This Conclusion Comes with Clarity

9:12 PM Monday, February 14, 2011

If you open up the Book of Five Rings, by Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵) you will find a comment somewhere in the pages that a person should be familiar will all arts. Musashi also goes on to make the distinction between being familiar and understanding other arts, he is not suggesting that you master every art, just know about them.

Here is a quick list of where I have spent time, Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, Hung-gar, Modern Arnis, Goju-Ryu, Judo, Aikido, Brazilian Jujitsu, Kenpo, Tai Chi and wrestling. You know what this experience has given me? A certainty. A certainty that what I am training now is right for me. This conclusion comes with clarity because I have had and still have the intellectual curiosity to explore other arts. A curiosity fostered by my parents, by my teachers and some of my martial arts instructors.

Now obviously I can not, nor could I try every art that is out there, that is impossible, however, a sampling allows you to “be familiar” as Musashi puts it. I liken it to a child that is resistant to trying a new food. They do not want to try it because they are confident that they know what it tastes like, and in a fit of immaturity turn up their nose to something that they have never tasted.

Some of my students have gone off to other arts, leaving the school permanently. Other students have returned after knocking around the martial arts world a bit. Other students have found something that lights them up more than karate. My comment to both of those paths is, “cool.”

I say get out there. There are more diverse opportunities in the martial arts than we have ever known in the history of man. Get out there try something new, you do not have to marry it, you can just date, it's OK....Guh a head, it's OK.


  1. Kane & Wilder Sensei: Perspective, never looked at this particular subject in just this way. Thanks!

    Charles James

  2. Great post... my own MA studies started with TKD in the early 80's, followed by gung fu, aikido and ultimately Isshin ryu karate. Even though I started training in Filipino arts recently, I know that Isshin ryu will be my core for the foreseeable future; the practical approach I have learned blends well with my strengths and weaknesses, and other arts allow me to grow and explore possibilities I wouldn't be aware of had I only trained in one art. Kudos!!


  3. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.

    I came to Judo knowing next to nothing about all the other Martial Arts except what I learned through Saturday morning Kung Fu films. I say I'm lucky becauase the art does everything for -and to- me that I could ask of it; physically, mentally and is some regards, spiritually. There's never been that 'itch' to look for something else.

    Until recently, that is.

    I've been reading other blogs and sites dealing with just about every other martial art out there, and my curiosity has been piqued. I've got just this tiny little itch to try a striking-based art, if I've got the terminology right. Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, not really sure. I can't ever see myself leaving Judo behind, it's changed my life twice now, but I will admit to thinking about branching out just a little.




  4. Stefan -

    Great comment, you are fortunate and well centered in your needs in the martial arts. Once you find your anchor your good, and you have.

    Lawrence Kane & Kris Wilder

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