Reasons for Starting & Continuing (Martial Arts)

“I often recommend to people, even if they never have the opportunity, hopefully never have the opportunity to use kickboxing or Brazilian jiu jitsu or some martial art outside of a practice environment that they should train because the way they will carry themselves through the world — male, female, it doesn’t matter; age doesn’t…

On Atemi in Aikido Pt. 1 (Modern Aikidoist Podcast with Tristan Chermack)

On October 7th, 2019, Tristan Chermack and Robert Van Valkenburgh discussed the concept of atemi (hitting body) in aikido on Tristan’s Modern Aikidoist podcast. Click on the image or the links below to listen to part 1 of 2 of that discussion. Listen to Part 2 HERE Listen on: iTunes YouTube Stitcher Podbean About Tristan…

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…

Cutting Through Closed Guard

Accepting even an expert’s opinion as fact, without testing and retesting it in different contexts, can be detrimental to growth and progress. When I first started cross-training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), I accepted the opinion that closed guard is better than open guard for self defense. It seemed logical. There is more postural control in…