Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blogs You Should Read: Martial Arts Spectrum and The Dragons Orb

During my self-imposed hiatus, I missed the connections I had with some great writing and resources in the martial arts blogging community. I’m determined to help my readers by posting links to great sites, and to help my fellow instructors and martial arts bloggers by public appreciation and recognition of their work.
Two such sites are Martial Arts Spectrum and The Dragon’s Orb.

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Martial Arts Spectrum is a relatively new blog (started in January of this year), but is off to a great start. I’ve been burned before by featuring and linking new sites, but have a feeling that this one will be with us for a long time. Author Craig Willits runs a school in Fredericksburg, Virginia that features formal instruction in ATA Taekwondo, with an adult program that includes techniques from TKD, Krav Maga, vee arnis jitsu, and defensive tactics. A nice mix.

Mr. Willits writing interests me because his focus is on the practical or self-defense aspects of technique and tactics, while not ignoring the strategies necessary to employ them. He is also not afraid to express his opinions in a blunt manner, and, more importantly, give the reasons for those thoughts.

Some good recent examples of MAS posts are:
Kata Evolution: A Video Comparison
Refractions 3/28/2011: Sumo, McGruff, and Daniel-San – a great weekly collection of links. I hope he adds labels so that we can review or reference past posts that way.
Taekwondo for Self Defense
The Jumping Jack Brain Scramble
Check out Martial Arts Spectrum whenever you can, and look for his latest post the sidebar under “What I Read” for a link.

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Another recent discovery is The Dragon’s Orb, written by the mysterious Sensei Strange, whose moniker should give you an idea of the flavor of the content: irreverent, fun, but insightful. Strange’s self description is “Martial Magi. Exploring the path through exploration, introspection, a deep love of people and sense of awe.” Love it! I have to admit that I didn’t really discover this site, it was actually there all along, and I saw it linked several times on Pat Parker’s Mokuren Dojo site, and had to check it out.

From what I can see, there is a heavy emphasis on Aikido content and much is filtered through that context, though

I am only beginning to explore The Dragon’s Orb, but to give you an idea of why you should do the same, here are a few posts to whet your appetite:

Training Montage a post which immediate gave me pangs of envy ‘cause I don’t have a montage myself, and as Strange says, “What you don't have a montage? ...And you call yourself a martial artist. Sheesh.”
Interesting Ashi Waza – Sapu contrasting the footwork of a silat instructor’s ideas with ashi waza.
The Definitive Shomen Ate which does what Sensei Strange seems to do best, expound on concepts and ideas using words and video exposition.

A heavy and satisfying dose of instruction is what you’ll get with every post at The Dragon’s Orb. So head over and check it out, or look on the sidebar under “What I Read” for a link to the latest post.
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2 comments:

Craig Willits said...

@Nathan:

Thanks for the plug! For MAS to be featured on an established blog means a lot, and it's very humbling.

I'm glad you've found some value in MAS' content. If even one person's reading, it makes blogging worth the effort.

Regards,

Craig
Martial Arts Spectrum

Nathan at TDA Training said...

Craig,

Not at all. I'm glad to make the connection, and believe your material and opinions are very valuable. I've been teaching on my own since '86, but learn something new every day - probably since most doesn't stick!

I have family in NoVA, and may just drop in sometime, if that's OK to make your acquaintance in person.

Nathan