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A Warriors View of Fate - The Case for Kata (podcast)

In this month’s podcast we cover two topics! The first thing we cover is “The Case for Kata”. The question is often asked if kata itself plays a meaningful role in practise. If kata is nothing more than a repository for bunkai, then why not just practise the applications and do away with kata? Does keeping the solo forms, and devoting time to their practise, serve any meaningful purpose? Naturally, I think the solo form does have an important role to play; and in the first section I explain why.

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Money and the Martial Arts (podcast)

This new podcast looks at the ever controversial topic of money and the martial arts. In the podcast I share my views on whether it is right to take payment for martial arts instruction; what amounts to unethical  behaviour; the different attitudes that exist to money; how people can unwittingly help unethical instructors; how to most effectively combat money hungry “McDojos”; how money can effect the teacher / student relationship; how money can further good quality martial arts; and more besides!

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One-Step-Sparring (podcast)

This month’s podcast covers one-step sparring; as well as the related practises of three-step and five-step sparring. Whist a very common form of practise in karate, taekwondo, etc. it is my belief that such training is a largely pointless. In the podcast I look at why I feel one-step sparring is a “dead-end” and why it does not develop any useable attributes. It is important to isolate techniques however, but this needs to be done in a way that can progress to live practise and free flowing application.  I therefore also suggest what I see as better ways to isolate techniques.

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Iain on the Richard podcast!

Hi All,

This is not the podcast! This podcast is from and it is an interview Richard conducted with me a few days ago. The interview mainly focuses on my journey through the martial arts and how I ended up teaching for a living. Richard is a good friend and I hope you find the interview interesting.

Those of you who have already heard this interview from Richard’s website may be interested to know that I’ve added an introduction to this version that explains how I “walked on water”! Please listen to the podcast and see the embedded image to find out more :-)

Be sure to check out Richard’s other episodes and I’ll be back with my own podcast early in the New Year!

All the best,


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Your questions answered! (podcast)

Welcome to the latest podcast! It’s been sometime since we last turned the podcast over to the listeners, so I’ve put that right this month. I asked for questions via the website, facebook and twitter and we did our best to cover as many of them as we could.

Topics covered include: realism in training, kicking in self-defence, scenario training, training with joint injuries, the evolution of kata, the physiological and psychological effects of conflict, the specifics of female self-defence, home training, using weights to increase punching power, time management for training, and loads more! It’s around one hour twenty minutes long so make yourself comfortable when you sit down to listen to it!

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The Masters Speak! (podcast)

Welcome to the October 2012 podcast! This podcast is titled “The Masters Speak!” and it covers twenty-five or so of some of my favourite quotes from the works of the past masters. In the podcast we include the words of masters such as Itosu, Funakoshi, Otsuka, Mabuni, Motobu, Kyan, etc. What I hope these quotations show is that much of what is regarded as “traditional” today is not that traditional!

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Context! Context! Context! (podcast)

Welcome to the latest podcast! This month we cover the very important topic of “context”. The failure to understand the huge impact of context is one of the biggest problems in modern martial arts / self-defence. This failure has people training in incorrect, inefficient and sometimes downright dangerous ways. It can also stop us from enjoying all the fun and benefits our training can bring us.

In the podcast I define what I mean by “context”, explain how important it is to define the “win”, look at how context and the “win” determine what pool of techniques we should draw from, how the very effective tactics in one context can be disastrous in another, etc. I also look at some of the common misunderstandings relating to context.

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The 20 Precepts of Gichin Funakoshi (podcast)

Welcome to the latest podcast! It’s been a little while since the last one due to the many demands upon my time, so I hope you feel this one is worth the wait!

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Verbal De-Escalation (podcast)

In this month’s podcast we will be looking at verbal de-escalation. What I mean by that is what we can do to calm people down, avoid unnecessary physical conflict, and “talk our way out”.

It’s not enough to simply give the topic lip service, as many do, with throw away lines such as “talk your way out if you can”. That’s like saying “punch hard” and expecting students to be able to punch well despite never having being taught punching or having practised it. There is huge skill set associated with talking your way out of situations that should not be ignored.

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Funakoshis 6 Rules (podcast)

Welcome to the latest podcast! In this podcast I give my thoughts on Gichin Funakoshi’s “Six Rules” (of which there are five!). These rules form part of Funakoshi’s book ‘Karate-Do: My Way of Life’ and about which he states, “The strict observance of these rules is absolutely essential for anyone who desires to understand the nature of karate.” This podcast is obviously not attempting to be a definitive explanation or exploration of these rules, but merely my own take on them.

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