To Fight Or To Make Peace

A friend of mine used to be a bouncer at a pub. One day, the pub owner called him into his office and said, “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to let you go.” My friend said, “I don’t understand. I win every fight that I get into.” The pub owner replied, “That’s the…

Changing Ourselves To Change The World

Choose a practice that affects you in the way that you want to affect others. If we commit ourselves to a practice consistently enough, over a long enough period of time, for better or worse, that practice will begin to shape who we are and how we relate to the world. Oftentimes, our actions and…

Cross-Training for Aikido Pt 3: Principles Over Techniques

As an aikido practitioner who wants to cross-train in more resistance-based arts, it is best to approach them using lower case ‘a’ aikido, which is a set of principles, than capital ‘A’ Aikido(TM), which is a set of techniques. One of the greatest hindrances to aikido practitioners cross-training in other, more competitive arts is the…

Find Your Way Back to the Familiar

If you are stuck in a position you do not know how to get out of, find your way back to a position you do know how to get out of and escape from there. I received a call from one of my lead technicians the other day with a question about how to remove…

A Willow in a Snowstorm (Jujutsu and the Transcendence of Violence)

Does your jujutsu (jiu-jitsu) propagate violence or transcend it? The Japanese word jujutsu (柔術) is often thought to translate as ‘gentle art.’ Gentle implies a lack of force or lack of strength. Anyone who has ever done any form of jujutsu knows that there is nothing gentle about being thrown, pinned, joint-locked, or choked. In…