A Layman’s Observation: Fencing and Japanese Martial Arts Principles

This is a second installment in an ongoing series of "A Layman's Observations" where I discuss my observations on martial arts and combat sports. Read the prior installment here. At the start of this year, I began learning how to fence the Olympic way and the beginning of May that I had the opportunity to … Continue reading A Layman’s Observation: Fencing and Japanese Martial Arts Principles

Interview with Sanbukan Dojo: Mits Yamashita, In Memoriam

Mits Yamashita was a powerful force for Yoshinkan Aikido in California. In this special interview, eleven of his black belts and senior students came together to issue a few words of remembrance and memorial for Yamashita. In it, they narrate important parts of their teacher’s life, how they began training under him, and what kind … Continue reading Interview with Sanbukan Dojo: Mits Yamashita, In Memoriam

Interview with Senior Shindai Aikikai Instructor Brain Canin: Dennis Hooker and Aikido

Brian Canin first started tai chi until he tried aikido with David Jones after one of his tai chi classes. He never looked back. A little bit later into his aikido journey, he met Dennis Hooker and began training under him. Canin would train under Hooker until the latter’s passing, assuming a leadership role at … Continue reading Interview with Senior Shindai Aikikai Instructor Brain Canin: Dennis Hooker and Aikido

Interview with Longtime Kenshi Masaharu Makino: Kendo and University

Masaharu Makino began training kendo in Japan at a young age, later joining the Kagoshima Police Department, continuing his training. In the late 1970s, Masaharu relocated to Los Angeles, taking an administrative role in both the All United States Kendo Federation and the Southern California Kendo Organization. With the help of his son, Nathan, he … Continue reading Interview with Longtime Kenshi Masaharu Makino: Kendo and University

Interview with New Mexico Kendo Kai Founder Davis Begay: Maki Miyahara’s Influence

Davis Begay began his kendo training while he was in Japan, serving with the Marine Corp Air Station in Iwakuni. He later found a club at the University of New Mexico upon his return stateside, subsequently taking over the club and practice. That soon became the basis for his New Mexico Kendo Kai, receiving much … Continue reading Interview with New Mexico Kendo Kai Founder Davis Begay: Maki Miyahara’s Influence

Interview with Keystone Kokikai Founder Todd Kupper: An Intimate Look Into Shuji Maruyama, Part II

Todd Kupper began aikido in the early 1990s, with Steven Seagal’s popularity reaching a high point in the United States. He did not find Seagal, but rather Shuji Maruyama, founder of Kokikai Aikido. From his teenage years until now, Kupper experienced many things under Maruyama, including a very close, almost father-son type of relationship. Today, … Continue reading Interview with Keystone Kokikai Founder Todd Kupper: An Intimate Look Into Shuji Maruyama, Part II

Interview With Aikido of Monterey Dojo-Cho Danielle Smith: Aikido in Northern California, Part II

Danielle Smith began training under Stanley Pranin in 1973, eventually taking over Pranin’s Aikido of Monterey three years later. As she continued through her aikido journey, she had the opportunity to experience many different early instructors, like Frank Doran, Mary Heiny, Linda Holiday, and Motomichi Anno. She also trained in Hakko-ryu Jujutsu, Seibukan Jujutsu, and … Continue reading Interview With Aikido of Monterey Dojo-Cho Danielle Smith: Aikido in Northern California, Part II

Fencing and Kendo: A Layman’s Observation

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a local fencing tournament. The participants were beginners of the sport who had just finished their ten-week introductory course. Being beginners, the fencers competed with the foil, where only the torso was the valid scoring area. Throughout the experience, being new to the sport, both the newly inducted … Continue reading Fencing and Kendo: A Layman’s Observation

Interview with San Diego Kendo Bu Head Instructor Henry Kikunaga: Kendo in Universities – UCSD Recreational Class for Kendo

Henry Kikunaga began his kendo training as a boy, starting with his father and older brother. Once in college, he enrolled in San Diego Kendo Bu under the joint tutelage of John Yamamoto and Kikuo Uyeji. In 2014, Kikunaga assumed the role of Head Instructor. Today, Kikunaga took some time to talk about his kendo … Continue reading Interview with San Diego Kendo Bu Head Instructor Henry Kikunaga: Kendo in Universities – UCSD Recreational Class for Kendo