Facing Down a Wooden Dummy, and the Myth of “Perfect Practice”

  “Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.”  – Vince Lombardi   The Bane of my Existence   I have spent a lot of time thinking about Vince Lombardi’s famous maxim on the value of practice.  I will readily admit to hating this quote.  It is exactly the sort of tough, yet…

Violence and the Martial Arts: Contagion or Cure?

      An Old Metaphor   Violence has many faces.  It may appear in an inter-personal, domestic, social or political form.  It’s physical aspects exist on a spectrum ranging from school yard fights all the way up to interstate war.  And as the recent attack on a group of Republican congressional representatives and staff…

Anime and the Education of a Martial Artist

    Introduction   Occasionally life takes a turn and one’s personal martial arts training gets moved to the back burner.  The last couple of weeks have been like that as my wife and I have been engulfed in a seemingly unending move.  It certainly could have been worse as on paper it was a…

Research Notes: Kung Fu at the American School in Shanghai, 1936

      Martial Arts Exhibitions, Old and New   Earlier today I saw a Facebook notice reminding me that I am about to miss an event with the lightsaber combat group that I am currently doing an ethnography with.  They have been asked to give an exhibition by a local charity.  The entire thing…