Food for thought – Walking

Walking is one of the most basic and common human activities. From a very young age and from the moment we are able to move, walking replaces any other mode of locomotion that doesn’t use a vehicle and is therefore an integral part of us. The ways of walking, on the other hand, diverge, and one could almost say that there are as many as there are people, since we all build walking patterns that are recognizable from afar. […]

Ne Waza – The art of moving on the ground

Ne Waza, or groundwork is not a strength of Nihon Tai Jitsu, if it is not totally absent from the curriculum it has to be clear it is not and has never been a strategic focus of the school, and it probably represents less than 10% of our teaching. However, that remains an important part for a number of reasons. […]

Soften up!

Martial arts require a variety of skills for the adept to become proficient. These go from body skills (feeling heavy, being connected, being elastic are some of the possible options here), to learning techniques to being able to apply both in free situations, and of course developing some mental qualities with regards to dealing with the stress of a martial encounter. […]

Be the change

In the recent New Zealand workshops, I put quite a bit of focus on two ideas: mobility and quality of contact. Mobility can be done at a variety of levels, be it very basic head/sternum/diaphragm/pelvis realignment or something way more complex involving multiple layers in the body, but they all have to deal in some way with the quality of contact. […]

The need for speed

Learning martial arts can be a daunting and frustrating task, as we try to re-educate our body and brain to be better coordinated and more efficient. This is sometimes hard to understand, in particular for beginners, who just see the final of the technique: finishing Uke. But the final doesn’t matter, only the journey does. […]

Developing a dense body for martial arts

A year ago I mentioned on my French blog the research I had in progress, including the increase in density that resulted, and the links that I perceived between the density / weight perceived and the use of the sternum, which is a key element of the alignment of the body and therefore the transmission of weight. A year later, my perception of the subject is a little more complex. […]