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Azato's picture
Influences Podcast

Happy New Year everyone! New Motion Martial Arts Podcast is out about our influences as people as well as martial artists. I talk a good bit about the effect Iain's work has had on my practice on this one. Hope you enjoy, thanks!


Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I really enjoyed this! One thing I’d like to draw out was the expansion of the discussion into the restrictive “taboo” of training with other instructors.

As more and more traditional martial artists are seeking to shed a lot of the unhelpful baggage we’ve acquired, it’s fascinating to me that some groups who practise modern systems are picking up these problems.

I have friend in BJJ who has talked about this with me. Stephan Kesting also did a video a while back where he discussed things creeping into some corners of BJJ that we’d normally associate with the worst elements of the “traditional “systems; including the inappropriate us of “titles”, the endless “oss-ing” (and associated subservience), an endless number of belts, a lack of live practise, etc. It seems there is something of a cycle that happens.

One would hope that systems that have made these mistakes, and systems yet to make them, can learn off each other by being warnings and examples of good practise. If the BJJ groups experiencing these things want to know where this stuff can lead, their TMA colleagues have already walked that path … and back again. A journey best avoided if possible!

It’s also interesting to ask what is it about martial arts, and human nature, that makes functional systems create these “blackholes of bull###t” that we get pulled toward, and then have to escape, only for the cycle to repeat.

Anyhow, great podcast and thanks for the kind words!

All the best,


Relevant Quote: “Both Azato and his good friend Itosu shared at least one quality of greatness: they suffered from no petty jealousy of other masters. They would present me to the teachers of their acquaintance, urging me to learn from each the technique at which he excelled. Ordinary karate instructors, in my experience, are reluctant to permit their pupils to study under instructors of other schools, but this was far from true of either Azato or Itosu.” – Gichin Funakoshi, Karate-Do: My Way of Life