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As of today, the TKRIblog will redirect to the Fight Sciences Research Institute blog. For readers familiar with our former TKRI blog and identity, you can expect the same high level of quality original research and articles, training information and ideas, discussions, and accurate resources about the fighting arts and sports.

We invite you to follow us as we kick off a wider exploration of the fighting arts and combat sports and all related topics. If you found our old site useful, the new one will be packed with even more research, news and training ideas.

And we’re just getting started.


As we continue to develop our programs and explore our group identity, it became apparent that we cover a lot more ground than the average “martial arts” school, and still have a lot of more to cover. Practical, eclectic fighting skills taught at the individual level, training priorities guided by analysis of violent situations and environments, instructional methods based on modern motor learning and educational models, an emphasis on accurate knowledge of  human anatomy and psychology, supported by cutting edge performance enhancement and injury prevention conditioning, a commitment to honest and ethical practice…it’s not easy to get it all into one neat bite. As a part of my ongoing MS (Human Movement) coursework, I was recently required to develop a personal mission statement that reflects my goals in the field as well as a commitment to ethical and evidence-based practice. This got me wondering about what our group sees as it’s mission. After much discussion and exchanging ideas  among the St. Louis, Wash U and Virginia clubs, the following reflections of who we are and what we do took shape:

1a.  Our mission is to empower responsible adults through teaching them fighting and self defense skills.

b. We do not restrict our training to those who are already fit and strong:  we aim to teach those who might need to fight, not just those who are naturally good athletes and fighters.

2a.  We recognize that physical strength and fitness are an advantage in fighting and help to prevent injuries in training, and so an essential part of our mission is increasing the strength and fitness of the people we teach.

b.  We hold that appropriate programming begins with the needs of the students.

c.  We are aware of much misleading and false information about both fighting and fitness.  We recognize the scientific method as the best means to sort truth from mere opinion and we are committed to reason-and evidence-based approaches. It is a part of our mission to update our beliefs and practices in response to new evidence.

d. Publication of quality evidence-based literature and original research, experiential knowledge of other fighting arts and the as well as organization of seminars and symposia, are a priority to which all members of FSRI are encouraged to contribute per their specialties.

3a.  We endeavor to foster an atmosphere in which responsible adults may learn to fight regardless of class, race, gender, sexual-orientation, age or disability.

b.  We are committed to creating a training environment that enables and encourages cooperative learning, and which promotes problem-solving as a means to forging healthy personal relationships as well as appropriate responses to violence

c.   We reject any conflation of ability in fighting with moral rectitude. These things are distinct. Being a teacher of fighting does not make one morally superior to one’s students.  Being a better fighter does not make one a better person.

On April 9th, my wife and I will be running in the Rugged Maniac 5k in Greensboro. My participation in the  race will be used to raise money for Brain Injury Services of South West VA. Having survived a moderate TBI and the results of numerous concussions, I recognize that I am very lucky to be alive and on two feet. The long-term results of brain injuries are often “invisible”, and BIS is the kind of group that provides the assistance and information that survivors can have a hard time finding.

There are twelves obstacles to clear on the course.Choose one or several and pledge on this page (via comments) to make a donation to BIS of SWVA for the given amount. Each pledge made is a guarantee that I’ll clear the obstacle as fast and as cleanly as possible- here’s your chance to guarantee my misery! Given amounts are a suggestion, any amount is encouraged.  Pick one or several:

  • Completing the Track under the average time (35 min)- $25
  • Jumping Over the Finish Fire Pit- $15
  • Barbed Wire Crawl- $15
  • Barricades (multiple) – $10
  • Plank Run Across Mud-pit- $10
  • Cargo Nets (multiple)- $10
  • Tire Jungle- $10
  • Tunnel Crawls (multiple) – $10
  • Forest Run- $10
  • Mud-pit Bounding- $10
  • Suicide Slide- $10

And a bonus option:

Open bidding- I’ll run the course in a t-shirt of the highest bidder’s choice, with a few stipulations:

  • Bidding opens at $20
  • Bidding starts today, March 4, and will close on March 31.
  • Person who pledges the highest bid will supply the t-shirt.
  • Person who pledges the highest bid will donate  that amount to BIS. All bidders are encouraged to donate their bid amounts regardless.

For the shirt:

  • Nothing seriously offensive written/portrayed on it (there will be kids on site)
  • Nothing that will interfere with my mobility. Size medium, nothing larger, nothing hanging off of it, etc.
  • Nothing that you care to get back in one piece
  • I’ve already heard rumors of Rainbow Bright and George Michaels t-shirts…the bidding could get fierce

All pledged amounts should be donated by April 8th. Please donate in the name of “FSRI Rugged Maniac Challenge,” or a brain injury survivor in your life.

All obstacles on the course can be seen here:

Choose an obstacle or several and pledge a donation to BIS by writing the obstacle/amount on the comments page.

Donations can be made by visiting:

Click on the PayPal link midway down the page.

The FSRI Virginia club will once again be hosting the annual FSRI Summer Training Camp in Ferrum, Virginia. Camp will run from June 24th-26th (Friday-Sunday). As always, all comers are welcome, regardless of what they practice.

The rough theme for the weekend will be “Train Smarter to Fight Harder.” Instruction will feature:

Robert MillerNASM Corrective Exercise Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness for Fighting Arts Certified Trainer

David Campbell– chief instructor of the TKRI Virginia club

Randy Simpson– NASM CPT, Fitness for Fighting Arts Certified Trainer. Simpson’s classes will explore Gentile’s taxonomy of motor skills as a method for planning instruction and analyzing the complexity of fighting skills, and present partner drills to foster development of game skills for close range fighting in a variety of environmental conditions and action goals.

This year’s camp will reflect the transition that TKRI has been making away from “traditional” karate and towards a broader approach to the elements of training for fighting skills and self defense. We invite boxers, wrestlers, judoka, MMA students and competitors and other martial artists who have an open mind and the desire to explore methods of pursuing the goals common to all fighting arts. The skill-based training sessions will focus on practical, intuitive responses to violence, rather than historical or theoretical conjecture.

Read the rest of this entry »

We’re not usually the type to honk our own horns as it were, but I was pleasantly surprised to follow a track-back to’s listing of “Top 50 Martial Arts Blogs” and find our name in the top ten of their “Best of the Rest” category. We do what we do and follow our various interests within the martial arts field, and it’s a nice bonus to see that people have gotten something positive out of following along with us.

Take a look at their list for plenty of other good martial arts related blogs.

Over the last year, Bob and myself (with the help of folks in our respective groups) have been working on a variety of projects related to our Fitness for the Fighting Arts (F4FA) programs. In February of last year, we held the inaugural F4FA seminar in Virginia. At last year’s TKRI/Seijinkai Summer Camp Bob introduced many of the injury avoidance concepts to attendees. Currently he’s working on an instructional DVD, which will put extremely useful information about activity-specific injury prevention and performance enhancement strategies into the hands of trainers, instructors, coaches and practitioners of the various fighting arts. We’re also working on developing a series of seminars and workshops that are tailored to the concerns of specific fighting arts and sports.

In an effort to make all of F4FA content accessible in one location, we’ve developed a home web site to house the F4FA project:

Fitness for the Fighting Arts

Some of the content is still under construction, but we hope that the new menu will be easy to navigate and simple to understand. Several areas on the site offer information about the program and related materials:

About Us- the Maximal Advantage Training System

Seminar and Workshop Program Packages if you’re interested in hosting an F4FA seminar, browse the program options and contact either myself or Bob, depending on your region of the country.  More information on each package and pricing information will be coming soon.

F4FA Instructional DVD Samples

Articles and Resources

More information will be added in the next several weeks, but if you’re interested in finding out more, contact Robert Miller or myself using the email addresses supplied on the site.

If you watch closely you will see two short clips from the TKRI demonstrations at the Missouri Botanical Gardens this year. Nice job guys.

We were extremely fortunate with this year’s demonstrations at the Missouri Botanical Gardens Japanese Festival: great weather, great crowds, great performances of the material, and two people on hand to film it all in it’s entirety.

Take a look and see for yourself:

TKRI Seizing Drills

Naihanchi/Tekki Application Drills

TKRI Seisan Applications

Bassai Applications

Long Range Knife Defense Scenarios

Close Range Knife Defense Scenarios

Great job folks!

This weekend the combined St. Louis, Washington University and Virginia TKRI Clubs will demonstrate their unique brand of karate at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

If you’re in St. Louis, swing by the gardens for a great festival. It’s one of the largest in the nation, with lots of great stuff to see/do/watch/eat/drink.  Stop by and see us- we always do a very high energy demo of practical karate that leaves the crowd saying “…ouch…”

The demonstration schedule is available here.

The Missouri and Virginia branches of the Traditional Karate Research Institute are pleased to announce the upcoming:

TKRI/Seijinkai Summer Gasshuku

June 26, 27 and 28, 2009

For the 4th year running, the camp will feature a trio of the finest karate instructors around:

-Robert Miller

-Harry Cook

-Elmar Schmeisser

Details will be posted soon to this blog and to If you can make it, we always welcome new campers regardless of style, rank, or affiliation. Join us for 3 days of training and camping in the pastoral setting of a private farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with plenty of karate, food, music, good people and bad jokes!

"Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the work of others. As a karateka you will of course often watch others practice. When you do and you see strong points in the performance of others, try to incorporate them into your own technique. At the same time, if the trainee you are watching seems to be doing less than his best ask yourself whether you too may not be failing to practice with diligence. Each of us has good qualities and bad; the wise man seeks to emulate the good he perceives in others and avoid the bad."
Funakoshi Gichin


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