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“Tai Sabaki” — Relearning how to move
“Tai Sabaki” — Relearning how to move

Tai           Saba        ki Tai sabaki – this Japanese term is used often in the martial arts. It’s usually translated as “body shifting” by English-speaking karate sensei, and that translation is good enough, considering how we use the phrase in teaching. Basically, it describes getting out of the way of an attack and/or positioning yourself advantageously for…

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Putting the “martial” into the lines of your performance
Putting the “martial” into the lines of your performance

The kanji above reads in Japanese as “en-bu-sen,” or as it’s normally pronounced as a complete word, “embusen.” (It’s just easier to pronounce “em” in the word than “en.”) Japanese karate players recognize this word as referring to the path or pattern that your steps take when you’re performing a kata. If someone was watching you do your kata from…

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Okazaki Teruyuki (1932-2020)
Okazaki Teruyuki (1932-2020)

Shotokan Karate has lost two of its 10th-dan masters in the last 5 months. Both were 88 years old. Kanazawa Hirokazu died in Japan on December 8. And this past Tuesday (April 21), Okazaki Teruyuki also passed away. I had the pleasure of taking a class from Kanazawa Sensei at a Martial Arts weekend seminar at the International Budo University…

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Why we train to fight
Why we train to fight

Both Delguidice Sensei and I came up through the karate ranks and earned our black belts learning Shotokan Karate the “traditional Japanese” way. And I actually trained for three years in Japan and earned a 2nd degree black belt through the “Kenshinkai” organization, which was definitely traditional Japanese. (For those who want to know, “kai” in this context indicates an…

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Shoto’s 20 Principles: Keep your karate boiling
Shoto’s 20 Principles: Keep your karate boiling

This is the first in an occasional series of short posts on Gichin Funakoshi’s “twenty principles of karate,” a set of concise axioms describing the Master’s philosophy of applying one’s study of karate to one’s everyday life, and vice versa. The 20 principles were first published in 1938, when Funakoshi (“Shoto”) was 70 years old. The English translation I am…

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The legal elements of self-defense: Conclusion
The legal elements of self-defense: Conclusion

This is the final post in an eight-part series on the necessary components of a successful plea of “self-defense” in the case where a person has had to employ lethal force to protect himself or others* from harm. This “self-defense” type of legal defense normally comes up in cases when a person uses a weapon, particularly a firearm, to kill…

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