Kouketsu Dojo Blog

Martial Arts & Martial Law

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Martial Arts & Martial Law by J. Michael Brooks

Operating in the dark is a challenge. Darkness may be helpful. Sometimes it is necessary. But it’s difficult to orient in the dark; harder to detect obstacles, threats, targets and the path we need to take.

Which is a lot like training now. Isolated from the dojo, separated from friends, from the normal routines and rhythms of life, is disorienting for everyone. Some people feel at a loss. 

People around the world are feeling fearful, anxious, isolated, and bored. This not produced only by outer circumstances, as difficult as they are. This can be fixed by having a clear mission, that is, a purpose. 

Since we are training sincerely we have a purpose. 


Even without training partners or a class schedule, even without seeing teachers and friends face to face as usual, our purpose in training remains. We improvise and move forward. 

If your objective is to get strong and flexible, do it. Put in the time – on your own if you have to, outdoors if you can.  If your objective is to get fast, train to achieve that. If you want a calm, clear mind then here is a chance to pursue it. If you want to polish your spirit and push yourself beyond the comfort zone, you can. If you want to go deeper, who knows how far you can go?

If we take our training goals seriously then we make life choices that support them: eating right, no excess, nothing that will waste your energy or your time. Nothing that will undercut your focus, fitness or peace of mind.

Being serious about training keeps you alive.

A confrontation with an attacker who wants to take your money or control your body is partly a confrontation with the unknown. We are in a confrontation with the unknown right now.

The way to prevail over an attacker is to take determined, vigorous action. Not to wait passively, see what happens, try to wish the trouble away, or hope for the best. The way to prevail over a threat is to take the initiative and do what you need to do, to the best of your ability. If you hold back, if you try a little bit, you will lose.

We cannot afford to yield the initiative now. We are already in this. We are operating in a shadowy world. The way we are used to orienting, according the familiar landmarks and rules and routines, is breaking down. 

So, we reorient using our practice, and we move forward. 

We don’t know what will happen. That’s true. We never did.  Now we are aware of it.

Within the scope of training something great can happen. There is no guarantee. But we know what will happen if we lose our edge and yield our forward motion.

The world needs strong people. Let’s stay on course, and keep training hard. 

Thank you for all your effort and encouragement. 

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