If you look over the right hand side of this blog (assuming you aren’t just reading this via an RSS feed or something), you will notice that there are a few links sitting there. I think it goes without saying that they are all links I think are worth visiting, but I thought I would explicate exactly what they are, and why they are there.
Aiki Budokai of Boston: Run by Jigme Daniels, the Aiki Budokai is an excellent training center for anyone who is interested in “traditional” Japanese martial systems. Jigme himself is one of the most honest and forthright instructors I’ve ever had the pleasure to train with. He was one of the first people to help give me an appreciation for how historical context shapes the development of an art, and really helped me understand the role that kata plays in Japanese martial arts systems. The realties of time and space currently keep me out of his dojo, but I would love to get back there some day (and about a thousand other places to boot).
Blauer Tactical Systems: I first ran across Tony Blauer about ten years ago, when Van Canna Sensei, a Uechi-Ryu instructor who I greatly admire, recommended Tony’s material to me. I fell in love with his material almost immediately, and have continued to follow his research ever since. I have been a member of his Personal Defense Readiness Instructor Development Program for a number of years, though at times, my training has not been as diligent as it could have been.
Tony has been a big influence on my thinking on martial arts in general, and on personal protection/self-defense training in particular. I firmly believe that he offers the single best program for those people who’s sole concern is surviving a violent confrontation, and his material has applications in other areas as well.
Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy: Eight years ago, I walked into Sityodtong, and changed my life forever. It’s my home and the students there are like family to me. I love teaching there, I love training there. I genuinely cannot imagine what my life would have been like had I not set foot in that school.
I think it goes without saying that I think we’re the best Muay Thai school in city, if not the whole country. We’ve got professional fighters from the top tiers of the sport coming to train with us, so we must be doing something right.
Straight Blast Gym: I’ve never really trained with this group, except for some sparring with Steve Whittier over at Sityodtong a few times. I own some of their DVDs, which are very good. More importantly, I’ve found some of Matt Thornton’s writings very influential, and they’ve colored the way some of my training has gone over the past few years.
Wes Tasker: Wes may be one of the most frighteningly skilled martial artists I’ve ever met. He’s also very knowledgeable, and is always willing to teach to those who are willing to learn. I had a number of very productive conversations with him about how and why different martial arts do things the way they do, and got some great instruction from him at one point, most of which I’ve sadly lost. Another person who time and space conspire to keep me from training with. C’est la vie…
Chiron: Rory Miller is a correctional officer who works in the Pacific Northwest, and posts on some of the same forums that I do. His blog is very, very, interesting, though not always for the faint of heart. We haven’t interacted often, but I find what he has to say about violence, self-defense, and life, very illuminating.
Matt Thornton's Guerilla Blog: Matt is the founder of the Straight Blast Gym (see link above). I enjoy reading his thoughts and philosophies—even on those occasions when I don’t agree with him, he makes me think.
Ross Enamait's Rosstraining Blog: Ross constructs some of the most horrible conditioning workouts I’ve ever experienced in my life. Which means I think they are awesome. Even better, his website is not filled with the sort of hyperbolic marketing nonsense that plagues so much of the Strength and Conditioning world.
There have been numerous other people who have influenced my martial arts training (either for good or bad), but this is the core. The only person I would link something to, but can’t, is Van Canna Sensei, a Uechi-Ryu practitioner and all around good guy. Another no-bullshit kind of instructor, which is, when you get down to it, my favorite kind.Enjoy the reading.