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.


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.


I’m Baaack! And it is about time.

Took some time to renew my Spirit. I wasn’t even planning on it, it just happened. Started training with a different attitude this week and it is wonderful. Training for me again and it is allowing me to train others better. As a teacher I was putting out but not doing for me. Don’t get me wrong I love teaching. And now I have fallen in love with it all over again.

So for now I am committing to a year of pushing myself to a total makeover in Body,Mind,and Spirit. Starting with a two month Kick-myself- in-the-a**- bootcamp. And then it will be ten months of “Let’s see where we can go in a year”. Why? Because I choose to. I am liking the results already. Challenging myself is allowing to challenge others more effectively. Come along for the ride and challenge yourself , if you choose too.


Learn by not Learning

Rod Nobuto Omoto wrote that ” I learn Kendo by not learning Kendo. Everything you do is Kendo,even cleaning a room. Each swing , each strike, each walk that you take,listening to what’s happening outside, seeing from the back of your head—that’s all kendo.”  It is just that simple and just that hard at the same time.

In a conversation that I had with Soke Chaka Zulu, I had asked him how often did he train and his response was “Twenty four/seven”.  Again it is just that simple and just that hard.

To learn with out learning and to train 24/7  to me means that your Martial Art is part of you no matter what you are doing. You are a human being, a Dad, a Martial Artist , a this or a that. And it all comes back to some thing else that Omoto Sensei wrote: ” I will never be completely ready for death, no matter how well I prepare. But the thing is to live until I die, live fully,and enjoy life while living. And take care of my Health, both physical and mental. ”

It is my wish to join the ranks of men such as Omoto Sensei and Zulu Sensei. These men Learn by not Learning. They LIVE their Martial Art.

We of the Phoenix Martial Arts System endeavor to Learn by not Learning but by Living.

Oss! Namaste

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