Ninpo Taijutsu shizen no kamae (natural posture) for self-defense

Boston Martial Arts Center 1/27/2011

Boston Martial Arts Center 1/27/2011

It is extremely valuable to use your bone structure to support your Ninpo taijutsu (unarmed fighting). The basic Kamae (Body/mind position) for Ninpo taijutsu is called shizen no kamae (natural posture). In this position body’s bone structure is self-supportive, and the breathing is flowing in a natural way, your mind will be open relaxed. From this position, you can move in all directions freely and react to danger from all sides. Look to move in a natural way so when danger is near your body you can flow to a safe position.

Mark Davis

Boston Martial Arts Center

The White Belt

Boston Martial Arts Center 11/4/2011

Boston Martial Arts Center 11/4/2011

One of the most inspirational moments in martial arts is to see a new person start martial arts. The white belt is clean their uniform is new. Each and every moment each counts for the white belt. After years in the martial arts, I look to the white belts for inspiration. I’m deeply honored to be in their presences Thank you.

Mark Davis

Boston Martial Arts Center

Strength and Compassion in Martial Arts

Boston Martial Arts Center 10/21/2011

I have found over the years that martial arts can affect one on a very deep level. When teaching or training in the martial arts one need to be very careful not to hurt anyone with malice. When you live and train with hate or fear in your heart the many problems can happen in your life. One must allow martial arts to clear your heart and free it from the grip of insecure way of living. By training in the correct manner your martial arts method will help you be come very powerful compssionate warm person. Your martial method will only dispense it self when it in needed not because of lack of compassion and insecurety.

Mark Davis

Boston Martial Arts Center


I Have Been Very Lucky To Have Great Teachers (Boston Martial Arts Center)

Boston Martial Arts Center (Dojo)

I have been very lucky to have teachers that were open minded in their studies and have encourage us to do the same. Many teachers would cut down their students in front or behind their backs for wanting to explore and ask the tough questions about martial arts. The sign of a great teacher is one who is tough minded but at the same time has open heart to letting the students grow. Thank you Mr. Hayes and your Teacher Mr. Hatsumi.

Mark Davis


In Martial Arts Is To Not Let Your Mind Wander (Boston Martial Arts Center)

Rokushaku Bojutsu (Boston Martial Arts Center)

The key to gaining skill in martial arts is to not let your mind wander, like my Dad said “Keep your eye on the ball”. Keep a sharp focus on why you are training. The reason why I’m training is to learn more about the uses of the martial arts, history of them. And how we can use them in are modern age for self-protection. What your focus?

Mark Davis


Kenjutsu part 2

Old School Kenjutsu

I was training in the park with my training partner and we were studying Kenjutsu. We were using bokkens (wooden swords). My training partner and I moved and changed our body positions to try and gain an advantage over each other. I remember I pulled my sword back into a high position (Jordan no kame) to make a strong attack at which point my training partner lunged in attacking my suigetsu (lower stomach), with a straight stab. I moved to the side and lowered my sword to middle position (chuden no kame), and the sword just missed my training partners hands as he dodged my counter. Then we set up again and started our drill all over. We also did this with more than one attacker – this adds a whole new skill set to just moving one on one.

When training in Kenjutsu and Taijutsu one needs to understand and feel the flow of changing positions and of the attacker’s energy. When the body senses the change the body should flow naturally to a safe position to protect itself. However, this requires correct training and mental discipline, a strong will to get to the point where one can move with ease in the middle of conflict and conclude it swiftly.

Gyo ~ Naturalistic Whole Body Physical Health & Conditioning Consistent Exercise as an early morning Ritual

FudomyoBoston 3I awake with a start “did I oversleep”. I fumble around the nightstand and find my watch. I press the Indiglo button and its only 4:56am; the alarm is not set to go off for another 4 minutes.

I roll out of bed taking care not to wake anyone. I pull on sweat pants, t-shirt, pullover fleece, and wool socks. I lace up my cross trainers and say hi to my morning exercise partner, Libby. She waits patiently at the back door for me. I grab her leash, and away we go into the cold dark January morning. The moon and stars are still out and my neighborhood is so quiet I swear I can here the stars twinkling.

I turn right out of my driveway, thinking this morning I will head for some open space. It’s about a mile so Libby and I begin to walk quickly.

The cold is biting this morning and ice crystals begin to form in my beard and mustache. Libby knows where we are and runs ahead. She has much more energy than I do.

I reach the end of the road and cross over a stream and into a clearing. This part of the land used to be a sand pit, so it is open and flat. I perform some Jumping and Agility Jacks, and then some alternating toe touches. I drop down for a quick set of pushups and some light stretching. I then go through the Sanshin Kata, ten repetitions for each of the five pieces, and a brisk run down and around the clump of Fir Trees and back. The crusty snow and sand underneath my feet makes running real challenging. I finish up with some deep breathing and energy generating exercises and head for home.

Back home, I feed Libby and the cats and put the coffee on. I have a big glass of water with a pinch of Sea Salt dissolved into it. I break fast with humble Miso Soup, yogurt with granola, and some black coffee.

After breakfast it’s off for a quick cold shower and make ready for the day.

This has been my morning routine/ ritual for more or less the last five years. I feel that consistent routines lend themselves to successful outcomes. I cannot remember when I first herd this statement, but it’s a rule I try to live by.

“Consistency is the measure of success!”

In my opinion, the two most important factors in any physical health & conditioning program is first consistency and second early morning ~ every morning.

Without consistency you cannot achieve your health and skill related conditioning goals in an efficient and timely manner. As a corollary to this consistency, is exercising early morning ~ every morning. Some mornings may just be ten minutes of walking, stretching, or deep breathing. But a little consistent exercise every morning will pay dividends in your overall physical health and conditioning régime.

So why in the morning? Lets look at some facts.

Over 85% of people whom exercise consistently, exercise in the early morning. Consistency is the measure of success.
Just 30 minutes of consistent moderate early morning exercise “jump starts” your metabolism and can keep it elevated for 4-6 hours.

The general consensus of early morning exercisers is that you’ll feel energized throughout the day.

Research has suggested that consistent early morning exercise “regulates” the appetite. Subjects indicate they are not as hungry and overall make better food choices. Consistency builds results and results increase motivation to achieve health & skill related conditioning objectives and goals.

Research suggests that with consistent early morning exercise you should exercise the same time every morning and ideally wake-up at about the same time on a regular basis, your bodies endocrine system and natural circadian rhythms will begin to adjust. This takes about six to eight weeks. Oddly enough, a couple of hours before you awaken, your body will begin to prepare for wake up and exercise because it has been conditioned to intuitively “know” what is about to happen. It is much easier to awake, when the body is “prepared” to awaken.

How does this happen?

The short answer is your body’s metabolism and all the hormones involved in the activity of exercise begin to elevate while you still sleep. Thus, you feel more alert, aware, energized, and ready to exercise when you do wake up. These hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure and blood flow, heart rate, and respiration rate [O2 or Oxygen use].

For many people, that “time”, every early morning becomes something they look forward to, a time to think clearly & concisely, pray, meditate, plan the day ahead, or just relax mentally.

Research has proven that consistent early morning exercise increases ones overall mental acuity with a lasting effect of four to six hours.

Taking exercise early first thing in the morning is really the only way to insure that something else will not displace exercise out of your busy daily schedule.

If finding time is difficult, it is suggested that anyone can get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier to exercise if you in fact make physical health and conditioning a real priority in your life.

Research has also demonstrated that that people who exercise on a regular basis have a higher quality of sleep and therefore require less of it.

Most of this information is based on sound scientific research in the field of Exercise Physiology. The ancients have known it intuitively for centuries.

But don’t take my word for it, give it a real honest try and the rewards will be great. It may not add years to your life, but it will surely add life to your years.

Be well and Gassho!
Ken Savage

Ideas for gifts for martial artists

This time of year, there’s no shortage of people in your life that you’re thinking of, that you’d like to do something nice for. That said, there’s also no shortage of stress about finding gift ideas. We’ve got some recommendations below for the martial artists in your life (or treat yourself!) to help you find exactly the right holiday gifts no matter what you celebrate.

Recommended for Everyone

  • Training gift certificates: call the dojo or contact us online to ask about training gift certificates. We’ll help you customize exactly the right certificate to fit your budget and the recipient. Call us at 617-789-5524 or use this form now.



Martial Arts and Habits

KotoryuHotekiKataWe live in a great system which provides us with several layers of structure and security. For example we have fresh water, stores for food and police to keep us safe. Very early in life we begin to form habits and ways of living that fit into these structures. Our very intuition, habits and reactions change to fit into these norms. Some martial arts systems teach students to break these old habits and replace them with something that may be helpful in situations which involve a great deal of stress. For example when I was training with Mr. Hayes at his dojo we were working on old school Jujutsu “Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu”. Mr. Hayes mentioned using the attacker’s energy against them to keep them from using your energy. When I went to see how this worked I noticed that each time I tried to grab Mr. Hayes my center was off and he was in a very good position to counter my attack.

In learning how to break free from old habits and structure we are also learning how to address new situations. When somebody attacks us they may have an expectation of how we will respond to that attack, based on their own self interest of getting what they want, even if it involves using force. Our system of martial arts deals with the redirection of that expectation. Something as simple as a technique that shifts our centerline out of the attackers path is enough to create a rupture in the reality of the attacker, just as if they tried to grab a ghost.

Break free from personal limitations

Martial arts helps people break free from personal imitations. Over the years of studying martial arts I have come across many different systems. At first I was learning the basics of martial arts: punching, kicking, sparring, ground fighting and so forth. I felt, at the time, that this was the highest level of freedom. Then I started to think about applications outside the Dojo (school) and at that point I felt that I had achieved the next level of freedom. My next step in the exploration of martial arts was to see how they worked in a new environment – again an application outside the Dojo. I realized that nature, the ground the earth and sidewalk were not like the mats we had at the dojo or the sparring that was made possible by the ring. At this point in my training I started sparring in rivers on hills or deep in the snow. However, I still did not feel like I had achieved what I wanted and I began to think that this was occurring because martial arts was very limiting but instead what created a limit was my own way of thinking.

Some martial arts systems like Ninjutsu and Toshindo are there to help people break free from self imposed limitations. This is why it is called a martial arts school (Ryu). The school provides you with the tools to break free from your own limitations. Initially when I was a young student I thought that martial tools (sparring, jumping rope, ground fighting and bag work) were the end or highest level of martial skill. I even made fun of other people who were not training in the same way, however, only later did I realize how limiting this way of thinking was. You see, what I failed to understand at that time was that this method of training – the set of tools I had acquired – were only there to help me break through my own limitations. An old teacher of mine used to say “Don’t eat the menu because you think it’s your lunch but choose your food carefully so it gives you energy to live and create.”

Mr. Hayes has helped me along the path of self discovery as a martial artist but I am constantly aware that it is up to me to search for the next personal break through.

Boston Martial Arts Center

Boston Martial Arts Center