Author Archive

Speaking of Old School

Categories: Video


Congratulations to Adrian, Serge and Annalise, who passed their exam on Friday night.

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Exam Time

This is just a quick note to remind members of the dojo that there will be an exam next week. Please remember to show up with a (clean and ironed) gi and sparring gear. Good luck to the examinees!

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Weapons Night

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On Killing

February 4, 2010 Leave a comment

In movie combat we often see one individual grab another by the throat and attempt to choke him. And Hollywood heroes give the enemy a good old punch in the jaw. In both instances a blow to the throat (with the hand held in various prescribed shapes) would be a vastly superior form of disabling or killing the foe, yet it is not a natural act; it is a repellent one.

This quote comes from Lt Col Dave Grossman’s book, On Killing, which I picked up after reading the though provoking review at the TKRI blog.

There are plenty of reasons to read Grossman’s book “On Killing”; there are historical lessons to be gleaned, there are matters of strategy to be considered, there are lessons for society regarding the importance of honoring the service of members of its military, there are the lessons regarding drilling and conditioning, Grossman’s discussion of PTSD is very insightful, the list could go on and on. This is an incredibly rich book that not only offers the reader profound insight into the psychology and history of killing in combat, and of preparing men to kill in combat; it also examines and reveals the deep humanity at the heart of professional soldiers.

Personally, I found the book cranked how I thought about fighting 180 degrees. As martial artists, we spend a great deal of time thinking about how to avoid force, and when no other option is available, how to apply it with precision. Grossman’s book talks about the rules governing military combat (which I find fascinating), and then goes one step further to talk about how those who have engaged in extreme violence live with the memory.

If you’re interested in the review (and it is excellent), you can find it at the TKRI blog. If you’ve ever wanted to pick up a copy of the book, it’s currently on sale for 6.99$ at Munro’s Books on Government Street.

Categories: Reviews


January 31, 2010 Leave a comment

So, um, I was thinking last night about the characters I used to make for AD&D and thinking about how I always wanted to make a multiclass character and I don’t think I ever did. I also always wanted to take ambidexterity as an attribute, but I don’t think I ever did that either. It just took too damn long for the character to level up and get useful. Sure, when they do level up, multiclass characters are the characters behind whom everyone else hides, but I wanted instant gratification.

Today, while training sticks and bo in the parking lot behind work, I was thinking about how long it’s taking me to get the absolute most basic fundamentals of two-hand weapon work, and about how I’ve been told to pick up another weapon. I was thinking about how I’m struggling to keep the little I’ve learned from evaporating. I was thinking about how I typically train at least one extra out-of-dojo hour a week, but since I started to be OK with weapons, that number has been creeping closer to three hours.

It occurred to me while I was chanting temple-temple-forehead, temple-temple-knee that I’ve done in my life what I was always too impatient to do with my characters: I’ve multiclassed and taken ambidexterity. And it is taking a damn long time to get things to a point where I’m not afraid of dropping stuff on my feet or sticking myself in the side, but in the end, I think it’s gonna be worth it.

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January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

If I haven’t mentioned that the TKRI blog is an excellent source of information about stretching, strength training and body dynamics that’s karate-centric and chock full o nice folks, I’ve been meaning to. Check the blog out here.

Oh, and Ikigai Way, which is also ridiculously fun and pan-martial-arts, belongs here too. I hang out so much at the site that sometimes I forget that not everyone knows about it. You can find it here. The excellent and thought provoking post about the use of force spawned by this video

is a good place to start.

Categories: Links and Resources, Video