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Our Training Style

 

Our training style is quite martial, linear and direct. We incorporate bold motion, fitness, and effective throws. While we train safely, we also tightly explore the amount of control needed during realistic confrontation. We are not interested in training without a realistic element of fear. We learn to deal with fear directly.

To further understand our style, we must first provide our perspective of the word ‘harmony’. It does not employ passivity. Rather, harmony is the maintenance of an ever-fluctuating balance between entities.
Entities simply need to move together to attain the most mutually beneficial outcome. Balance between entities is never static or fixed—to acquire it, we must practice sensitivity to what the equation requires. Practicing balance between yourself and your attacker can be a very delicate exploration between too much force and too little. We want to use just the right amount to properly control the situation at hand. If we overreact, we send our opponent’s head to the pavement, especially if the opponent is light. If we underreact, we never really learn how to blend. Balance requires sensitivity, and our training explores this.



Weapons Training

We place significant emphasis on the intensity of weapons training. While we train safely, our strikes employ a sobering sense of threat. This sharpens our members’ focus and ultimately develops courage. Our chief instructor, well-versed in many traditional Japanese weapons arts, provides expertise that empowers our angles, speed, and accuracy. The intense focus and courage we develop transfers beautifully to our empty-hand technique. It also transfers well to our daily life challenges. We hone our mind to think without distraction, becoming hyper-focused and aware in challenging moments.



Seminar Training

Seminar attendance is a requirement for our members, and increases in importance as members increase in rank. The more our members grow, the more material they have to keep up-to-date. Therefore, our attendance requirements are strict. This is to maintain the quality of our member’s training from an organizational level, and incorporate members into the architecture of our community as they advance in rank.


Our seminars are long. We find this allows our members ample time for hands-on practice. Our demonstrations are broken down verbally in a clear and concise manner, illustrating expectation in a minimal amount of time. We do sweat, there is physical exertion, and our seminars are martial, but they are also supportive, friendly, and highly motivational to our involvement in the art.

 


Zen Training

 

Zen training is deeply rooted in traditional Japanese martial arts, and our style has a distinct history of pairing the two. We rely on Zen to better-capture the spiritual essence of the art.

Responding to immediate threat requires decisive action. This is best achieved when we are unencumbered by intellectual analysis or concern. Through Zen meditation, we develop our ability to act decisively by focusing intensely on the present moment. We learn to let extraneous thought go so that we may react free of distraction, free of doubt and concern. The more we practice our focus in the moment, the better we adapt and harmonize with each threat we encounter.

Zen training provides a means to round out the physicality of our martial training with mental exploration. It allows us to look inward and make character developments. We learn to confront ourselves, our baggage, and our shortfalls, in a very direct way.

By sitting silently with ourselves in meditation, and casting peripheral thoughts aside, patterns of avoidance are broken. We begin to understand the source of our issues more deeply, and deal with them head on. We begin to identify oncoming issues more clearly, analyze them more constructively, and deal with them more proactively. Overall, we act with more certainty, inheriting a deep and natural confidence. In this way, Zen practice cultivates inner balance and fearlessness. This makes day-to-day issues much easier to identify and resolve.
As martial arts empower us physically, it is our responsibility to complement our physical skills with mental checks and balances. Without doing so, we may never truly address our fears and flaws; we may remain hindered by them; we may even run from them or overcompensate to hide them. In this way, martial arts carry the potential to harbor unbalanced ego, overzealous expectation, and forcefulness. Zen training is a valuable tool to maintain inner balance, freeing practitioners from unnecessary hindrances and compensations. To truly follow the martial way, we must be brave enough to lower our guard and face issues with true, unencumbered valor.


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