Making Better People

START WITH WHY, by Simon Sinek. After watching the TED Talk a couple of times I decided to dig deeper by buying the book. It has been a worthwhile read and the result has been a discovery of sorts for me and my karate school, Bushido Karate Dojo. The short of it is this: Martial […]

The Least of These: Teaching a Multi-Level Class

Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ‘The Least of These’ It is always in the back of my mind when I teach, the importance of taking care of the youngest, […]

The Power of Intent.

A man put his arms around my neck and brought me to the ground over the weekend. He didn’t mean to hurt me. He thought he was challenging me. He thought that with my skill and experience that the lesson of being attacked from behind was a good lesson. The intention: teach me to never have […]

Behavior Management IV

Can you believe he is back? I was wrong; so wrong about my assumptions. He missed 2 weeks because of summer scheduling. He is doing SO WELL in class. He is listening to directions. He recalls expectations and responsibly does what he is supposed to do when he is supposed to do it. Do I […]

What is Kata?

Every Karate school has forms that they study. Kihon(s) are basic movements, in our school we would call them combinations. But Katas are more complex, they involve blocks, strikes and kicks as well as proper stances and turns. They are choreographed and must be memorized. Each belt rank has certain katas that are part of the […]

Loser Circles

The key to keeping excitement in class is not in creating new things, but making the old things have new life. Why Hula Hoops? One summer I was teaching Karate and radKIDS at the Paris Elementary day camp. They had lots of amazing activities for the kids to do all day long. A dance instructor friend […]

Why, “What color is your belt?” is a Stupid Question.

If you have to ask someone, “What color is your belt?”, then their answer is irrelevant to you. So many arts, so many styles, so many instructors and so many philosophies impact the color of belts that they are not a universal indicator of quality. A series of questions that I like to ask is: “How […]

Sparring: It’s NOT What you DO, It’s What you SEE.

One of the benefits of being the old dog in the room is that you have SEEN it all before. Specifically, thousands of front kicks have come my way; left side, right side, front leg (Sensei John), back leg. Probably more round house kicks, and twice as many punches: high, low, middle, straight punch, reverse punch, […]

What is Bunkai?

Bunkai is an analysis; used to deconstruct the inner workings and to create a deeper understanding of Kata. What is Kata? Katas are complex. They involve blocks, strikes and kicks as well as proper stances and turns. They are choreographed and must be memorized. Each karate belt has certain katas that are part of the requirement of the […]

Kids and Sparring I (Short)

Should Kids Spar? Yes How about Little Kids? Sure, in a safe and well supervised way. Big Kids? Absolutely Is it scary? Sometimes. Is there crying? Occasionally. Is it Fun? Usually. Is it Necessary? It is the best thing we do. When can they start sparring? As soon as possible. How do we get there? Progressively.