Karate Values, American Values

Americans do not usually see themselves, when they are in the United States, as representatives of their country. They see themselves as individuals who are different from all other individuals, whether those others are Americans or foreigners. Americans may say they have no culture, since they often conceive of culture as an overlay of arbitrary customs to be found only in other countries. Individual Americans may think they chose their own values, rather than having had their values and the assumptions on which they are based imposed on them by the society in which they were born. If you ask them to tell you something about “American culture,” they may be unable to answer and they may even deny that there is an “American culture.”
(from Handbook for Foreign Students and Scholars)

Karate Informality

A few minutes prior to the start of class, karateka (students) enter through the front door, immediately bowing to the sensei (teacher) and/or the kamidana (dojo shrine). The karateka remove their shoes, and enter the changing room to don their training uniforms. Continue reading Karate Values, American Values

Four Lies and One Martial Arts Fact

The meme works as follows. You post five things about yourself. Four are untrue. One is true. All are so outlandish, implausible or ridiculous that no one would be inclined to believe that any of them are true. And despite the pleas from your readers, you never divulge which is true and which are fabrications. You then tag five other people (four seriously and one person you are pretty sure would never participate).

1. I once challenged more than twenty members of a rival Kung Fu school. Continue reading Four Lies and One Martial Arts Fact

America’s Best Dance Crew Does Martial Arts

In the latest episode of America’s Best Dance Crew, each team was asked to incorporate a unique style of martial arts into their routine. The styles chosen were: Capoeira, XMA, Kali, Karate, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, and Shaolin Tiger. You can watch every performance below.


Continue reading America’s Best Dance Crew Does Martial Arts

Free Self-Defense Lessons From Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer

Years before The Ultimate Fighter and pay-per-view MMA specials, talk-show host Jerry Springer pioneered “reality” fighting entertainment.

While Jerry Springer’s talk show environment is obviously somewhat contrived, his guests’ fighting technique is in other respects spontaneous and natural. So how do the lessons taught in the average martial arts dojo compare to combat performances on Jerry Springer?

Dojo Fantasy: There are no rules in a real fight.
Jerry Springer Reality: Continue reading Free Self-Defense Lessons From Jerry Springer

Machetes and Mockery: The Two Unkindest Cuts

Which professionals do you consider least trustworthy? Car salesmen? Politicians? Telemarketers? Bloggers, maybe? Let me suggest a new addition to your list: you simply cannot trust a knife expert with no scars.

This is the consensus view among self-defense instructors: if you are attacked with a knife, you will get cut. You should expect to get cut. Your goal is not so much to avoid getting cut, but to avoid getting killed.

So next time you meet a self-defense expert, look at their arms. Do you see any knife scars? Have they even once tested their theories against a real, razor-sharp blade?

British raconteur and martial artist Chris Crudelli managed to find one Escrima teacher with sufficient courage to test himself—on camera, no less. Continue reading Machetes and Mockery: The Two Unkindest Cuts

The Secret of The Talking Sword

When learning the art of the sword, we are often told that we should wield it as an extension of our own body. The sword’s edge and tip should exhibit all the speed, power and grace of the hand that holds it, for instance. That is a fine objective—but what if the hand has no speed, power or grace to start with? Continue reading The Secret of The Talking Sword