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

"Flying Lessons"

Master Clifton Bullard, November 2007

On his 1993 album “Outside From The Redwoods,” Kenny Loggins introduces the song “Leap of Faith” with these words:

“This is a song about taking flying lessons, and what you learn is that no matter when you jump, you’ll either land on your feet or learn how to fly.”

With all due respect to Mr. Loggins, it seems to me that there are three possible things that will happen when we jump, not just two.

The first (and hopefully most common) possibility is that we will land on our feet, no worse off than we were before. If anything, we’re a little better off than we were -- a tiny fraction better at jumping, and a tiny fraction better at landing. This is the same technique we use to improve at anything and everything we do -- an age-old concept called “practicing.”

Practicing is vital to anything that we want to do even moderately well. Possibly the most important thing to remember is that practice does not make perfect, practice only makes permanent. If your idea of practice is a lackadaisical “going through the motions” repetition of the skill you’re trying to improve, then when it comes time for you to call upon that skill you will give a lackadaisical performance. Why? Because you have literally programmed yourself to do it that way! What’s worse, until you take the time and effort to not only un-learn the bad habits you’ve let yourself pick up and re-learn that skill correctly, you’ll find it almost impossible to change!

Going through this process takes roughly 7 times as long as it would to simply do it right the first time. Studies have shown that it takes approximately 500 repetitions to ingrain something into muscle memory. Those same studies have also shown that it takes approximately 3000 repetitions to change that muscle memory once it has been stored.

Let’s say we have two people wanting to learn a new technique. They each practice 25 repetitions every day, but Person A treats each practice session as if he were really trying to use that technique, while Person B just goes through the motions.

At the end of three weeks, Person A has a new skill that he can call on whenever he needs to. Person B is now proficient at going through the motions, but not at actually applying the skill. Person B must now spend another four months unlearning his bad habits. In the meantime, Person A has had four months in which to apply his new skill, to learn other skills, or to sit on the beach sipping a fruity drink with a little umbrella in it.

The second thing that might happen to us when we jump is less pleasant than Mr. Loggins suggests -- we might fall flat on our face in the mud and the muck, and be laughed at by those around us. It’s not fun, but it happens to just about all of us sooner or later.

It is also an extremely important part of our lives, and probably does more to shape and build our character than any other single thing. Without opposition, it is virtually impossible to build strength. Every athlete knows this as one of the fundamental laws of the fitness universe. Likewise, every jeweler knows that you can’t polish a gemstone and bring out the beauty inside it without some sort of abrasive.

The key is to make yourself get back up and keep trying. This can be a difficult thing to do when you’re laying there spitting out yet another mouthful of dirt, but if you don’t then the discomfort and humiliation of falling has been for nothing. Take a moment, brush yourself off, and try to figure out where things went wrong -- and what you can do to get past that hurdle successfully the next time! Learn from the mistake, and go on.

No matter how you look at it, every time we jump, we come out ahead. Either we fall, in which case we strengthen our minds and spirits at the low cost of a little dirt; or we land on our feet, in which case we become better jumpers (and landers!); or maybe, just maybe, we learn how to fly.

Keep jumping!