Training for sport is to self defense as NASCAR is to parallel parking

Tweet In an effort to draw a distinction between training and competing in sports martial arts and the reality of self defense, I make the analogy: training for sport is to self defense as NASCAR is to parallel parking. I did sport karate when I was in college, and it was fun. But I stopped […]

Why You Don’t Have a Black Belt

Tweet You’re lazy. The truth is, we’re all lazy. But some of us earn black belts while others don’t. Most people who try out a martial art quit after the first week or two. Why is that?

What is Self-Defense Training?

Tweet There are many reasons one could study a martial art: for sport, for exercise, to relax, build self discipline, or because you think the costumes are cool. All reasons are valid. In my experience, most people start training in martial arts because at least one of their goals is to learn how to defend […]

The Weather in Maine and Your Training

Tweet In self-defense, defensive tactics, or hand to hand combat – environment matters. Early in my life, as a traditional martial artist, I always trained in keiko-gi (training uniform). I would don a white canvas Japanese-style uniform, no shoes, and train on a hardwood floor.  I would train with others dressed exactly like me.

Kihon Waza – There are no Basics

Tweet In English, the Japanese phrase “kihon waza” is sometimes translated as “basic techniques”. I don’t really like this translation, because many Western minds grasp this to mean “the basic stuff I need to learn, get out of the way, and then move on to the advanced stuff”. The translation I prefer is “fundamental methods.” […]

Airline Crew Self-Defense Training

Tweet From terrorists, to drunken and disorderly passengers, to simply the unruly – air crews continue to face threats to the safety of themselves and their passengers. With the ultimate responsibility of the safety of everyone on a plane, I’d like to see airline crew-members regularly trained in combative self-defense and defensive tactics. I am […]

Christmas Terror Plot Foiled: Spirit of United Flight 93 Once Again

Tweet The failed attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines Flight over Detroit should serve as another wake-up call to average citizens around the world. Once again, a tragedy may have been averted by the actions of passengers and crew acting to subdue the terrorist. We see the same spirit that led the passengers of […]

What’s Wrong with Women’s Self Defense?

Tweet First – there is nothing wrong with women, or anyone, wanting to learn to defend themselves. Protecting yourself and your loved ones from physical harm is a natural instinct. Second, I personally have taught “women’s self defense” classes throughout Boston – particularly during heavy activity by two serial rapists in the area. I do […]

Practice Your Basics

Tweet There’s an old rule of thumb in the martial arts that less than one percent of those who start out will last long enough to earn a first degree black belt. Less than one percent of those people will stick with training long enough to earn a second degree black belt. I’m sure that […]

Escape Awareness Drill

Tweet I am a big fan of unconventional training and, since awareness is the greater part of self-defense, here’s an unconventional drill you can do during the day: I once read that the first thing a professional burglar does after breaking into a building is to look for escape routes. This would be pretty important […]

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