Enough May Be All That We Get (And That Is Okay)

“I have only ever asked God for enough and he has always provided.”—Joe Sheya (my first martial art instructor) I am have never been shy about discussing the large degree to which my late hapkido teacher, Joe Sheya, impacted my life. He passed away in 2014, but some of the lessons he passed onto me…

It’s Not For That (And That’s Okay)

“The aiki-arts (aikido, aikijujutsu, hapkido, et al) are ineffective for fighting and incapable of teaching practitioners how to defend themselves against even the most inexperienced attacker, let alone a seasoned martial artist.” As a practitioner of both aikido (one aspect of Taikyoku Budo) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), I have spent a lot of time contemplating…

Taikyoku Aikido and Aikido of Pittsburgh

In the Spring of 2014, I attended my first aikido seminar. The seminar was hosted by Aikido of Pittsburgh and featured Ellis Amdur who would be teaching his unique framework for aikido which he called Taikyoku Aikido. Taikyoku Aikido is based on Amdur’s observation that all aikido techniques can be mapped along five movement shapes,…

Enjoyment Is Its Own Reason

Why practice a martial art that is not “the best?” There is a lot of criticism in martial arts circles these days around what are seen as impractical or ineffective martial arts. These are martial arts that do not participate in sportive sparring, competitive bouts, or resistance-based training. At the top of the list are…

Angle and Position Before Execution

Angle and positioning: How do we get there from here? Anyone who has trained a martial art with resistance-based pressure testing or sparring knows that the correct technique in a given situation is rarely predetermined. A boxer may have a plan to knock out his opponent with his powerful right cross, but making perfect contact…