November 25, 2015

Book Review: My Gratitude Journal by Kellie Bach

Author Kellie Bach's multiple sclerosis diagnosis stirred a primal ripple from deep inside of her that manifested in "My Gratitude Journal" from Tambuli Media.  A daily log that allows one to reflect and give thanks for moments, people, events, and really anything and everything that happens in life.  Writing is often quite therapeutic even for those whom you would never assume would write down their thoughts or feelings. 

A wonderful stocking stuffer, I can't think of a better gift to mention on this week of reflection and thanks. "My Gratitude Journal" is now available from Tambuli Media. 

Combat Flip Flops

Being a day late to throwing a big thank you out there for our Veterans on the 11th, I wanted to give a quick shout out to Combat Flip Flops.  Based in Bellevue, WA. Combat Flip Flops offers not only the namesake sandals, but also sarongs, and hard to find shemagh.  

Veteran owned.  This company supports those in need on a local level by building and supporting factories run by women in Afghanistan where education is the goal.  Think of these types of companies when shopping this holiday season.  Make your dollar work a bit harder and better. 

Unfortunately they do not offer manly sized footwear of 15+ or I would offer a review, but those dainty footed folk should check out their selection none the less. 

November 5, 2015

Kali Blade Transitions with Guru Jeff Davidson

To my students... this is what it is SUPPOSED to look like!  Study.  Learn.  Apply. 
Thank you Guru Jeff for sharing... look forward to training soon.  

October 23, 2015

Bodywork and Sports Massage Therapist Kurt Dery at Athenaroma

I wanted to take a moment to send a shout out to the best massage therapist in Washington state, and one of the best I have ever had work on me; Kurt Dery (LMT#MA00019958) at Athenaroma here in downtown Seattle.  Kurt's understanding of Anatomy and Physiology is second to none which only enhances what seems to be an innate ability to find the SOURCE of your pain and eliminate it. 

I know a number of local martial artists, MMA fighters, and other combat sports participants view this blog from time to time, and if you are in need of a massage or need some help rehabbing an injury to get you back in the fight quicker Kurt is your man. 

You can book online or call:  206-919-3404 / 212 Belmont Ave E. Seattle, WA. 

October 22, 2015

NWOS Fall Show & Sale Nov. 7-8th

Come visit the NW Orchid Society's annual Fall Show & Sale at Swanson's Nursery November 7-8th 2015.   Here is an excellent opportunity to get ahold of some species and rare genetics for my orchid friends in the Pac NW.  There will be at least five vendors including Seattle Orchid​, Emerald City Orchids​, Lucky Girl Orchids​, and Ahtanum Orchids.  Talks will be offered as well as AOS judging on Saturday morning.  Come join us...(Click here for more info)
Neofinetia fulcata

Swanson's Nursery
9701 15th Ave NW
Seattle WA, 98117
Saturday 9-5
Sunday 10-4

And for those of you scratching your heads wondering what orchids could possibly have to do with martial arts and this blog... well besides being a passion of mine, Neofinetia falcata are known as "Wind" or "Samurai" orchids because they were coveted by the warrior class of feudal Japan since the 1600's.  Shogun Tokugawa fell in love with the plant and is rumored to have sent samurai to all corners of Japan in search of rare specimens.  Often carried in protective cages, if commoners were to even breathe on the plant they risked beheading! 

Rest assured we will not behead anyone for breathing on any orchids, unless of course you are rocking halitosis! 

October 11, 2015

Book Review: Chanpuru - Reflections and Lessons From the Dojo

   Gary Parker's personal memoir "Chanpuru: Reflections and Lessons from the Dojo" is one of Tambuli Media's latest releases, expanding the companies repertoire above and beyond just martial art instructional books.  A wonderful recounting of a young man's journey through traditional Okinawan Karate-do. 

   I sometimes find it easier to describe something via what it is NOT rather than what it is.  Parker Sensei's book does not recount his multitude of street fights on the hard streets of Japan (there are none).  If you are looking for a minute by minute description of his preparation for an MMA fight that will make or break his career... not the book for you.  Incredibly there are a number of common themes obviously absent from Parkers memoir of his training in Okinawa and life after moving back to Georgia, and via these 'voids' if you will is where we get a glimpse of the true martial arts that 99% of us everyday practitioners experience.  

   I found Gary Parker's book a refreshing change from the majority of martial arts (read: MMA) reads out there.  I have a hard time relating to a cage fighter, some bouncer whom has worked the door of London's seedy underground, or the military mercenary who had to use his hand to hand skills in Afghanistan.  But I instantly relate to hours of arduous training, dealing with culture shock under Asian teachers, and the struggle with balancing everyday life when dedicated to training the martial arts.  Minus a handful of editorial hiccups Gary Parker summarizes just such a life perfectly. 

   Trained in Okinawa and then moving back to Georgia, Parker offers insight he has gleamed over the years as a traditional sensei writing about lessons that we quickly forget while training to be unarmed 'killers.'  But how often do we discuss how martial arts have helped our tempers, mental focus, fortitude to endure tragedy and pain?  The day to day lessons of the martial arts often get whitewashed with testosterone laden bravado. 

   "Chanpuru" is a perfect book to snuggle up next to the fire with and reflect on life with a glass of wine or coffee.  A perfect stocking stuffer for the holidays coming up, click here to order Chanpuru and to peruse Tambuli Media's vast book selection. 

October 5, 2015

Bladework with Jeff Davidson of Detroit Kali

My teacher Guru Jeff Davidson is a rather private man but every now and again he shares a gem.  Enjoy said moment...