The More I Learn…

RJJ LogoThe more I learn, the more I realize how very little I really know. I find myself constantly revisiting materials and gleaning new information from it. I will read something and a year or two later reread it and come away with a completely different conclusion. It is like I only get part of the picture and the more I learn the more of the picture I get. However, with this comes the realization of just how little I knew and still don’t know. Read the rest of the story »

A Different View

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   There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same
~ Chinese Proverb

Different Paths, Same Goals

I recently had the opportunity to photograph a Naginata workshop. It is a Japanese martial art in which you spar with a partner using a polearm. It is essentially a big stick with a sword like blade attached to the end. They wear armor and practice prescribed strikes or kata. I am told they do some free sparring as well. Read the rest of the story »

On Your Journey

RJJ LogoThe discussion on ranking seems to come up quite bit. You have to understand that it is not a race; it doesn’t matter how long it takes you reach each new level. In a perfect world, ranks should be a baseline, a minimum set of skills or tools to be considered at a certain level. However, this is hard to do in the real world. People will all have different natural abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and different achievable levels. Read the rest of the story »

Black Belt is only the Beginning!

RJJ LogoTo the outside world, black belt is the end, the goal, the ultimate aim. However, to the serious student, black belt is only the beginning. I read once that earning your black belt means you have a grasp of the basic concepts. You have learned enough techniques to truly begin learning. Read the rest of the story »

Legos vs Models

RJJ LogoI was having a discussion the other day with a former student. We were talking about how some of our techniques sound similar and I pointed out that our techniques are really like meta-techniques. What I mean by this is most of our more advanced techniques are built of smaller sub techniques. They have a formula of attack, defense, modifier, finish. Read the rest of the story »