Periodic events and updates can be found below.

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  • update : Opening and Closing of Doors

    A short update on my martial arts teaching activities.
  • essay : Not Naming A Practice

    A short essay on how and when I do not describe my classical swordsmanship practice.
  • essay : Naming A Practice

    A short essay on some changes most all kobudo underwent in the Edo period, and where I find myself well into the 21st century. Practicing sword methods as a form of mindfulness and self-cultivation without losing sight of the origins of the arts we inherit.
  • essay : General Qi Jiguang’s Jixiao Xinshu and Reflections on Claims of Martial Virtue

    Some thoughts on the tales of old masters, how arts are taught, evolve, and what it means to cultivate a high level of skill. There are strengths and weaknesses to many different approaches, and approaches different from one another on a surface level may be more similar than they first appear.
  • essay : Shadows and Kata

    Examining the parallels and divergences in different surviving lines of Shinkage-ryu, we can perform a partial matching between Jiki and Yagyu but the precise commonality between the two major traditions are obscured by time.
  • essay : Perspective and Priorities

    More sometime can be gained by walking further along fewer paths. I keep returning to that theme. An examination of some of the important questions raised by a practice of traditional historical martial arts.
  • update : Open Steel

    Reflections on competing in a HEMA open steel longsword tournament.
  • essay : Summer Peak

    Natsu no mine is the summer peak observance practiced in certain forms of Shugendo. With summer waning, I reflect on the role of demonstration in traditional martial arts and ask questions about proper training intensity.
  • essay : The Correct Mind Shadow

    Examining how glossing a name can affect one's understanding of an art.
  • 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?
  • update : Solo Practice, Partner Practice, and Pressure Testing

    I have spending time at solo practice, consulting with colleagues, and free sparring. I remain inspired by what I see some of the local HEMA community doing.
  • update : Taiji Classics Seminar

    Attending a seminar detailing excerpts from the Taiji classics.
  • essay : Logic and the art of the sword

    There are many challenges in martial arts training 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 Jikishin Kage-ryu, the more I questioned how Katori Shinto-ryu was taught.
  • essay : Semiotics of the Internal

    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. 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 : Winter Light

    Visiting martial arts collegues, reflections on chosing a more narrow path in martial arts.
  • update : 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 : Bai Shr Ceremony

    At the end of summer, I traveled to Princeton for a seminar in Bagua and Taiji and was accepted as a formal lineal student by my teacher, Zhang Yun. I also traveled to the Pacific Northwest, where I was able to visit with budo colleagues in Oregon.
  • update : Letting Go

    It is good to take periodic inventory of what one has learned, what benefits one has acquired from his or her practice, and how best to balance the time and effort required to maintain commitments to the different lines of study one is engaged in.
  • update : Foliage and Body Method

    The season has changed from summer to autumn, and at least in the Mid-Atlantic States, foliage is in full bloom. To celebrate the fall colors, I took a short road trip from Baltimore to Pittsburgh to practice martial arts.
  • update : Experiments in Medium

    I have continued my training over the last six months, including attending an annual Wu Taijiquan seminar taught by Zhang Yun in Maryland where I gained better insight into using Taijiquan for self-defense and the relationship between Qigong and Taijiquan. I also attended the annual foreign kiyoshi gathering of Katori Shinto-ryu in Sugawara Budo and had the opportunity to work with a number of teachers of that art.
  • 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.
  • update : Tian Gang Dao Seminar

    This weekend I traveled to Pittsburgh for additional training in neijiaquan. I attended Zhang Yun's taijiquan class and met up with several of his senior students I had not seen in a while. It was great to train with everyone and get pointers on my body organization. I also had a chance to get further correction of my Yin Bagua Zhang and also learn the remaining sections of the Hebei Xingyi Quan Za Shi Chui (mixed skills) form.
  • update : The Fifth Season

    Re-engaging and re-dedicating practice as seasons change.
  • update : Demo of Araki ryu and Toda ha Buko ryu

    A brief reflection on a demonstration of Araki-ryu and Tenshin Buko-ryu at the NAMT 2013 Night of Budo.
  • essay : Aiki and Internal Training

    In my own travels, I have transited from practicing a modern form of jujutsu to learning Bāguàzhǎng, Xíngyìquán, and Tàijíquán. I have maintained an interest in authentic Japanese swordsmanship as well, largely in an effort to correct improper instruction I received while a student of modern jujutsu. As a result, fellow sword enthusiasts sometimes ask me about where best to go for “internal” training while continuing to pursue their current practice in an unmodified form. In these discussions, the word internal is usually left undefined except as a proper noun to refer to something being good or other, almost in a semiotic sense...