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Keith Keffer
Martial arts addict, gaming geek and author of heroic adventures
Martial arts addict, gaming geek and author of heroic adventures


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I'm always looking at ways to improve my training outside of the dojo. This month I look at situational awareness, indicators that may lead to violent incidents, and what is deliberate practice.

What do you do to sharpen your skills when you are off the mats?

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Time for another edition of the Martial Arts News.The Martial Arts New is a monthly series that takes a look at articles, videos, podcasts and books that can help to improve your knowledge of the self-defense, technique, history, teaching and what ever else may catch my eye during the month.

In this post I talk about self-defense tactics, working with kids, and different ways to think about blocking.

Let me know what you think about the articles, and if you have any particular questions or interest, let me know. I'm always curious about what other martial artist think.

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I had planned on doing this as a monthly series, but the list was getting pretty big.

This week articles cover being a good partner, self-defense and the law.

I've also begun reading Ed Parker's Infinite Insights into Kenpo. The first time I started reading his work, I was just beginning my study of Kenpo (or at least the variation of it that is taught at my dojo). Now I'm readying with the eye of an instructor, looking for those pieces of wisdom I had missed the first time through.

Do you have any books that you go back to regularly as a reference guide for your style?

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I read a lot, and I'm constantly finding information on the martial arts and training that I want to share with others. Each month, I'm going to be summarizing some of those articles and providing links to them on my Martial Arts blog. This month, there is information about practicing, knife defense, de-escalation, Pennsylvania law, books about dealing with violence and upcoming seminars. If you find it interesting, let me know.

I cleared the Spam filter today.  There were about a hundred posts that had been flagged over the last month. 

If I could tell what the post was about without having to watch a video or click on a link, the post probably was accepted.  If I needed to leave the community site to learn more, then the post was probably purged.

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My latest short story, Night Shift, is now available on Amazon. Follow the link below to my website where you can read a preview.

If you like what you read, consider signing up for my newsletter ( as I'll be giving away a coupon to all subscribers to download a free copy of my first short story, Support Hell.
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The other day, I was talking to some much younger martial artists about bowing at the dojo. The conversation turned to how bowing and respect were the same thing. (Well not exactly, but close enough to make a point.)

I disagreed.

At almost every school I've ever trained, there was some amount of bowing going on, although I have been to a few that did not. The schools that didn't have bowing weren't less respectful to their instructors, fellow students or the principles of their training. They just didn't bow.

In my mind, bowing is a physical reminder of the respect that we should have, and each time I bow in the dojo, it may be for a different reason.

What do you think? Do your students know why they are bowing? If you don't bow, do you have another ritual that you use to demonstrate respect?

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Way back in July of 2015, a blogger reported that her review was blocked on Amazon because she knew the author on social media, and that no other connection existed between them.

Since then, I have seen numerous reports of Amazon blocking reviews based on social media contact, but in every case that I've tracked down the source all leads back to this single post. (This is the post: )

So.... It's been what, 9 months since she reported this? Does anyone have any first hand experience with a review being deleted or not being able to be placed solely on the basis of a social media connection.

I tend to feel this is one of those things that got blew up out of proportion, but I've also been neck deep in work for the last 6 months so it's possible I'm clueless.

When in doubt, I figure this is the best place to get an informed response.

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In 1979 I began my martial arts journey, and while there have been times when I wasn’t active at any particular school, I have always remained a student. A little over three years ago, I began a new phase of my training. Now in April I’ll be testing for my black belt in Kenpo and once more beginning a new phase of my training.

As part of that transition, I have put together a webiste where I’ll be sharing my stories and hopefully the stories of others. Please take a moment and vistit and if you’d like to join me in this journey send me a message.

It would be fantastic to hear about the journey of other martial artists. How did you get started and what kept you going?

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