Decision and Conduct of War

I was in Australia recently to teach several seminars on ShinkenTaijutsu and Budo Taijutsu. On the night of my arrival in Adelaide I put my Masters Degree in National Security Strategy (National War College) to the test and led an interactive lecture on the lessons learned from the Melian dialogue during the Peloponnesian War. The…

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Menkyo Defined

We’ve been discussing the topic of rank lately in our webinars and during the black belt seminar, so I thought this would be a good time to write a short piece on what an authentic Bujinkan menkyo looks like. Pictured below is a copy of an authentic Bujinkan Shodan Menkyo with explanations as to what…

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How Do I Train Alone?

                The Bujinkan’s method of training typically involves two or more training partners exploring techniques under the observation of a qualified Shidoshi (instructor). However, some of us may not live near a certified Bujinkan Dojo, or maybe we have to travel frequently for work, or for any number…

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Tactical Pen Review pt 2

Recently I tested out 2 more tactical pens (pictured), the Colt Defender and the Night Armor Tactical Pen w/light. I took each of these to work with me for a week and then flew across country and used them during a Bonenkai seminar last weekend. During the seminar a number of students played with each…

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Surviving an Active Shooter Incident

There have been a number of these unfortunate events over the last few years. Virginia Tech, Columbine, the Denver movie theater, New Town, Connecticut and the US Navy Yard to name a few. Analysis of these events show that those who flee at the first sign of trouble are the most likely to survive. Those…

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The Way It Was Part IV

The Mutsu Bay dojo and my farewell test  —   So we trained in parks, on the beach and at the mountain dojo for about two years while Sensei Fukuda built a new beach hotel and campgrounds called Kokumen Kenko Shukusha. We pleaded with him to also build a Hombu dojo on the campgrounds. He…

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Shinken Tactical Pens

Tactical Pen Review

The tactical pen is a great non-weapon option for legal carry at work and on travel. I believe three key components comprise a tactical pen. First, it has to be an actual writing instrument. Second, it must be designed to look like a pen and be carried or worn as a pen. Third, it must…

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The Way It Was Part III

Mountain Training , Demonstrations and Being Japanese — So it was in my early days of training in Chugoku KuKempo that it was pretty tough. I mentioned earlier about the mountain training we did in both summer and winter. In winter we had the snow and ice and cold to deal with. In summer it…

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Phil makes Tea

The Way it Was Part II

Man or woman makes the Tea and Tea makes the man or woman –   In my early years of training in Chugoku KuKempo, it was customary for the junior students to open up the dojo and clean it before and after training, sweep snow off the roof in winter, get the fire going, make…

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Beginnings of Martial Arts- The way it was – Part I

During most of the 70s and part of the 80’s I lived in Japan and Okinawa. Until ’73, Okinawa was a US protectorate and not considered “part of” Japan. After reversion, Okinawa became a prefecture of what they would call mainland Japan. Many of the Ryuku people (U’chinachu or Okinawans) believed they were more closely…

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