Goju-Shorei Systems

Martial Arts for the 21st Century

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Blog Posts

Belt Test Preparation

I sat on a 2 day test board last weekend at Evolution Marital Arts Academy in Sparks, Nevada, and was impressed by the depth of

the curriculum the students had to know, and the intensity with which they performed. I did not see one hesitation or one misstep. Very impressive.

But I have certainly seen the exact opposite. Which brings up the following:

If you played a musical instrument, and you had committed to giving a recital, would you practice your butt off before walking out on the stage?

If you were invited to give a speech to a civics group, would you rehearse a lot – a hell of a lot – before stepping up to the podium?

If you were a college student and mid-terms were looming would you burn the midnight oil?

In these three cases I assume the answer would be a…


Posted by Dave McNeill on October 16, 2014 at 1:30pm

Goju-Shorei Karate Green Belt Technique #9

Don't forget to do the self-directed add on.

Posted by Dave McNeill on September 7, 2014 at 12:30pm


During cane class Tuesday I taped marbles to the bottoms of the feet of 4 people, and I taped three of their fingers down. Now they were roughly at the mobility level of Nicky (fourth from left) who has Cerebral Palsy. An hour of walking on marbles, swinging a cane and defending themselves gave a nano second experience of what Nicky goes through daily.

Nicky is a long standing Black Belt with West Coast Martial Arts, Gardnerville, Nevada. She earned her rank with the aid, suggestions and support of her instructors as they collectively adjusted and adapted all of the curriculum requirements.

Her belt does mean something. It means she didn't quit, it means she figured out how to make things work, it means her school and instructors did not…


Posted by Dave McNeill on September 4, 2014 at 2:00pm

The Belt Should Mean Something

Saturday, at open mat for BJJ, we were visited by a two stripe blue belt that had some serious skills, which he displayed on most everyone. Finally our instructor, a brown belt, rolled with the visitor and the skill level differences were telling. The visitor was tapped out in about 15 seconds the first time, 30 seconds the second time and about a minute the third time.

The skill differences in BJJ belt colors was reinforced last night. I was rolling with a more advanced white belt, who I out weighed, and I was doing well. Then a skinny blue belt, who I out weighed by a lot, wanted to roll with me and I got my butt handed to me. Though our age was within 10 years of each other I had size and strength on him, but it didn't matter, my butt was presented to me on a silver…


Posted by Dave McNeill on September 4, 2014 at 11:24am — 1 Comment

Head Lock Escape

What is your favorite escape from a headlock?

Video it and post it here, or write a description of the escape and post it here.

No judgements, just sharing.

Posted by Dave McNeill on August 30, 2014 at 4:03pm — 1 Comment

ALS Donation Challenge

Posted by Dave McNeill on August 25, 2014 at 1:23pm — 1 Comment


This is what I think I look like when using kettlebells.

And this is what I really look like when using kettlebells.

The same is true for the martial arts. Many students (and I count myself as a student even after 45 years) think they can skip some classes, shop around schools rather than immerse themselves in one school/system, or only practice at the dojo. We think we are better than we really are.

Without the eyes of a qualified instructor our technique and form slips away and we slide backwards in our skills.

The fix is simple; get your butt to a dojo/gym…


Posted by Dave McNeill on August 22, 2014 at 3:42pm — 1 Comment

Kumu Narte

Kumu (teacher) Narte is one of those people that I deeply love, respect and trust. We met years ago in 

connection with the martial arts and now Kumu spends the majority of this time healing people rather than breaking them. His martial skills were at the highest level, but his healing skills are off the charts.

In 2004 he worked on me before I left to Nashville for 3 months of surgery, radiation and chemo, and he has worked on our family and friends several times since. I can't explain what he does or how he does it, but his Hawaiian healing techniques are astonishing.

He stayed with us for 5 days last week and I asked him if he would teach a martial arts class to the small group that come to my Monday night class. He reluctantly agreed. It was…


Posted by Dave McNeill on August 13, 2014 at 7:00pm



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