Returning to training

Last evening I returned to my Aikido dojo to train. The first time in almost 2 months. Due to COVID and the holidays I had not gone out of either exhaustion, sickness, or (obviously) holidays.

However when I returned some things had changed. Firstly, my cohort of 5th kyu friends were preparing to take their 3rd kyu tests. I had not advanced in rank since before the pandemic began due to myriad things (injury, child birth, learning how to parent, etc.), but they had been able to go when I could not and were now ahead of me, and very proficient. That brings me to..

My second point – I was not as proficient as I was before I had taken the 2 month absence. With spotty training from the above listed reasons, I had been able to somewhat maintain my forms, understanding and proficiency. Last night though, practicing 3rd Kyu material, I was like a white belt again. It was a hard night of training and me being frustrated with myself.

Lastly though, it was great to be able to be back in the dojo training with friends. I do not love Aikido, I go because I started and I want to finish. I like my friends and people I train with. I like how we mix it up and add in Krav Maga and BJJ (more complete system since almost no atemi is trained). I have been training independently via online dojo and training videos, and have my wife uke for me (RARE) in Ninpo, but I am missing that human to human element that is needed to truly learn and master an art.

I will continue my Ninpo and Kobudo training online, but I will also be more consistent with going to Aikido…maybe I’ll even drop into Krav Maga now and again.

If you were in the same boat as me, take my advice, get off your couch and GO TO THE DOJO!


Training Science and the Martial Arts

Hello All,

This post today is going to focus, not on training skills in martial arts, like atemi or Geri striking, but on Physical Training and the science behind it.

Now we all know that one Budoka who is a 9th Dan but couldn’t get off the couch in a hurry if need be. We as Martial Artists strive not just for the attainment of skills, nor just of mindfulness and belonging, but also in Physical health. Budo and the training that goes into trains our bodies and our minds, but doesn’t always do enough to keep us in shape.

Think of all the training montages from Bruce Lee, to Jackie Chan (drunken master is my favorite), to ROCKY! Sure they all did a ton of skill work, and some did mental training as well, but the efforts they put in to train their bodies into finely tunes machines is what we are focusing on here today.

Bruce Lee would spends hours each day learning and absorbing what he could about the human body and human physiology. He then took that and trained, he ran, biked, lifted weights and used body weight exercises to create the body he had. He was a forerunner on workout nutrition – he imported beef to be added to a blender and made into shakes to eat so he could get enough protein.

This man ran 5 miles daily, lifted 3-4 times a week and even used EMS devices to stimulate his muscles while he studied. Not to mention train skills and students, all while reading and writing philosophy books.

Some of you may say “ But Bruce used steroids” – thought this is hotly debated, steroids were not illegal at the time, and steroids also do not build the muscle or do the work, they only help recovery faster.

This is where we get into the Science of training. This is a broad topic and one FAR TOO LARGE for this blog post BUT that doesn’t mean I come empty handed.

Simple Rules for staying fit in the Martial Arts:

1. All training should compliment your skills work. This means giving you strong joins, muscle connections, cardiovascular improvements, and hardening you to injury and impact damage ( think getting hit).

2. Everyone should strength train in some way. Be it with Kettlebells, dumbbells, body weight – it doesn’t matter as it strengthens all systems of the body as well as your joints and improves body awareness.

3. Move – I know this sounds silly but the amount of movement at MA Class is a good start but extend that to the rest of your day. Take the stairs, go for a short walk or bike ride, do yoga or ki-ko or taikokyu. Get your body moving and get the blood going. Adding in the flexibility of a stretching program is a GAME CHANGER. Especially true as you get older.

4. Nutrition – If you do none of the above this will be the biggest impact on your fitness, health and general well being.

There are literally hundred of articles, sites, blogs, products etc etc online to help you find what works for you. But if you want to focus purely on how the above can relate to the Martial Arts and Budo overall then I suggest picking up the book “ The Science of Martial Arts Training” by Charles L. Staley, MSS.

Amazing book!

Within the pages of this book, this expert, will tell you why to train, how to train, how to eat and all the extra bells and whistles to answer other questions you may have. This is a concise compendium of health and fitness knowledge and how it relates to the martial arts.

We will be adding workout programs, nutrition tips and mobility classes to our site and blog plus social media (@budo2go on instagram).
Keep posted for more and keep on learning.

Until next time,
Arigato Gozaimashita

Continual Updates Coming

As the days go by, I will continue to keep updating the different branches as I attempt to provide a central location for all things BUDO as well as optimizing the access to that information making it easy to access on Web, Mobile and Tablet.

There will be more meditations comings, more stretching flows, articles and opinions exploring different martial systems. We , contributors and myself, will be expanding on both the Martial and the Art aspects of Budo. Reiki lessons and meditations as well as distance treatments will be offered. Deeper dives into the mental and spiritual – as well, of course, as the physical aspects of training and conditioning will be hashed out too.

I will let you all know where my resources and training comes from as well as what is opinion or interpretation vs fact.

Exciting things are coming and I can not wait to get YOUR feedback to continue to grow not just this site, but myself as well.

Domo Arigato.

New Site and Blog

Hello All!

Welcome to BUDO2GO – Your resource for all things Budo.

This website it the brain child of a Japanophile and Martial Arts learning adventurer. By that I mean I delve into things that ticket my fancy and being a Budo-ka and life long learner, this is an outlet for something I myself have been looking for. A one stop shop for BUDO, Modern Martial Arts, Bujutsu, Bushido and Spirituality (Shinto and Reiki).

The massive task I have set out for myself with this website is quite ambitious. I aim to approach this from 3 different attacks:

1. Martial Way & Martial Arts
Think Budo, Bushido, Different Styles and forms of martial arts and combat. Taking all that I know from my almost 2 decades of martial training in multiple arts and law enforcement and combining it all in one site to help fellow Budo-ka connect.

2. Mental Health
I am not just talking about positive energy and woo woo retreats. I am talking about self identification of issues, how to address those issues with meditations, mind and body mobility and meditation flows, and finally affirmations. This is not easy and I am by no means an expert. I will pull resources from those who are and interject my own findings and experiences to show you how it can work, and when to look for more professional help. PTSD and other stress and trauma can haunt and terrorize us, none of us is getting out alive, so lets make the time we do have the best it can be.

3. Spirituality
I am not talking about religion but have a spiritual belief of the universe. Shinto is seen as a religion, it is also a way of looking at the known vs the unknown and a bridge between all faiths and those without faith. Japanese Reiki, steeped in Shinto and Zen Buddhism, is even more concise and requires no belief at all, except for a faith in yourself and a knowing of wanting a spiritual practice to fulfill that need we as humans have for something more.

It is my sincere hope that I can produce top quality posts, videos, meditations and lessons to help all Budo-ka.
Much more to come.

Domo Arigato!

My home dojo.