Informed Consent: Returning to Martial Arts After Fighting a Pandemic

March 31st, 2020 20 Days after WHO declared a pandemic There is a moment that is seared into my memory. I know it is so because while it was happening, I kept repeating to myself “Don’t forget this. Don’t ever forget this moment. Don’t forget how this feels.” It was May 2019, and my daughter, … Continue reading Informed Consent: Returning to Martial Arts After Fighting a Pandemic

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Establishing Training Goals for 2020

I've always hated celebrating New Year's. Maybe it's the hangovers I used to get. Maybe it was the crowded parties and staying up to celebrate something that didn't feel very momentous. But if I had to guess, I'd guess it was the forced introspection: in my younger days, I didn't want to look back on … Continue reading Looking Back, Looking Forward: Establishing Training Goals for 2020

On Testing

I was 14 years old, fidgeting nervously in seiza. Sitting at the edges of the mat were maybe forty people, all staring at me. Directly in front of me were not only my instructor, but his instructor, the head of our organization, as well. My parents and brother sat in chairs off the mat. Having trained all day … Continue reading On Testing

Why Beating Up Your Compliant Training Partner Doesn’t Make You A Badass

If you've been around the Internet at all, you've probably seen them: the "real", "combat" videos of martial arts otherwise derided as ineffective. In them, an instructor, sometimes in camo pants (and sometimes merely with camo pants in his heart) shows you a REAL, NO-NONSENSE way to apply a technique from a compliant martial art. … Continue reading Why Beating Up Your Compliant Training Partner Doesn’t Make You A Badass

Culture Shock, Guest Article: Sexism (and Sexual Predation) against Women in Martial Arts

I've received, and continue to receive, a lot of great feedback on my Guruism article. Chief among those who have shared their stories are a number of women who have endured abuse in what is still, primarily, a male-dominated hobby. Rather than attempt to place myself in their shoes and speculate as to their experience, … Continue reading Culture Shock, Guest Article: Sexism (and Sexual Predation) against Women in Martial Arts

Mats Don’t Lie: Reflections Before (and After) My First BJJ Comp

Thursday "I can't wait for your tournament," an online acquaintance told me, "So I can see a six page blog post about how it's not about winning it's about the experience you get along the way." "What I'm hearing from this," I responded, "Is that you read my blog." But hey-- when you're right you're … Continue reading Mats Don’t Lie: Reflections Before (and After) My First BJJ Comp