safe sport considering the objective is to score points with full contact kicks to the body and head. In Taekwondo most of the time if one gets hurt it is normally the result of an accident.

Unfortunately in any sport injuries are a part of life. However many injuries that I have seen in martial arts come about just from training and practicing stunts and tricks. I have seen one youngster break his arm after falling when performing a flying side kick. I still wince when remembering the time when my toe stuck out at right angles attempting to break a board with a jumping spinning roundhouse kick or the time when someone snapped my finger trying to break a piece of wood. Club training should brings about a relief from the hectic striving of the conscious rat race and free one into state of aesthetic bliss. In sparring we are playing a sport we are not fighting. Fighting is something that is done outside the training hall when the need to defend arises. If I see anyone going in too hard or trying to hurt or injure their partner in sparring I impose myself on that person with power. Being a martial artist is about developing balance. Having style is a unique human quality, when I observe a student using a technique; it is almost like a characteristic signature of that person. Relaxing and enjoying the sparring experience enables one to develop their style and avoid hurting themselves or their partner. In the sport of Taekwondo the targets are very well defined by the chest protector and head guard. Being able to visualize the sport fighting targets makes the sparring and kicking drills much more effective and realistic. Kicking to the low section and punching to the face is not allowed. Those who want to train specifically for self defence I recommend my Krav Maga classes where I cover techniques against every possible target area in detail. Knowledge is power rings very true in martial arts but most importantly is the experience to keep that knowledge alive. When the instinct is vivid there is a much better chance of being able to survive and win.