Yes, it looks like bull$#!t.

People give so-called “soft arts” a bad wrap. They look at the practices of these martial artists and consistently say things like “that would never work in a fight”, and they are absolutely correct. If you look at every single Aikido kata as-is in a manual, you will be hard pressed to see something that […]

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Aiki vs. Awase

There is a big misconception about what the meaning of Aiki (合気) is. To many practitioners of internal of so-called ‘soft’ arts aiki means matching the speed and energy of an incoming attack. In reality, this is awase (合わせ) a part necessary to creating aiki, but it’s not the compete picture. Morihei Ueshiba called it the […]

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The Role of Uke

In partner training, there are two people involved. There is a person working on the technical side of the form, and there is an attacker. This is a misunderstood thing in a lot of individuals martial arts practice. They think of the attacker as a wooden training dummy, Something to have a technique done to […]

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What’s Your Plan?

Originally Posted on August 18, 2016 by Karri In his book Meditations on Violence, Rory Miller states that the experienced martial artists who are most successful at surviving a sudden, surprise attack do so with a simple plan. In the fractions of a second, you don’t have time to remember a complex series of moves, […]

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I am not the story.

Posted on January 29, 2015 by Karri A few months ago I had the pleasure of training with Dan Harden. One of the things that I found most impressive was his attitude towards the material he was teaching. “I’m not the guy. Don’t make me the face for this stuff. I’m not making any if […]

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Training in Japan.

Originally Posted on August 13, 2014 by Karri So there is this idea that somehow if you go to Japan, you will be bestowed with secret knowledge and somehow be transformed into a martial arts master of mythic proportions. The same I guess can be said about going to the Shaolin temple or Wudan mountain. […]

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Watch what it is you’re watching.

Posted on October 17, 2013 by Karri When I was serving in the Finnish Military, there was an entire lecture devoted to a rather peculiar topic for cadets in basic training—pornography. As you can imagine, an organization with a few thousand teenage boys in it might have to deal with it sooner or later. The […]

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Something to prove.

Originally Posted on June 29, 2013 by Karri There is something especially difficult about turning down a challenge to prove yourself as a martial artist. Whether it’s because you want to put to bed any doubts about your skill, or someone is just talking crap about your system/dojo, the compulsion to go toe to toe […]

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The Problem of Pain.

Originally Posted on March 14, 2013 by Karri Martial artists often deal with pain. It’s part of the human experience, but we learn to think of it differently than others. Probably just from repeated exposure. For most of us there are two very different things going on at the same time. First is the nerve […]

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Shokunin Kishitsu

Originally Posted on July 13, 2012 by Karri Japanese culture is certainly different from ours. There are a lot of things which I see as being difficult to understand much less appreciate, and there are a few that we could stand to learn ourselves. Specifically, I am talking about the “craftsman spirit” or shokunin kishitsu. […]

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