latest news

Master Bullard now head of Memphis Martial Arts Center

Former head of Memphis Martial Arts Center Moe Denbow has retired from teaching professionally. Effective October 1, 2001, Master Bullard is the new head of the school.

New location!

Effective June 1, 2011 we became a part of Memphis Martial Arts Center, 2543 Broad Ave, in Memphis, TN.

Master Bullard now certified to teach Wild Goose Qi Gong

Master Bullard received his instructor's certification to teach Wild Goose Qi Gong from Master Shane Lear. after the seminar in Nashville the weekend of March 5-6, 2011.

Wild Goose Seminar in Nashville 3/5-6

Master Bullard will be one of the assistant instructors at the Wild Goose Qi Gong seminar in Nashville, TN. The seminar will be hosted by Cooper Karate & Jujutsu Center and will feature Master Shane Lear.

Students honored by Grandmaster Dillman

Master Bullard and several of his students were at the DKI seminar in Nashville, TN the weekend of October 23, 2010. They were honored by Grandmaster Dillman for their extreme dedication and hard work through their recent loss of the building which had been their dojo.

Master Bullard in Albany, NY

Master Bullard taught an introductory seminar in Albany, NY the weekend of Friday, Sept 16, 2010. Topics included pressure point basics, introduction to Elemental Theory, and starting to view forms as something beyond the level of a middle-school physical education course.

Master Bullard at Ali Training Camp

Master Bullard was one of the instructors at the weekend-long DKI "Summer Camp" at the Mohammed Ali training Camp, Memorial Day weekend, 2010. Topics included a new interpretation (bunkai) of a portion of Seiuchin kata, three different fist positions and the reasons for using each, and ways to significantly enhance the effectiveness of a basic punch.

Sensei Bullard promoted to Master!

At the July 2008 DKI SummerCamp in Indianapolis, Sensei Bullard was promoted to the rank of Master (4th Degree Black Belt).

Musings

"When The Student Is Ready, The Master Will Appear."

Master Clifton Bullard, June 2007

I encountered this saying during the first few months of my martial arts training, in an old basketball court that the University of Mississippi Isshinryu Karate Club used for its dojo in those days. At the time I interpreted it to mean that as we become ready to learn new lessons, a new person will enter our lives, and part of that person's role in our lives is to help us to absorb whatever this new lesson might be.

This may or may not be true, but I realize now that I was needlessly complicating things. I would like to claim youth as an excuse, but the simple truth is that I didn't take the time to examine this simple statement the way I should have.

To interpret the phrase "the master will appear" as literally as I first did requires the existence of a complex network of people and directives at least as complicated as the current World Wide Web, monitoring where each lesson is needed, who can provide each one, and arranging things so that the two are brought together in a timely fashion. While I can't disprove the existence of such an arrangement, something much simpler seems so incredibly obvious that I can't believe I missed it for so long.

The Masters we seek are all around us, every day of our lives.

It's not necessary for "The Master" to be a stranger coming into our lives like a character in an old western riding into town on the noon stagecoach. All that's necessary is for us to see our teachers within the people we see every day, to take the time and effort to interact with them, and to be willing to open ourselves to receive the wisdom and knowledge they carry.

It sounds simple, doesn't it? And in a way, it is simple - all it requires is for us to step outside of our comfort zones a little bit.

Of course, the obvious corollary to this is that at any moment, we may find ourselves in the role of "The Master" for someone else. The tricky part is that we don't necessarily get to choose when those moments will be, or even have warning that such a moment is about to be upon us. Unlike a more formal teaching arrangement, we don't get the luxury of making a lesson plan.

You're welcome to do what you like with this, including disregard it completely. For me, I'm going to make a conscious effort to find as many "Masters" in my life as I can, and absorb as much from them as possible. I also plan to try to do my best to make sure that I'm "walking my own talk" so that my own inadvertent teaching moments convey the same lessons as if I'd been able to plan them in advance.

I think the trickiest part will be remembering to listen to one teacher in particular - the one that looks at me from my mirror each morning.

In the meantime, thank you for the use of your Razor, Mr. Occam. I'll try not to cut myself with it.