Master One Thing To Master Oneself

“To know ten thousand things, know one well.” —Musashi Miyamoto, The Book of Five Rings It has been said many times and in many different ways that a person cannot serve two masters well. It is very difficult for our minds to hold two conflicting truths simultaneously. It is even harder still for our bodies…

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,…

As The Group Develops, So Do I

Are you training for yourself or something more? Some activities are individual pursuits, solitary paths for personal enrichment and improvement. Other activities are intended for and best experienced in groups, whether with family, friends, or, in some cases even strangers. Martial arts lie somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. Most often, martial arts are…

Jita Kyōei: We Are In This Together

Training for mutual welfare and benefit (自他共栄 jita kyōei). Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, did much to revolutionize Japanese martial arts. From older, more violent martial systems, Kano compiled the techniques that were both safe for everyday training and most effective in randori (sparring). His goal was to create a system of physical and…

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…