Sweet Irony

Oh how I will miss them…Especially these two! We’ve trained together since they were born. In SAT terms… Mom is to Renshi as Dad is to Sensei. She is already showing the signs: Black belt test. License and first car. Looking at colleges. Raising them in the dojo was the best thing we ever did. […]


Learning Kata is a process. I keep hearing the words of my teachers escaping my mouth. “When you practice your katas, always start at the beginning.” That was Sensei John Schrader, and every Sunday morning we began with Pinan Shodan. It is apparent when students are only practicing their “new” forms because simple mistakes will […]

What if You Could Embrace the Hard Times?

He had a hard class last night. There had been tears and thoughts of quitting, but Mom and Dad did the best thing, THEY TOLD ME and brought him to me this afternoon to talk it out. Luckily, I am not so scary, out of my uniform, with a towel around my waist and dripping […]

Renshi Lisa Magiera

Whistlekick Podcast: Episode 128

I had so much fun doing this interview with my good friend, Jeremy Lesniak, on whistlekick Martial Arts Radio. On YouTube: https://youtu.be/D4llVKDzEpU MP3 Audio: http://www.whistlekickmartialartsradio.com/ iTunes Download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/whistlekick-martial-arts-radio/id986000331?mt=2  

Never Miss an Event

The difference between 8 classes in four weeks and 8 hours of martial arts in one day is exponential! Learn. Apply.    Learn. Apply.    AHAA Moment.    Repeat. This year was the 37th year of the Tao Kamp Karate. I have been to almost half of them, consecutively since 1999. I sometimes wonder how I got onto […]

Combat Immersion

  Six Instructors. Thirty-six Students. Multiple styles of martial arts: Karate, Kung Fu, Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, and Kenpo. We put the students in the middle to evaluate our starting point. “Bow to your partner. Slow, circular sparring with both people attacking and both people defending.” I said. They sparred and switched people a few times in ten minutes, […]


Book of Colossians Chapter 3 Verses 12-17   Newly Revised Standard Version As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord[f] has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above […]

Middle Ranks

Dr. Seuss called it The Waiting Place, in Oh, the Places You Will Go! In Karate, we call it Blue Belt Blues. White Belts are Emotional and Excited. Yellow Belts are Arrogant. Blue Belts are Creative. They know that they are a little better than the cocky yellow belts, and yet, hopefully, we have humbled them […]

Inside Out vs. Outside In

What do I Want to Teach Today? Is the sign of a new, inexperienced or unenlightened teacher. It is the students who guide the master instructors and determine the content, not the whims and desires of the person at the front of the class. This is a tricky concept to convey to my martial arts […]

Will Joining a Karate School Keep My Child from Being Bullied?

Nope. Perhaps our biggest mistake as a culture is starting with the belief that people are nice. We treat mean behavior as an exception, dole out punishment (attention) to the offender and leave the target alone. Every child needs a champion and an advocate. Every parent should be that for their kid, but if they […]