Chess and Collar Chokes

“If we are playing chess and I do two moves, but you only do one move, who is going to win? Jiu-jitsu is like chess. I do one move and you do one move, but if I do one move and then you let me do another move, game over.” – Relson Gracie In life,…

Enter First With Your Mind

“Always irimi, even when retreating.” – Budd Yuhasz There are a lot of valuable lessons beneath the surface of Japanese weapon training that translate to empty hand practice. With sword-work in particular, the principle of irmi* becomes especially evident. Irimi, meaning ‘entering body,’ is more than simply the act of entering into an opponent’s physical…

Sharing Self-Defense And Forming Friendships

If we walk the path together, we are more than simply travel companions. We are friends. We are family. A few days before Ike Haertel, head instructor at Kogen Dojo, was going to test for his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) with Relson Gracie, several of us attended a seminar with Relson at our…

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…

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…