Shifting focus

Hello all my fellow Budoka. As I sit and think about what BUDO2GO needs I realize I need to look to myself for inspiration around what I want and am looking for and how that plays out to the rest of you.

Due to that a few changes are going to be coming to BUDO2GO.

1. Instagram, Twitter and a new Facebook page will be primarily where new posts and blogs will be published. I may also keep updating the pages here, but they will be more static. Longer posts will still be linked from Socials to this site, but more content will also be more easily digestible for those mediums.

2. Products will be coming. I have certain budo/martial arts items that I like to train with and will be posting reviews and suggestions here. I am not affiliated with any of those items and will be giving honest insight.

2a. I am working with fellow Budoka, Shinto Kannushi and friends to create special items JUST FOR BUDO2GO.

3. Between Socials and this site, I am contemplating providing some simple training and self defense videos, documents, and skills for anyone to practice to give them the most basic level of competence for self preservation. With the continual deterioration of the economy, social justice, mental health and overall moral compass that society today has, the ramp up of violence and death in the country and others is untenable. Now more then ever you should have a base level of situational awareness and a small bag of ideas and techniques to get out of danger, and if need to – eliminate it as best you can for the preservation of your life, and the lives of others.

I will be posting this on social media as well, be prepared for LOTS of new content, ideas and products coming your way.

Domo Arigato Friends.

A daily mantra – 5 precepts

I don’t know about everyone here but I try to meditate daily. EVEN IF ITS ONLY 5 MINUTES. I try everyday. If you practice Mokuso, Meisokokyu, or any other type of breathing mind practice, these 5 things to say and focus on during your daily ( if you can) practice will help you and your mental state. This is a critical aspect of being a well rounded Budoka.

These precepts come from Reiki and have their lineage from Shinto and Buddhism. That said, they are not religious in any way and can help ALL people in the here and now.

1. Just for today, I WILL NOT ANGER
2. Just for today, I WILL NOT WORRY
3. Just for today, I WILL BE GRATEFUL
4. Just for today, I WILL BE TRUE TO MYSELF

Now, do that while breathing in and out. Realize #4 may be difficult to do but be honest with who you are and what makes your tick, what strength and short comings you have and embrace them to get better every day.

Breath on these ideas, let your out breath remove the worry, the anger. Let your in breath bring you truth, kindness and gratitude.

If you want to go deep and have a longer meditation, focus on one precept and explore how, what and why you feel as you do about it. Remove anger, and worry – be like the samurai. Be True, kind and grateful to yourself and for others. Be like the monk.

The true Budoka is capable of great violence and destruction, but he must only do so when required to protect those whom he is charged with loving, protecting and being thankful for.

Do not focus on anger or fear or worry. These steal the NOW from you. The NOW is the only thing you have for the past is gone and the future not promised. Make the NOW as good as you can.

Domo Agriato.

Severity in Budo

How severe is your budo training?
Is it like some of these aikido schools where the Uke just somehow magically flies through the air, even though no one really touched them? Or is it that the move, whatever it may have been, isn’t working and so the uke goes along with it?

How about stress testing of your style or art? Is randori ever performed, and if so, is it honest randori? Too many people train in martial arts that are being presented by poor teachers, poor training environments, or people who just want a martial arts gym, and could care less about the effectiveness of what they are teaching, but instead want to milk as much out of someone they can, with the understanding what is being taught wouldn’t work, and perverting that relationship to charge ever increasing amounts to make the poor trainee have a false sense of security and confidence.

If you can’t imagine applying you art in less then ideal circumstances, nor have you ever been tested and been forced to adapt your training without stopping, or saying the uke did the attack wrong etc. etc., then get out now. Those are not arts or schools that will provide a true full Budo experience.

The core of the martial way is that of combat. You need to be mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared. Most modern dopants/dojos/ training gyms don’t pressure test the styles they are teaching against real world applicability.

If you don’t care, then go do qigong and tai chi and other internal arts. You will get benefit and aspects of budo, but you will not be able to defend yourself or anyone else. Even IF the art if practical ( Krav, JKD, BJJ) unless you have tested yourself against fear, larger and smaller opponents, or even the dynamic nature of brutal fights and ranges, you are going to have a BAD time.

Things to think about as your continue on your Budo Path.

Keep growing!

Burnout. How I got here.

I am burned out. I am burned out from work, from training, from working out, from life’s ever continuous stresses. Combined I am beyond burned out.

I do not have a vacation scheduled till summer. I do not have enough PTO to “take a day”, because of needing to use my free PTO to attend to my sick child when he was admitted to the hospital.
I do not get enough sleep a lot of nights, because I am attending to work emails or trying, TRYING, to find Budo and Martial instruction or learn for my teachers on my own. I spend hours doing stressful things for my job, growing ever more taxing and demanding.

I try to work out daily, either cardio from walking or kettlebells to help balance and PT injuries from years of lifting heavy weights.
Thanks to inadequate sleep, elevated stress, and recovering injuries, I am not losing weight like I want, leading to more estrogen and cortisol in my system.

This is a negative feedback loop, keeping me tired and fatter then I like and should be. I try to dedicate time to being a good and attentive father and husband, yet work and house needs keep me from being as present as I want to be.


SO – how do we fix this?

I am going about it this way:

Taikokyu – Mind Body Breath – Daily. I am stretching and meditating and breathing. Working my body’s musculoskeletal systems and organs. Focusing and clearing the mind of RELAXING .

Kettlebell workout 3 days a week – Complexes of sets and reps for time. Hitting all the major muscle groups, increasing strength, endurance and hyper trophy 25-30 minutes a day.

Ninpo/Aikido – I will train aikido 1.5 hours once a week, and I learn and read and practice basics of ninpo 10-30 minutes daily. Even if it is just kata for ichimonji no kata. I will also mentally drill Gyokko Ryu and Wing Chun/ JKD. I may consider even returning to Krav Maga once a week to keep my skills sharp against real opponents.

Be Present – I try to spend as much time as I can daily with my son while he is awake. Not always not stressful, but being there and experiencing him makes me happier and my heart fuller then I would have thought. I then spend evenings with my wife, even if its just spending time in the same room together, not doing the same activities, we get to unwind and talk.

BUDO – ALL of this – is Budo. Daily I try to be a “good” Budoka, whatever that means. I think being rounded and trying to enjoy the here and now and continually try to better oneself is the core essence of BUDO. Taijutsu is only one aspect. As is spirituality and meditation. Growth and learning how to be yourself should be the gateway to heal.

This is how I intend to fix burnout. A few beers with friends and a trip to the shore doesn’t hurt either, but those are not as frequent as I need. I need to refocus on my Budo, my why, and also grow, be confident, and stop this constant struggle. Embrace the stresses, alleviate what you can, and proactively work on you. A stronger you is an anti-fragile you.

Mobility and Meditation = Taikokyu

This post is going to be very brief post. I write a lot on here about physical and mental fitness. But what I have not posted much about is the program I use. Now for a background – I have many injuries from over use over the years being involved in my Budo, but also in general sports, weightlifting and a former life as a law enforcement officer.

The title should give it away, but I use a program called Taikokyu. It is the lineage of the late Tsugio Takagi Sensei, and being propagated by his student, Kannuski Jay “Také” Creasey Sensei of Usagi Jinja (Shinto Shrine).

Taikokyu is a blend of Meisokokyu (breathing meditation) and Stretching utilizing a 4 or 6 ft staff. It helps you sync breathing and relaxing into deep stretches. Také sensei aptly shows your step by step how to stretch and unlock your joints and benefit your entire system in just 30 minutes a day.

I have a link to Také Sensei’s Instagram page as well as a link to an hour long session if you want to give it a try. I promise you it’s worth it. Check out for more information and the 30 day series sensei has created.

Conditioning Your Body and Mind

As Budoka, we all take pride in the myriad arts we study and the hours spent in reflection or physical skills practice or even randori. What many Martial Artists AREN’T doing enough of, is conditioning the body outside of dojo. Nor are they conditioning the mind outside of Mokuso for maybe 5 minutes before and after training.

In order for us to be healthy and vibrant Budoka from when we are a white belt/sash up to Sensei/Sifu and beyond, we must continually keep our health, both mentally and physically, in the crosshairs. As we all age the miles add on and the wear and tear of hard training takes it toll. Moreso depending on what style you train and how hard you go in and out of the dojo.

I have seen to many people go from 80s/90s Steven Segal to modern day. Easily 100 lbs heavier, just as cocky, and mentally, probably as strained. How can you respect someone who claims to know what it excellent budo, if they lack the self respect to take care of their body, their physical defense and weapon, as well as the mental weapon?

I am not saying you shouldn’t eat that pizza or drink that beer. What I am saying, is everything in moderation, including your training, and suggest adding in longer sessions of Zazen, Meisokokyu, Mokuso, or any other type of mindfulness or prayer. This will keep the mind calm and sharp, allowing the thousands of reps you have done to be rapidly sent to muscles that are strong in a fit/lean ( ok just not 700 lbs) body. This is how you will remain the protector of yourself and family. This is how you will physically remain a threat to those who would try to do you harm. This is how you will keep FEAR in check when you need to call upon your training, confident in your minds ability to react and your physical form being able to apply all that you have labored for.

Its not simple, life gets in the way, and for many due to the events of the world in the recent few years and months, this may not be what they want to hear right now. But I can make you all this one promise: Train your body and your mind, and you will see both improve. You will also see your happiness increase, or at the very least, your anxiety, depression, and possible ADHD, subside.

Remember – this does not have to be complicated. KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Go back to basics. Kamae, Akemi, Ukemi, Uke Natasha, all of it.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick, 10,000 times.” -Bruce Lee

Stay Safe and Stay Strong.

Keeping Budo with you daily

We often times think only of budo, our budo, when we are engaged in training our chosen art. For that 60-90 minutes a few times a week, that is all we dedicate to the Budoka lifestyle. If we are lucky our instructors remind us of the link we share with previous Budoka who came before and brought about the arts and skills we now endeavor to accumulate and master.

Bushido is often overlooked in some arts, and entirely missing in others. People are not taught that the warrior ethos and that of the budoka go one to one. The noble virtues and the honorable path are not things that should just be thought of when doing kata and throwing around your training partner. Instead the lifestyle of martial artist should have Budo in everything they do.

You should have budo in raising your family, in your work and in your lifestyle. We all know that the lessons we learned through lecture, and more importantly, through training and action can be applied to most every aspect of your life. When you are young (age or training time) you do not know of these things, nor of how to leverage the inputs and experiences coming your way. But, as you delve deeper into the credo and teachings of any martial art, you learn there is always something deeper. Even in modern arts, such as MMA, Krav Maga etc. there are lessons to be learned and applied to life.

Persistence is the obvious trait, but so is dedication, commitment, honor (one hoops) and fortitude. Those are all great and grand, but we also learn physics and anatomy and physiology. You learn psychology and verbal judo, as much as, actual JUDO! All of these acquired skills and attributes, if applied outside of the dojo and into other aspects of your everyday life, will help you be a better Budoka, and a better citizen/brother/father/mother/child in this world and society.

Take the time to be cognizant of your daily life and see where what you learned on the mats and tatami, can be leveraged into your business, relationships and own self growth.

Domo Arigato

Daily Morning Ritual

This technique is a daily prayer taught in certain reiki practices, but is Shinto in origin. You can think of it as being a daily morning prayer thanking your God and setting you in the correct mindset and gratitude for the day.

Excerpt from Reiki Techniques in the Reiki sourcebook by Bronson and Frans Steine
Introduced to the system of Reiki
by Shingo Sakuma and practiced in
Satya Reiki

  1. Make a bow to the Sun two times,
    thanking God and existence.
  2. Clap your hands two times,
    purifying the space around you.
  3. Repeat three times:
    HARAE – TAMAE, cleanse all
    KIYOME – TAMAE, purify all
    MAMORI – TAMAE, protect all
    SAKIHAE – TAMAE, may all
    beings be happy.
  4. Say the Sun’s Mantra:
  5. Make a personal wish.
  6. Repeat three times:
    KANNAGARA – TAMACHI – HAEMASE, as the God wishes
  7. Make a bow to the Sun one time and thank God.

The 3 Assaults

When I say assault, I do not mean just physical attacks. What I am referring to are the multitude of attacks on our Mind, Spirit and even Body daily.

I will attempt to explain each type of assault and how they impact us as humans, not just budoka.

Mind or Mental Assault:
These are just as they sound, they are things, people, events that assault our mental state. They can be obvious or they can be not obvious. Our obvious examples are threats of violence, threats of an outcome we do not desire. Driving fear and worry into our minds to disrupt our energy flow and shut down our rationale. The less obvious attacks are those that naw at us by stealing away our focus, that slowly creep in at the periphery. Those from say a coworker who throws jabs or works to diminish all the work we have done, or drive self doubt into our abilities. We must constantly be aware of these seemingly normal things for them being what they are, attacks on us. Harden yourself, remove yourself from their attacks or prepare a solid defense and affirmations.

Spiritual Assault
This is a part of our everyday view of how we interpret the world. Our spiritual beliefs, how we treat people and how we see the balance of the world. After a while enough mental assaults will lead to the diminishment of your spirit. Daily then affirm to yourself to not worry, to meditate on gratitude, and to constitute resolve to not worry or allow the attacks to beat you.

Physical Assault
This is what we all think of when we say an assault. Someone physically attacking you. But this attack is an attack on all 3 portions of you that can be “assaulted”. There is the very real danger and worry about the physical attack. You could be hurt or maimed. You could fair worse. But not only does the attack assault your body, it pounds the mind with fear, doubt, regret, remorse and anger (especially if you *thought* you could win. Your mind again must take the barrage and overcome.
The Spirit is also attacked during a physical assault. Your morals and willingness to engage are tested. Your will to fight is tested, including your conviction to win. But win or lose, unless you are coming from a place of true heart and spirit, you will feel an anguish or regret for your actions that precipitated the assault. Indeed your soul is impacted by these events.

It is with the understanding of the 3 Assaults, that we must set ourself up to win the assault, to remove the damage they can incur, and to harden against being victim to them again. This is why we are budoka. This is why we train the body, the mind, and the spirit. We meditate on the things we can and clear worry, fear, doubt from our minds and our spirits. We train to harden the body and make fast the reflex’s. This Heart Mind we speak of is paramount in Japanese thought and spirituality an we can see and apply those ideals here.

Keep training and working on you. It makes for a better life experience all around. Giving you the tools in your toolbox to handle yourself, and those who would assault you.

Domo Arigato.

How to eat the foods you want and lose weight. Being a leaner Budoka.

Do you want to eat foods you love but also lose weight at the same time?

It is easier then you think. Now, you can’t eat all the stuff you love at every meal in any quantity you want, but you can strategically do it without counting calories. 

Make 2 out of your 3 ( if you choose to eat 3) meals a day healthier and lower calorie meals. How do you do that? Follow steps below:

Breakfast – 
NO CEREAL ( looking at you fruity pebbles). These cereals are high in sugar and though they are fortied with vitamins and minerals, they over all don’t fill you up. Eat a protein like eggs, egg whites, sausage, ham, Scrapple. Eggs are a solid choice and you can add light cheese if you like. Avoid bacon and other higher fat meats – fat has more calories then protein or carbs. Try to have a good grain if you like having toast, whole grain or ancient grain breads with a jam or jelly. If going that route, use one with no added sugar. 

Lunch –
Same theory as breakfast: Have a protein source, a good carb ( veggies – raw or cooked (steamed/baked), potato, sweet potato. Avoid adding tons of butter to everything, instead use and cook in olive oil. Add in some other heathy fats like avocado. Protein sources should be lean cuts of beef, pork, turkey, chicken, tofu, fish. Avoid sauces that are fat heavy. This doesn’t mean no fat, but pick better fats. 

Dinner –
Eat what you like. Just keep the same ideas above. Do this most of the week. We are going for 60-70% adherence here.

Alcohol –
This is NOT a carb. Drinks can have carbs in them as drinks come from the fermentation of fruits and grains (wine and beer). The drier a beer or wine the less sugar (Carbs), but the alcohol is itself its own macronutrient.
What you need to remember here is that Liquor (vodka etc) is a grain alcohol that has been distilled and has no sugar left in it. Due to this fact, its got less calories than all other types of drinks.
So with that information, when drinking remember to drink lighter calories drinks like vodka soda, light beers, dry wines and avoid anything with added mixers ( soda, sugary mixes, etc.).

If you are going to drink, restrict it to 2 drinks daily, as alcohol slows or stops your body from burning other foods for energy and prioritizes the alcohol, because your body sees it as a poison and wants to get it out. Drink in the evening so your body has burned food and body fat all day for energy, then when you drink, it won’t affect your diet. Remember also – heavy alcohol consumption is bad for your liver and sleep and recovery and, well you get it lol.

You don’t need a cheat day on this diet because as long as you follow the above most of the time, you can have a burger here, pizza there.

If you follow this way of eating you will lose weight.

Now – you won’t be skinny as a reed on this diet, but it will allow you to keep your weight down and if you are overweight it will help the pounds initially fall off. You will at some point get to a plateau where you will not lose any more weight. That’s because the amount of food you are eating possess enough calories that you no longer are eating in a deficit. To help you could: workout, eat less “bad” foods ( looking at you deep fried anything in sauces), or simply eat smaller food portions.

Here is the real secret: Workout by lifting weights 3 days a week, walk instead of driving (if you can), go for a walk 2-3 days a week, and use the stairs (not elevator). You do this AND eat mostly like above – You will see dramatic changes in your body and how you feel.

Thanks everyone – more posts like this and around weight lifting and engaging your kids to come.