Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Kendo and Karate-do share many philosophical concepts because both Karate-do and Ken-do are grounded in Bushido. The same can be said for many other Japanese martial arts such as Judo and Aikido. Taken to their metaphorical application, most of the philosophies can also be applied to such Japanese arts as Shodo, Sado, and Ikebana.

In this post I would like to talk about a concept that is very important to our daily training, competitive success, and quality of life in general.

Recognizing this changes everything!

驚・懼・疑・惑 (Kyou, Ku, Gi, Waku) This is the 武道四戒 (Budo Shikai), This may be translated as the 'Four Commandments of Budo'. However, I prefer to think of them as 'Four Warnings of Budo' or the 'Four Cautions of Budo'. Deepening our knowledge of this concept and developing our awareness of these traits in our training and in our daily lives has the potential to bring the quality of both to higher levels.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Profound Impact of Experience

In the Summer of '69 Brian Adams bought his first guitar. In the Summer of '96 I travelled to France for the first time. How are these two things similar? At first glance they don't seem to have anything at all in common. But, I believe that if we look closely enough at seemingly unrelated events, eventually we can find something that they have in common. The example given above is no different. Both events profoundly changed the lives of the individuals involved and impacted the lives of many others there after. I  don't mean to compare myself to a famous musician or imply that we have made the same global impact. However, the chain of events that have occurred since travelling to France in 1996 has shaped who I am today just has finding the guitar in 1969 did for Brian Adams. And, to be honest with you, I just wanted to find a way to use "in the Summer of '69" and "in the Summer of '96" in some meaningful way. The rest of this post will be more serious, and this will connect to my point, I promise.

Our Lives are Shaped by our Experiences
It is no secret that our experiences shape us. Our training in the martial arts makes us aware of this fact more quickly than someone who has never trained because training in the martial arts is really a process of self-cultivation that develops, among other things, our levels of self-awareness. With our heightened sense of self-awareness we are able to take away important lessons from our experiences and productively apply them to our lives. Through the process of 心技体 Shin Gi Tai; developing and strengthening the connection between our mind and body through the repetitive practice of specific techniques we develop, not only stronger bodies but also a stronger sense of self. The more I reflect on my past experiences the more I am able to get out of them, making their continued impact more profound to me.
(Shin Gi Tai, written by the Author, 2014)