When Dojo and Classroom Combine

DSBK and Silverton School Launch Unique Learning Enrichment for Kids

Awe froze the crowd to stillness as the regiment marched in unison towards them swinging wooden staffs. Wind bullied the snow off nearby rooftops. The snow flurries fled in shimmering swirls before fading like ghosts.

The regiment made its final strike. They withdrew their weapons in one simultaneous movement, much as a cat retracts its claws. Respectfully, they bowed.

 

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DSBK Annual Report 2021

DSBK continues to survive and thrive a wearying global pandemic. According to national statistics on martial arts dojos, vast numbers of martial arts dojos have closed. Our perseverance is truly remarkable. And all the more so because we acquired our first-ever solely inhabited dojo space!

Our annual report demonstrates our organization’s strength and wisdom in saving for a rainy day.

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Notes From a Gentleman Farmer

September. Here, at 8000 feet, any night a freeze may come. One late snowpea plant is still blossoming. The rest are going brown, and heavy seed pods hang from the vines. The spinach has gone to seed, but the zucchini and yellow squash are crawling across the potato stalks, even sneaking through the deer fence to escape into the wilderness. If Weather Underground predicts a freeze, I’ll have to decide whether and what to cover. Gardening at high altitude is a challenge.

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Shadow Boxing

Shadow Boxing

I felt dismayed. In the midst of preparing for my first aikido test—consisting of 10 techniques—I made the mistake of asking one of the black belts what you had to do for the shodan (1st degree black belt) test. Before the next class, he approached me with a sly grin and handed me a ream of papers. As I scanned them, my heart sank. 292 techniques, around 10 solo and paired jo and a dozen bokken kata (choreographed forms done with wooden staff and sword). And after all that, in a rite of passage called randori, a mob is sent rushing at you and you’re expected to somehow survive.

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A Meditation on Meditation

Introspection Comes to America

“Turn off your mind
Relax and float downstream
It is not dying
It is not dying”

I was 13 and the sound coming through my AM radio was like nothing I’d ever heard. Some Indian drone instrument crescendoed to an in-your-face repeating drum riff pounding like a cart with a missing wheel careening down a cobblestone hill chased by a flock of electric seagulls. Strange snatches of orchestral dream music, backwards guitars, buzz saws, and ‘what-the-hell-is-that-sound-anyway?’ came randomly into the mix, then vanished away, until finally fading into the strains of an untuned piano in an English music hall.

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Cutting Class

Ahhh. There’s nothing like a good sword-slinger movie set in a historic and/or fanciful Asian world. Any Kurosawa film belongs on the list. My favorites include Seven Samurai, Red Beard, and After the Rain. I also love Hero, The Twilight Samurai, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers. And then there’s my very long list of to-be-watched films! Shinobi: Heart Under Blade, the Rurouni Kenshin series, The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi to name a few. 

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