October 5, 2015

I love my work. I absolutely love my work.
Sometimes my enthusiasm carries me away.
I have learned that clear vision, meaning, and purpose in life, are essential to living happily and fulfilled. Most fortunately, I find meaning in the practice of Martial Art, and purpose in teaching its great value to others. Also, my work provides me joy and and energy, and i feel most alive when I am leading my students in their learning and practice.
Martial art is an exploration that provides a lifetime of learning and excitement. Even now, after 40 years of practice, I still marvel at how I continuously see and understand more about myself and the world through this art form.
I want to share this knowledge with others, both children and adults. I also want to provide them a lifetime of growth and human development, of which I can attest.
Martial Art, like all art, raises one’s consciousness and enables greater vision and power. If I can teach this, and lead others so, I will do some good…
…and that’s important to me.

September 1, 2015

Throughout my life I have only had to physically defend myself 2 times from another person due to no way out situations. I have only had to verbally defend myself from another person a handful of times. But, I can’t count the amount of times I have had to protect myself against my own thoughts or my own actions. I now realize that I have been my own worst enemy in more situations than I care to count. I think it is safe to say that most people can relate to “being their own worst enemies”.
Every day I am presented with situations that challenge my judgment. Is this right or wrong? Is this good or bad? Should I take or give? Do I judge or accept? Do I keep working hard or quit? Dozens if not hundreds of these choices and questions inundate my mind daily.
Receiving my 4th degree was one of the best days of my life.
Through my training and time with Pendo, I now realize making these choices is TRUE SELF-DEFENSE. Over the years as I have reached new levels in my teaching and training, my focus in martial art has become primarily a mental one. How I handle the decisions I make, or actions I take, is a greater challenge to me than any physical altercation I have ever encountered. Learning how to relax and clear my mind through training has been my greatest skill of self-defense. I may make a good choice, or a bad one, but what I do after my decision is where my training and discipline truly takes shape.
“When in doubt, work out”

August 25, 2015

Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick.
-Bruce Lee

I heard this quote numerous times while training for my black belt and future degrees to follow. While training I never fully understood what the real meaning was. I thought that it meant the actual physics and mechanics of a traditional front punch could be utilized in multiple ways. This is true to a certain extent. Yes, you can throw a punch in many different ways for many different reasons, and get many different results. But now, as my hours as a teacher have surpassed my hours of training, I have come to realize this quote was much more revealing.
Over the years I must have shown hundreds of students how to throw a proper front punch. I’ve seen every possible way, “how not to punch”. Bent wrists, loose fingers, thumbs out, thumbs in, wrong knuckles, good rotation, bad rotation. It goes on and on. In fact after doing some crazy Sensei Nick math, my calculations tell me I’ve witnessed a KAJILLION different punches in my life. Here is how a punch became something else for me.
Punch is a Punch, Pendo Karate Blog
Through constant repetition of such a fundamental move, I began to learn about scientific principles such as torque, power, trajectory, alignment, and velocity. I’ve learned about the importance of relaxation, focus, and timing. What I find amazing about this is the fact that all of these necessary principles can and must be demonstrated to throw ONE PERFECT PUNCH. I’ve learned that a student who is engaged, happy and excited will be completely content doing 100 front punches consecutively and will learn while doing so. To quote Bruce Lee one more time, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
I truly believe that fundamentals are the foundation of excellence.

August 18, 2015

This picture was taken 20 years ago while I was testing for my green belt. Who knew what would come next?
The term self-defense has a more literal meaning than I ever realized. As a young student I always felt that my training was preparing me for a time that I would have to defend myself from others in my world. I would assume that this is a very common stance on self-defense for a child or even a young man. I trained thinking I would always be ready for a bully, big or small, old or young, fast or slow. I trained to prepare myself if I were ever to be attacked, jumped, caught in a riot, or any other attack. I trained hard and got pretty tough¦ I think.
As my responsibilities have changed over the years in the Dojo and as a man, I have realized that my definition and perception of Self-Defense has changed as well. Through my 25 years of training, studying and teaching, I have come to understand that the greater meaning of Self-Defense is having the ability to defend one’s self from one’s self. It was the reinforcement of principles that I learned from my Sensei which led me to feel this way.
As many of you may know, my father created Pendo Karate, so I practically grew up in The Dojo. In fact, I don’t remember any part of my life without it. It has always been “the place for me to be.” Even when I thought I didn’t want to go, I went. This was never a result of my father pushing me to to go.
The bottom line is I love being here.