If you have taken that little sliver of your life you call your martial art and enshrined it, placed in stasis circa 1901, (or insert your master's date of death here), you might as well take all of your life and move it back to that time, right?

It only follows that if you are willing to freeze that tiny sliver of your life in 1901, you should freeze the rest. Forget about, modern medical and physiological advances. No TV, no internet, bring back Polio or Rubella! And prop-driven planes with open cockpits are just around the bend. Look, you can be as progressive or orthodox as you want when it comes to the arts, however time is a continuum; people grow, progress, change fall away and come together.

When I put on a tie and suit I do it because it is the excepted practice for conservative business attire. It shows respect and formalness. I wear a traditional white Gi in the dojo, for the very same reasons. It is the accepted attire for the circles in which I run. However, when it comes to my art, I honor the tradition while being open to new ways of training and new interpretations of forms and techniques. It's part of keeping a martial art alive. The masters always took something established and added something new, and there will be others along the lineage who will leave their mark of genius on the art as well.

It's all about balance. The masters of the martial arts are certainly to be revered, and exploring new ways and interpretations that may differ with tradition should always be done with respect and careful consideration. But consider the tools and ideas our modern era has brought to the martial arts as well. It keeps our traditions alive.


  1. It seems to me that "traditional" karate is about one person wanting to teach and another wanting to learn. The methods and tools used are nothing without the desire and commitment of both parties to teach and to be taught

    Liam Reid

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