Essays & Updates

Below you will find short essays on martial arts I authored between 2012 and 2017, mostly concerning internal martial arts and classical Japanese swordsmanship. I am no longer updating this portion of my website, but hope some of the essays can still be of interest.

  • Update : Musha Shugyo

    I have entered a period of retreat called Musha Shugyo (武者修行): hard training, intense study, and spiritual asceticism drawn from Taosim and Vajrayana Buddhism. I will no longer be regularly updating this site.
  • Essay : The Correct Mind Shadow

    The characters Jiki, Shin, and Kage, when combined can be glossed in a variety of ways. Doing so changes the meaning of the name, and the perspective one had on the art of Jiki Shinkage-ryu.
  • Essay : Gogyo Exegesis

    Examining some of the strengths and weaknesses of a tradition. What is in a name? Does the first model that come to mind for a set of teachings represent their ultimate meaning? What is the role of secrets in an art? What is a teacher, and when you are, what do you do then?
  • Event : Swordsquatch

    I remain inspired by what I see some of the local HEMA community doing with their arts and have benefited from being able to witness some of their skill first hand.
  • Event : Taijiquan Classics Seminar

    Master Zhang Yun taught for two days in Silver Spring, MD on the Taiji Classics.
  • Essay : Logic and the art of the sword

    Logic is all too lacking in the martial arts. There are many challenges that benefit from critical thinking: deciding on an art to practice, finding a good teacher, deciding if a group is no longer the right one, discerning the right training path based one's personal capabilities and interests. These are but some of the decision points a martial artist faces in their career.
  • Essay : Too Close

    I used to train in Katori Shinto-ryu, under a splinter group of the main line of the art. I learned a large portion of the curriculum they taught, and received their first rank (mokuroku). However, the more I practiced Jiki Shinkage-ryu, the more I questioned how Katori Shinto-ryu was taught.
  • Essay : Semiotics and Martial Theory

    One of the challenges I face when I hear the word internal used in reference to Japanese jujutsu or taijutsu is that the spread of internal schools of Chinese martial arts seem to post-date the major influx of martial theory from China to Japan.
  • Essay : Is It Still Aiki?

    The question of what internal power is and how it relates to other arts and their practitioners that want to add it to their practice, especially if it may have been common in the practice amongst their founders, but not successfully transmitted to later generations at scale, is a complicated one that touches on several different models of identity. Semiotics meets the sword.
  • Update : Training Background

    A description of my martial arts training background.
  • Event : Longpoint 2016

    I enjoyed watching the finals for rapier & dagger and longsword at Longpoint 2016 this weekend.
  • Event : Wu Taiji Quan Seminar with Zhao Zeren and Zhang Yun

    Zhao Zeren and Zhang Yun taught a series of three seminars on the Wu Style Taiji Quan of Wang Peisheng during May 2016 in Princeton, Pittsburgh, and Silver Spring.
  • Update : Taiji Quan Classics

    An important book on Taiji Quan is published; April brings rain and focus on developing skill with the spear.
  • Essay : Are You Connected?

    I was talking with a colleague about what it means to be connected and I felt like sharing some of my thoughts on the topic here.
  • Event : NAMT 2013 Araki ryu and Toda ha Buko ryu

    I enjoyed watching Ellis Amdur's recent koryu demonstrations at NAMT in Paris.
  • Essay : Aiki and Internal Training

    Some considerations surrounding applying internal martial arts ideas to modern Japanese martial arts.
  • Update : Wind and Storm

    The first martial art I practiced for an extended length of time (1989-2005) was a self-defense oriented form of modern jujutsu that was developed in New York City and was a mixture of Karatedo, Shorinji Kempo, Judo and Aikido with techniques drawn from Danzan-ryu Jujutsu, Sosuishi-ryu Jujutsu and Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu created in the 1970's. In 2012, I wrote a summary article of my conclusions about the art's history so people interested in training in it could be properly informed

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