We, the martial arts players of the world, have two significant roles in our practice: Tori and Uke. Granted, I am using Japanese terms because I study a Japanese style; you are free to insert whatever terms you use that are relative to mine. For clarity’s sake, the tori (取り) is the “defender” who uses prescribed movements (kata), responses if you will, to an attack perpetrated by the uke (受け) in a very specific manner.
Some time ago, I decided to cross train for a while in another setting, with a couple of different styles. Being dedicated to Ninpo and my organization, I was looking for something to supplement my style. At first things went pretty well, I was getting to know the students and instructors, and beginning to feel comfortable in the environment. Then, something happened and suddenly I was “let out of my contract.” Of course, my initial reaction was shock and dismay. The incident involved me and another student doing a difficult and high-level technique, that neither of us should have been doing. I started to lose control and torqued the other student’s shoulder a little too much, but did not actually injure her. I was basically told I was dangerous and a liability and was not welcome back to their school.Continue reading “Lessons from the Mats: The Principles I Learned After Getting Thrown Under the Bus by a Training Center.”
According to the Internet, there are 3.42 million martial artists in the United States, and 327.16 million people living here in the US. With some rather dubious math I’ve concluded there is 1 martial artist per 95 people. With those numbers, it’s likely you know a martial artist or two. Martial artists are “special” and it takes a certain kind of perspicacity to make friends with them. They are not into normal things like bacon memes and “hold my beer” moments, rather they’re into somewhat obscure Eastern philosophies and how to maim people for jocularity’s sake. They can be kind of weird and hard to get to know if you lack the knowledge and skills on how to befriend your friendly neighborhood karate expert. Well, once again, The Modern Kunoichi has come to your rescue. This how-to list I’ve compiled will help you, John, or Jane, Q. Public both understand what interests these types, and how to befriend them.Continue reading “Monday’s Martial Madness: How to Make Friends with a Martial Artist”
Lately I’ve had the honor and privilege of working with a new white belt during class. We are working through his first kyu (belt) level so he can complete his first test. Last night we were working on his punching and kicking techniques when Sensei came over to help my fellow student smooth out some parts of his punching technique. He said to the student, “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” Our instructor often says he would rather us take our time learning the technique and do it correctly than be fast and hard but doing the technique incorrectly. Incorrect movement leads to injury, or being defeated.Continue reading “Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast: The Learning Curve”
During a TV show, the bad guys were discussing an upcoming event. One of the bad guys made a comment about people who are deluded. The other responded with something to the effect that we can’t let the deluded run the show. Delusion happens to anyone and everyone. The only ingredient needed is resolute faith in something no matter the actual evidence. On an episode of Dr. Phil a woman said she was 1000% percent convinced that she was pregnant with multiple babies and had been pregnant for multiple years. She even believed she had more than one uterus. It didn’t matter if top notch OB/GYN’s did ultrasounds, blood work, or anything else that conventionally shows pregnancy. She didn’t care about the evidence, she only believed what she wanted to believe.Continue reading “The Deluded: The Most Dangerous Enemy in the Martial Arts”