The Phoenix Rises Anew

Beautiful CHANGE and evolution have occurred for the Phoenix System.

Phoenix Martial Arts System has joined forces with Kyoshi Stephen F. Douglas Sr. and Sensei Steve Douglas Jr. and we are rocking and rolling with our “Music” and version of the Martial Arts  “Dance” , Our coming out party happened on June 30, 2012 as Sensei Steve was promoted to Nidan in the Phoenix System. And Stephen and I were promoted to 7th and 6th degree Black Belts respectively  by Shidoshi Ron Van Clief of Chinese Goju Ryu. It was a wonderful day not only for the cherished promotions, but for the fact we had a chance to train with Family and  the PMAS “Family” grew as well. Present for this day were Mr. Tom LeBrun of Knight Hawk Security and LeBrun Self Defense System, Master John Borter of the Modern Self Defense Academy. And we were joined by Martial Artists from New Hampshire , Pennsylvania and Michigan.  Sensei Bob Walstrom of Zujitsu Ryu , James Burkett and James Kite of Chinese Guju and Kelly Shea, a Nidan in Tae Kwon Do. From Vermont we had Master Karen Davoren , founder and chief instructor of Makoto Ryu Dojo and her student Kyle Wyman. And from the Phoenix Family we had Betsy Hurley, The Merrow Family, Yana Scelsi, Sean Bottomms and Tristan Goodman.

All of this was made possible  by a past connection with Shidoshi Van Clief  that Kyoshi Douglas had. We are now members of Shidoshi’s Martial Arts Family. I am also proud to call him Friend. And I am grateful for the Martial Knowledge that he shared that day as he conducted a Defensive Tactics Seminar.

Phoenix Martial Arts System emerged from this weekend shining a little brighter and it was affirmed that it is on the correct Path in its mission to bring traditional Martial/Warrior values to a modern World.

Domo Arigato Shidoshi Ron Van Clief for your recognition of Kyoshi and myself. And thank you Kyoshi for being the Man that you are. Thank you to all that participated. You are valued and loved!

BTW Shidoshi has written a book called The Hanged Man. It is about his life and experiences. It is available at and Kindle. And there are three documentaries coming out here in 2012 featuring him. One debuted in N.Y. while Shidoshi was on tour. Visit his website at for more info.

Until next time I remain Yours in the True Spirit of the Martial Arts.



The Phoenix Is Rising!

Chinese surgeon Hua To (A.D. 190-265) studied the movements of the tiger, bear, monkey, deer, and the bird and transformed them into excercises. Other animals that are copied in the Martial Arts for fighting purposes are the crane, eagle, leopard, mantis, cat and the ever painful when done the right way, horse stance. Dragon and the phoenix eye fist are present as well. The punch is referred to as the rams head and a back kick is called mule kick in certain styles. And while in Pittsburgh this year for the Black belt Hall of Fame induction weekend, I was fortunate enough to witness the Lion dance ceremony.

Phoenix Martial Arts System is adopting totem Animals of its own for the essence that lies behind them.

 The Phoenix  is symbolic of change as it is constantly consumed by the fire only to rise from the ashes reborn. This is also akin to the martial Arts saying,”Get knocked down 7 times but get up 8 times.”

The Bear is a symbol of awakening the power of the unconscious. Go inside and awaken the potentials inherent. Trust yourself and spend time in introspection.

The Deer for us is associated with gentleness but also with a ferociousness in battle when cornered that is unsuspected. There are stories of hunters being attacked by deer that they thought they had killed but in actuality they only wounded. The hunter quickly becomes the victim.

The Hawk symbolizes guardianship and visionary power. They are the protectors. And their sharp talons and beak can rip and tear into an adversary.

The Mountain Lion symbolizes leadership. And the Mountain Lion also is decisive in the use of personal power. “When it attacks it does not hesitate.”

The Wolf is the pathfinder and/or teacher. But Wolf  also symbolizes guardianship, loyalty, and ritual.

So with in the Phoenix Martial Arts there are elements of  change and growth. Introspective time to learn who and what you all about. Protection of yourself and others. Leadership is a key factor as well as being decisive and discovering your personal power. Loyalty  and honor  your self and others!!!

So there are the five animals of the Phoenix and what they represent.  The Phoenix is rising.

It’s Training Time!

Chances are if you are reading this, you either have an interest in the Martial Arts or you are a Martial Artist in training. Either way I say “It’s Training Time!” If you have been thinking about it for awhile it is time to start. Give yourself the gift that keeps on giving.

If you are currently training in the Martial Arts I say “It’s training time…all the time!”  Give yourself the gift of knowing that you are training all the time, not just on the Dojo floor when you are in your uniform.

As Martial Artists we train for more than self-defense techniques. We are training for improved health, better body fitness, and clarity of mind.

“It’s training time!”

Karate: To do or not to do?

I am always amazed at how those who do not do Martial Arts or understand the true principle of the Martial Arts can make judgements about the Martial Arts being a negative influence or a waste of time. Well here I go on my Martial Arts soap box.

“Training in a martial art means disciplining not just the body but the mind and the spirit as well. The martial arts are rooted in honor ,respect, and the commitment to peace. True martial artists are compassionate people who use their skills only to protect themselves or those they love.” Now this is why I train in the Martial Arts and this is why I teach the Martial Arts and these principles are what I teach my students.

Studying a Martial Art is a great way to get exercise, learn concentration, improve your focus, and learn self-defense. And when it comes to self-defense I firmly believe that “it is better to know it and not need it than to need it and not know it”.

Greatest of all reasons for doing a Martial Art is that it “is a way to learn respect for yourself and respect for others.

Karate: To do or not to do? For me it is Karate-do.


Good Sensei/Bad Sensei

In my meditation back on yesterday’s marvelous good time with Phoenix Martial Arts’ first venture into the sport aspect of tournament Karate, I realized that I had done my job as a Pure Martial Arts Sensei well but as a sport karate Sensei I have some work to do.

Olivier Cazaudumec made me very proud yesterday in his first tournament as a Phoenix Martial Artist. With less than a month of training for the 2010 Green Mountain Classic Open Karate Tournament, He ended up with a 3rd place in Kata and he got 4th place in kumite (sparing). Now kata he did not want to do but he did it and did well. He challenged himself and did well.

Kumite (sparring) was what Olivier wanted to do and again he did well. The most impressive aspect of Olivier’s performance was not evident to anyone including myself until reflecting back on it. Olivier had great technique and got praise from a senior black belt for throwing a perfect overhand reverse punch to an advancing opponents face. This would usually result in head contact because even though you may have control the moving into the technique by your opponent can result in contact. There was no contact at all. Olivier fought several times and was always in there with his points but would back away at times. And in backing up his opponent would score but Olivier would come back but not quite enough.

Well what I realized today is that all of Oliver’s opponents were smaller than him. In his training he had smaller opponents in class and I stressed not hurting them. Olivier is very strong and has come a long way in issuing  his power.  By backing up he was listening to me and avoiding possibly hurting the other smaller children. He sacrificed winning the match for concern for his “opponent”.

As his Martial Arts Sensei I am proud that Olivier has learned compassion and control. We stress the Warriors Code: Love, Respect, Care, Responsibility, Honor and Peace. Olivier showed me that he is living this in his life.

Now as his sport Karate Sensei/coach I am proud of him  as well for he is learning to focus his mind and technique. His balance and coordination have improved. Now I have to work with him on believing that he won’t hurt anyone because he is bigger by trusting  that he won’t hurt anyone because he is bigger.

 Good Sensei/Bad Sensei,either way as I teach I learn. Olivier,at 8 years old, you are a great student on all levels.


On Oct. 23rd at the Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center in Rutland, Aimee DeRoehn and myself will be combining Yoga and Martial Arts in a seminar that we call BRINGING THE POWER. SELF DEFENSE meets KABOX meets POWER YOGA and we as instructors take you on a Body,Mind,Spirit adventure that will empower you from the inside/out. Come join us from 1:30 to 5:00. This seminar is open to all Martial Artists, Yogis, and non-practitioners of either ages 13 and above. Pre-registration is preferred. Cost of the seminar is $45.00 pre./$ 55.00 at the door.

To learn more about Aimee DeRoehn visit

And to learn more about Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center visit

For more info please call me at 802-379-1296  or call Aimee or the Pyramid at the phone numbers that you will find at their websites.


Up Coming Events!

Upcoming events:

Oct. 9, 2010:KOBOX  at 2:00 and 2:30 at the Great Rutland Race. One event in a day of fun for the city. Benefits Pink Ribbon Diva Foundation and the Scholarship Program for the Rutland Rec. Dept. Check out Location of the KABOX DEMO will be announced.

Oct 23,2010-KABOX and PHOENIX MARTIAL ARTS teams with Aimee DeRoehn of ROAD HOME POWER YOGA at Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center for BRINGING the POWER. Martial Arts/Kabox combine with Yoga so that  participants will learn about self empowerment using self-defense, fitness and yoga. The class will run from 1:30 to 5:00 

Check out Road Home Power Yoga at

Check out Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center at

Nov. 12-14,2010 I will be attending the 23rd Annual 2010 Global Leadership Conference & U.S.A. International Black Belt Hall of Fame induction ceremony conference weekend. This event is sponsored by the Eastern U.S.A. International Martial Arts Association and is held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Check out their website:

Exciting! Stay tuned for more.