Category: martial arts

  • Jedi training in Belfast?

    Ok, ok, bear with me here :-). Allen Baird and Rory O’Connor will be offering a personal development seminar in Belfast on the 17th October, but with a twist. Like a previous event that Allen has offered, the whole thing is steeped in metaphors related to the Star Wars movies, in order to put over […]

  • Receiving Ukemi

    For those not acquainted by martial arts. The title is a bit of a weak play on words, since “ukemi” means something like “receiving through the body”. Uke is generally the receiver of a technique and thus the attacker in aikido, whereas the nage is the thrower to use one possible word. Ukemi is important […]

  • Models, Perception, Science, Religion, Martial Arts

    This is quite a long and detailed article, if you have no vague interest in meta-physics or philosophy and associated ideas, it may hold little value for you. You have been warned! I doubt that any human being lives directly in reality. None of us has an exact understanding of reality and generally I suspect […]

  • Self Defence and Over Confidence

    Some years ago, I saw an article on the local news showing some girls being schooled in martial arts, Karate in this case, in order to defend themselves from disreputable men (no jokes about tautologies please). It was interesting to note that many felt after about an hour that they were suddenly capable of fending […]

  • Interview with Alan Ruddock and Henry Kono

    I spent a pleasant weekend last week in Dublin at Fiona’s Dojo. It was good to see lots of people, including Aureli, who has started up a new dojo in the north west. The course was being given by Alan Ruddock and Henry Kono, and Alan heads the Aiki No Michi, the organisation to which […]

  • Sword ban comes into force

    It seems that on the 6th April the long awaited ban on Japanese swords came into effect in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I don’t know what the situation is in Scotland. Remarkably, even in the jurisdictions that enforce the new ban, there is considerable confusion about its extent. UTV have reported, totally erroneously, that […]

  • Samurai Teen?

    Today, the BBC News reported on a ‘Samurai teen out for revenge’. It’s not at all clear who added the quotes and why, but the young teenager, from Newcastle, Northern Ireland, luxuriating in the ancient samurai name of “Rocco Burns”, took his ‘Samurai Sword’ out to wreak revenge on several people who allegedly assaulted him. […]

  • Sharp Steel Sword ( redux

    My sword arrived from the USA and got caught in customs for a while, I went to collect it and pay the import tax on the 2nd January. Since then I’ve been looking at it quite carefully. I was relieved customs had not opened it (not because of any legal concerns, it is all perfectly […]

  • “Imitation” Samurai Swords Banned

    So, it finally has been confirmed, the Home Office will ban “imitation” samurai swords in England and Wales, and I expect the rest of the UK will soon follow suit. First of all, most students of the martial arts hate the “samurai sword” name, so let’s call them Japanese swords. I understand that attacks with […]

  • Steel Sword

    So, I’ve been practicing Iaido for seven years now. For almost all that time I’ve used my trusted Iaito or training sword. Like most Iaito it’s got a zinc alloy blade coated in chrome to look like the real thing. It’s a lovely sword, but slightly too short for me, and has taken a bit […]