Monday, July 23, 2012


(Reprinted from the Journal of the Shudokan Martial Arts Association, Volume 17 #2)

On August 17, 18, and 19 Nicklaus Suino Sensei, SMAA Judo Division Director, will be offering a special seminar at his Michigan dojo featuring budo experts Sato Tadayuki Sensei and John B. Gage Sensei. Both teachers are coming direct from Tokyo to the U.S., and they’ll be offering instruction in three important Japanese martial arts:

•The Kodokan judo of Kano Jigoro Sensei
•The Shodokan aikido of Tomiki Kenji Sensei
•The Nihon jujutsu of Sato Shizuya Sensei

Sato Tadayuki Sensei - Direct Student of Tomiki Kenji

Sato Tadayuki Sensei is one of the world’s leading Shodokan aikido experts. He was taught by Tomiki Kenji Sensei, founder of Shodokan aikido, in the living room of his house every Sunday before tea, and so he has an in-depth knowledge of Tomiki Sensei’s aikido system. He is also an accomplished judoka. Sato Sensei, sixth dan, was granted the position of Shihan of Waseda University Aikido club in 2007. This position has been vacant since Professor Tomiki’s death in 1979. He is an expert in his field, and in particular, the link between Kodokan judo and Tomiki-style aikido. He also teaches aikido at the Japan Police University, and he lives in Tokyo.

John Gage Sensei - Direct Student of Sato Shizuya Sensei

John Gage Sensei has been studying and teaching Japanese martial arts in Tokyo since 1986 when he joined the American Embassy Judo Club, which was lead by the late Sato Shizuya Sensei. Following the death of Sato Sensei, he became the leader of this well-established dojo, and he has been a member of the Kodokan Judo Institute since 1991. He has earned a seventh dan in Sato Sensei’s system of modern jujutsu, and he has a fifth dan in judo. He has taught seminars in judo and jujutsu in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Romania, the U.K., and the USA. 

Outstanding Opportunity

Contact Suino Sensei soon to get more details about this world-class training in world-class judo, aikido, and jujutsu. He can be reached at or (734) 645-6441.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Endlessness of the Way

There is one transcending level [of study], and this is the most excellent level of all. This person is aware of the endlessness of entering deeply into a certain Way and never thinks of himself as having finished. He truly knows his own insufficiencies and never in his whole life thinks that he has succeeded. He has no thoughts of pride but with self-abasement knows the Way to the end. It is said that Master Yagyu once remarked, "I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself."

Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never ending. - from Hagakure.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Do your (martial arts) thing!

Wouldn't you agree that fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles to staying on track to greatness? And that patience (or a lack of it) is a close second? I think that's why a lot of people stop trying - they're not sure all the effort is going to be worth it if there's no payoff, and real success can take a really, really long time. I've read two books lately that really help sort out these two issues in a way that may help get your ass kicked back into gear.

The first is The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson. Olson points out how most real success is the result of small, relatively easy actions done consistently over a long period of time. The payoff for those tiny actions is so distant (and invisible at the time they are done) that it's easy not to do them. There are dozens of useful insights in the book, but one point I took from it is that it's possible to study past success, figure out what those small correct actions are, and to stay on track with them even though the benefit is not easily apparent. Keep that perspective helps with all the daily jobs that may not be exciting or highly motivating.

The other book is Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin. Colvin's point is that most extraordinary achievement can be explained by lengthy, concentrated work rather than by the miracle of genius. He advocates a very specific type of practice for virtually any activity that can lead to success. If the overall sequence is done correctly, incredible gains are virtually guaranteed if you keep at it long enough.

We're well into a century of achievement science, and the research is starting to stack up. The best of us are far more accomplished and our skills far more developed than most people were 100 years ago. One reason is that we understand much better how to achieve. Do your thing, do it well, do it often, and do it for a long, long time!