When More Stops Being Better

A Story One day a student saw his Sensei punching a wooden post that had been thrust into the ground. The student inquired: "Sensei, what is it you're punching?" The teacher replied: "This is a makiwara. It's a wooden board, lightly padded and thinned at the top. We use to develop our hands and technique. Come try!" [...]


The Spirit Pressure of Kiai

Recently a reader inquired about the matter of kiai. For those who may not be familiar with the term, kiai is most frequently described as a "spirit shout" used in hard martial arts during moments of impact. Kiai is frequently used in kata as well as sparring, basics, ippon kumite, etc. The crux of the question was as follows (paraphrasing): [...]


Giving the Bleeding Edge

Secrecy is a long standing tradition in the martial arts. When you analyze how most arts developed, it's easy to understand why. Take kenjutsu (sword arts) of the Samurai for example. A kenjutsu headmaster was in charge of training his disciples with the deadliest skills he could. Those men would then take their techniques to the battlefield [...]