On Teaching

Profession related issues are of value to more than just instructors.

Amateur, Retailer, Professional? Rediscovering the Classic Martial Arts Teacher

 “Between the amateur and the professional … there is a difference not only in degree but in kind. The skillful man is, within the function of his skill, a different integration, a different nervous and muscular and psychological organization…. A tennis player or a watchmaker or an airplane pilot is an automatism but he is also criticism and wisdom.”

Bernard De Voto, Across the Wide Missouri


Law. Medicine. Engineering. We expect much from those who practice what are termed professions. Society has long been aware that certain occupations have consequences too significant, and/or processes too subjective or arcane, to be safely or properly evaluated by any but another practitioner. Thus, these activities are entrusted only to those with a true calling to their field and the recognition of their peers.


Furthermore, no matter how skilled or well meaning, we are all only human. Security comes from the knowledge that individuals who provide us "professional" services answer to a high authority than themselves.



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Industry Regulation - Intrusion on Artistic Freedom or Catalyst for a Martial Arts Profession?

Welcome to Dodge City. Enjoy your stay… and check your guns.


Freedom. For many Americans, that word conjures images of steely-eyed, self-reliant pioneers taming the Western frontier; of Captains of Industry binding a young nation together with ribbons of steel while wresting wealth from its land and forests; of wide-eyed entrepreneurs destined to make their mark in the world.


While all that may be accurate, few people seem to make the connection with the other side of the coin — like why Wyatt Earp had to forcibly trash the Second Amendment in order to bring civilization to Dodge City.  Or the reasons Jesse James felt it was ironic justice to lighten the purses of Robber Barons. Or the underlying necessity for agencies such as the FDA.



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Keynote Address: Okinawa Traditional Karate And Kobudo Worldwide Seminar

On November 8, 2015, four high ranking karate masters from Okinawa, Japan presented a full day of training workshops in New Paltz, New York. The event was hosted by the New Paltz Karate Academy, and sponsored by the Okinawa Prefectual Government as part of its worldwide cultural outreach effort. Over two hundred traditional martial arts students and teachers from throughout the northeastern United States attended the event.

The keynote speaker was Salvatore Musco, Executive Director of Martial Promise, Inc and Head Instructor of East Morris Karate Academy (Whippany, NJ).


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Is Kata Really Necessary?




I'll admit I thought the question kind of odd - especially coming from one of our senior instructors. Yet, on thinking more about it, I realized that the question has been made valid - and relevant - by those in our industry who have recently abandoned the practice. The implications of this for students, instructors and the very arts themselves are profound.

Special interests have already succeeded in obliterating any expectation of standards for martial arts teachers, bankrupted the value of the Black Belt (and all ranks along with it), and in general, redefined martial study to more closely approximate glorified street-fighting than art. Now, the attack is directed upon the very essence of martial art - kata.

Joining the few who still speak out in protest of this trend, here's my two yen.


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On Martial Arts Regulation - The Case of Bill A2571

Martial arts study holds a tremendous potential for good that can shine through even questionable interpretations and un-professional conduct -- to a point.


Like most life-long martial artists and instructors, I love the field passionately. Unlike nearly all my colleagues, this love has led me to a quite different conclusion regarding the most controversial of all industry issues - government regulation. They fiercely oppose it. I support it.



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