Category Archives: Experiences

covering mainly martial arts, books, movies, travel, food, culture, and jobs.

Making of the Katana: Behind the scenes with a Master


A few days ago I had the amazing opportunity to meet, speak with, and watch the famous Japanese blacksmith Masahira Fujiyasu work during a special event at the Minka-en grounds in Fukushima City, thanks to the hard work and planning of Andy Coombs and the Fukushima City Tourism and Convention Association. This type of event hasn’t been held for over a decade and the majority of Japanese people never get this opportunity, let alone a foreigner.  Mr. Fuhiyasu’s master was a national treasure of Japan and I am told that Mr. Fujiyasu is the last classically trained blacksmith that has mastered techniques of making Kamakura and Muromachi period styled blades. What added to this even more was the opportunity to speak with him and his students during lunch and while he was taking a break in the afternoon.
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How to Advance as a Martial Artist (3)


Part 3 of the How to Advance as a Martial Artist:

Be open minded

Try new (more…)

How to Advance as a Martial Artist (2)

enzouji-in-fallPart 2 of the How to Advance as a Martial Artist:

Record yourself, and Read the rest of this entry


How to Advance as a Martial Artist (1)

Featured Image -- 980A friend of mine recently asked “How can I become a better martial artist?” That’s a pretty general question, so I said Read the rest of this entry


Iaido Experience

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Last night I had the amazing experience of trying out Iaido for the first time with a weapons master and a national champion of Mugai-ryū 無外流, a Koryu (traditional sword style). The experience was even better than I had expected. Read the rest of this entry


What is Kung-Fu?

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A while back I had the opportunity to watch a Chinese presentation led by a martial arts master regarding kung-fu.  When I started watching, I was expecting a lecture on historic lineage leading up to today.  Luckily it was anything but that.  The master started out by asking the question “What is kung-fu?” A few people did in-fact reference history and martial arts styles.

After listening for a few minutes he shook his head and everyone was confused.   Read the rest of this entry


Cursed Holymans of NYC

The HolyMan and its victim...

The HolyMan and its victim…

The Holymans’ casualties have claimed yet another unsuspecting victim as a snow storm turned to a lovely onslaught of sleet/ freezing rain in this frigid Iceland we call NYC.

Casualties left spilled drops ofliquid gold, many a sore behind, and even near cataclysmic events of the “slipping dropkick of con-flailing (confused flailing)”.  This consists of Victim A running to catch their cross signal and is sent sprawling for balance.  Their hands and feet flail as they desperately try to right themselves, missing another Read the rest of this entry


Japanese and American Thoughts #1 Public Baths

Having a conversation with a friend from Japan and comparing our thoughts on things we found strange or unusual about each other’s Country, while trying to explain, defend, or (agree and then) explore the aspects of our cultures.

There is so much to talk about so this is part one. We decided to start off with the conversation by diving into the public baths in Japan.


Felt Like Trying Something New

There is so much that goes on in my mind that expressing it all in words leaves me wanting a little more.  So I have started a Vlog to go along with my randomness here.  Let me know what you think, or don’t ;).


Japanese and me, so far [part 3] (IS 5)

Once in Japan I was hit by culture shock in varying degrees depending on the situation.  I was also horribly nervous and could hardly say a few words to figure out where I was supposed to go to pick up my luggage, let alone have a conversation.  Within a week I was able to hold a shaky conversation and after a month, I was talking to everyone and anyone I could.  I had always been Read the rest of this entry