Martial Arts

Sharpening the sword – for what?

Some of you may know that the Roaming Parkers are martial artists.  I (Pat) have been learning since about 1986, teaching since about 1996, and teaching OUR kids since about 2006.  We practice and teach primarily aikido but with a healthy sprinkling of judo and jodo and perhaps even the occasional dash of karate.

Some of you may also know that for several years I have had one of the most popular martial arts blogs on the planet – Mokuren Dojo.   For some time now I’ve felt that Mokuren Dojo’s niche was too limited.  Not enough people are all that interested in aikido or even martial arts in general.  I’ve been wanting to write to a wider audience about a wider set of topics.

So that’s one of the reasons we started Roaming Parkers – so that we could make even more new friends and talk about hiking and conservation and travel and ecology and camping and sustainability and adventure – as well as martial arts!

Following is a reprint of an article from the Mokuren Dojo blog that explains a little more about my philosophy of how aikido and jodo fit into the mix of topics that the Roaming Parkers will be treating in the Roaming Parkers blog (mostly on Martial Mondays). Enjoy!

Never want to use it!?


Who ever said it and made us believe the pervasive lie – that the ultimate goal of our training is to never use our training?  Maybe it was Mr. Miyage or David Carradine or some movie someone.  Well, that’s just dumb!

Any training that is never used is useless.

Any training that never creates a real effect in the real world is ineffective.


Who in their right mind would want to pour twenty or forty (or even two or three) years of their blood and sweat and tears down the drain, painfully and tediously developing skills that we want to never use! Crikey!  That’d be like continually sharpening and polishing an unused sword to keep the rust off – until you wear the blade down to nothing without ever having slain a single dragon!

I lied.  I do know where that sentiment comes from.  It comes from a misunderstanding or a partial understanding of what martial arts are about.  We think martial arts are about how to fight and kill and die – so we hope in a vague sort of way that we never have to engage in that aspect – but martial arts (like all fine arts) are really about how to live.

I don’t have the quote in front of me, but Bruce Lee wrote in Tao of Jeet Kune Do that it is the goal of all martial artists to become masters of living – basically to master the art of living (as opposed to just fighting or surviving or existing).

Kano and Ueshiba both taught that the goal of our training was to make better people who could make a better society – to teach people to spend their lives saving the world!



I want to practice and teach martial arts

that everyone puts instantly into use every day.


Categories: Martial Arts