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The Right Way

Although a quick web search shows that the most common translation of Ji Do Kwan is "Way of Wisdom" or "School of Wisdom," when I was a new student, my teachers often referred to an alternate translation: "The Right Way."…

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Learning to Kill

Hissatsu Waza. Noun: killer technique; surefire assassination method special or lethal move, usu. one unique to a certain fighter or fighting style

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student manual

The dojang is a formal training environment with special traditions that are unfamiliar to most new students. Many of these rules and customs will eventually become clear through osmosis: as new students watch more experienced practitioners, they understand what is expected in our…

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Searching for the Hard Path

The practice of the Martial Ways is really, in its most basic sense, a search for hardship. One of my teachers, Yoshioka Sadao Sensei, used to tell us that the most important concept in our practice should be “Kokoro wo…

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The Value of Public Evaluations

Instructors and students alike, we are all in this together. For most of the time since RVTKD was founded in 1997, we conducted evaluations in the same way. About a week after each rank test, we'd assemble the school, bow in, and…

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Revisiting the Five Ji Do Kwan Tenets

For most of their history, the martial arts have existed as oral traditions. Only a few well-known texts predate the twentieth century. Over the past hundred years, as printed martial arts material has become more common, most of the publications…

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Merchant, Priest, Horsefly

I was looking into one of my favorite martial arts books this morning and rediscovered this passage, which I'd bookmarked years ago: "There is a story of a very wealthy and powerful merchant who came to visit a priest, to…

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Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

In 2011 I participated in the first "Beast" length Spartan Race. This is a roughly half-marathon length (12-14 miles) obstacle race designed to push participants to their physical limits. To finish, racers not only run the mileage but also climb walls, carry…

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The Right Time to Teach

When I observe the individual training portion of each class, I'm often struck by both the self-discipline students show while working on their own and by the obvious camaraderie on view when they organize into partners or small groups. Focused solo training and constructive…

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Ji Do Kwan Tenet: Love of Country

This new blog will contain a wide range of posts, as described by its title: Traditions, Concepts, Stories. Some will be informal and fun, and others will discuss serious issues that are fundamental to our school's history and identity. I thought…

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