This is a page dedicated to my non-fiction writing on martial arts, self defense, and swordsmanship. Many of it is meant to help people find a safe school to attend to, debunk popular myths that may put you in danger, share some interesting history, or even just media recommendations. This is intended for anyone to be able to read and understand; no previous experience is required.
My resume can be found here as proof of experience and expertise in this subject. I make a career out of this and am both a professional and professionally trained.
If you have questions or comments or suggestions for posts/topics, there is contact information below. I'd like to hear from you, especially if this helps you and you make something of it.
I call it "Atma-Sensei's School of Hard Knocks." Welcome. Please take your shoes off and bow before entering the mat.
DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible for any injuries caused by trying to replicate anything written on this site. This is written as objectively as possible, save for when an opinion is needed to be expounded on. It is not meant to be a replacement for real hands-on experience nor is it meant to sway you to any one way of learning over another nor force you to conform to anything. You are free to leave anytime.
HOW-TO GUIDES AND MYTHBUSTING
The meat of this site. Find out how to find a proper school, teacher, spot a bullshido master, and learn which self-defense rumors you hear are either true or steeped deep in myth. Includes sample class plans, workouts, and so much more. If you intend on learning anything, even if it's just basic self-defense, give this a cursory look so you don't waste your time or money on anything reckless, worthless, and dangerous.
Hard Knocks 1 - Finding Safe Schools/Teachers
The essential beginning subject. You can't get anywhere without a safe environment and a safer instructor. There must be safety, trust, transparency, and equality or you will not receive a proper education in whatever it is you choose to persue. Class is in session here.
Hard Knocks 1 Q+A
Various questions I received after posting Hard Knocks 1. Read them here.
Hard Knocks 2 - Self Defense Myths
One of the most important posts I've ever written. There's a lot of bad information and myths about self defense out there that will only endanger you if you believe it and endanger others to further spread. Topics include markting based on fear and gender/sexism, the true legality and efficacy of mace/pepper spray/tasers, the tired "Why don't you just get a gun?" question, how to sniff out bad chain e-mails/reblogs/retweets, if the genitals really are the magic spot to hit, and the long-standing belief mostly amongst Americans that this is all kid stuff and adults who do it need a reality check. Get educated over here.
Hard Knocks 3 - Dissecting Misinformation
Not everyone can tell when information is bunk, especially if it's wrapped up in so much sensationalism and uses flashy effects to get and keep attention regardless. It's even harder if you don't know the subject. Here's a quick guide to spotting how bad information is structured and how to pull that structure down. Get it here.
Hard Knocks 4 - The Bullshido Master
This is the asshole who is ruining it for everyone, but tends to have a confounding charisma that endears them to people, especially those that don't know better, and they treat the Bullshido Master as if they were better than even the genuine experts and professionals. If they can't begin to answer questions listed on this post or show any of the warning behaviors listed, chances are you're running afoul of Bullshido and not Bushido. Read it here.
An essay and FAQ that talks about armor, mostly from the beginning of history up through medieval and the renaissance, in order to sort out of a lot of misinformation seen in fiction and art about it and to encourage character design diversity. Intended for artists/writers/cosplayers/etc to get a feel on functionality and personalization. I encourage you to go in this with an open mind; not everything bad is a battle bikini and not everything good is solved by thick layers of plate. You can find it here.
This is an essay hosted on a Dreamwidth account for personal writing that is intended for artists/writers/cosplayers/etc to get a basic idea of how a katana looks and functions and various details that can relate back to your characters/the creative process. If this helps you make something, I'd very much be interested in seeing the results produced. You can find it here.
A post I'm none too happy to have to include as I loathe the idea of teaching people physical techniques using just text/video reference as it's not optimal, our current course of history has forced me to at least give out a guide on how not to hurt yourself. Punching is nowhere near as easy as it looks. Contains two supplementary posts to remind you not to rush things and that Nazis and their ilk are dirty cheats whom tend to travel in packs. Prevent boxer's break and by reading this.
Sample Lesson Plan
A basic lesson plan made to teach one style of swordsmanship created in case I need to substitute teach. It's come in handy at least once every month or two since its inception. Meant to demonstrate class structure and what's expected of you. Read it here.
Here you will find a workout routine for beginners, new to exericse or martial arts training in general, and an advanced one I crafted for myself you may use if you want. This is one of my most popular requests. Beginner Routine | Challenge Routine
It's really hard to find good martial arts media that doesn't submerge you in its bullshido. It's even harder to find it when you don't know what to look for. Stop and take a look at our library and find something to fascinate and entertain yourself with today.
The most essential readings we recommend. Find a list here.
A list of terms to search for information and media (especially videos) with that will provide better content than a blind search. Constantly updated. Currently contains only swordsmanship but others are to follow ASAP. Look for it here.
PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY
Deep thoughts about life and death and everything in between as reflected by training as well as actual factual things that happened and why they're fascinating.
Nana Korobi Ya Oki
A Japanese phrase that is the core of most martial arts, but especially swordsmanship and samurai arts. It translates to "7 times down, 8 times up" and refers to never giving up no matter what. It's become my favorite of the many sayings we have across all the arts I've studied for many reasons and the one I try to pass on to others if nothing else. This is my personal thoughts and experience with it. Read it here.
Personal training stories I find amusing. Not always educational, but always entertaining. Originally posted on my Tumblr @Devildyke at various times. Meant to show the lighter side of the subject and encourage you to have fun with your training.
Story 1 - The Dojo Succubus
Married women (who are married to men) like to hit on me at the dojo, without even knowing I'm a lesbian. They just seem to know. Then they often up and disappear despite claiming they love the place and want to continue training. This is the one that started this bizarre trend. Read her story here.
Story 2 - The Ronin Queen of the Hooters Harem
We roleplay ourselves as bandit swordsmen to practice for public events. It doesn't go over too great when it becomes my turn to play the badguy. Thug lyfe just isn't for me. Read why crime doesn't always pay here.
Story 3 - How Atma Saved Christmas
When a ten year old girl who admires you for inspiring her to be the next great woman warrior asks for nothing more for the Holidays than to give you all she's got, do you oblige? Find out if you should here.
All text on this site is ©2019 Atma Weapon