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Sake Fueled Thoughts on the Martial Arts

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

New Goshin Jutsu Association

The idea has been tossed around for a few years but I think the time has come to start up a new Goshin Jutsu Karate Association. The purpose of the association will be to further the branch of Goshin Jutsu that has been fostered by Master Capela since the 70s. This will not be a command and control type of association but will be focused on training, education, communication and fellowship among practitioners of our system. I am willing to take on the task of building this association but certainly don't want it to be about me. 

The first step will be to have a seminar/clinic this summer where we can train and discuss the future direction of the new association in order to get it off the ground.

The proposed name is Goshin Jutsu United Martial Arts Association.

If you are interested in being involved send an email to  

4:22 pm edt          Comments

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Is Your Martial Art Either?

Many people claim to train in the martial arts. However if you take the time to observe how people practice you will find that the activity that they partake in is either not particularly martial or is anything but artistic. You will note that I did not say what they practice, but how. 

It is true that many systems lend themselves handily to becoming non-martial. Aikido springs to mind. The cliche of the granola eating hippy thinking that they can spew energy balls or execute no touch throws on non-compliant ukes is a sad statement on a fine art becoming decidedly non-martial. It is not just the so called soft style that are susceptible to this phenomenon. There is nothing sadder than a traditional karate system that basically kata's itself to death by removing the physical contact required to learn how to defend yourself. 

As for the non-artistic approach. Have you asked yourself recently what is actually artistic about your martial art? I hate to inform you, but copying someone else is not art. If that were the case the Louvre would be full of paint by numbers and copies. A true artist emulates a master's style. He/she does not just copy their movement or technique. Art inspires progression. What I see happening currently is two ends of the extreme that stifle art. At one end are the rigid traditionalists that allow no changes to the curriculum or technique.  This leads to lack of growth and stagnation. What other 'art' still uses the exact techniques and sytles from hundreds of years ago? At the other end are the free stylers who make up their own art with no foundation in the martial or in reality. Is it artistic? I think not. Just because you are pissing on a canvas that doesn't make you Jackson are just making a mess.

So, what is a modern martial artist to do? To paraphrase the Dos Equis guy, 'Stay Martial My Friend'. Train hard. Have some contact. Don't lose sight of the purpose of your training. As one of Master Capela's senior dans you to say to us when someone was reacting to a little bruising during kumite, 'It's a fight you know?'. The artistic side is a bit more challenging. When you are at the black belt level you should be adding some of yourself to the art. You are standing on the shoulders of giants as you train. Many years of effort by highly talented people have gone into getting you where you are, it is time to add something to it instead of just going along for the ride. Each generation should add something to the art and help it grow. Don't just crank out repetitions and try to look like someone else. Study your system deeply and look inside will spring forth.  

5:44 pm edt          Comments

2015.05.01 | 2012.08.01

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